OCT 3, 20 .. NEAR DEATH .. MY SECOND CLOSE-CALL .. A BAD FALL

Yesterday I published a post about the near death experience I had Friday evening, September 11th (my own very personal 911 event). The below link will take you to yesterday’s post.

http://babakaps.net/?p=41847

Unless at some future date I revisit it, at least (for the time being) I am past the above experience. 

Unfortuately I am still-living-with the second near death experience I will go into below.

SUNDAY EVENING, September 27th, 2020.

All was well with the world. I had spent all day getting our things together for our departure from Manley Hot Springs on Monday the 28th. One last thing I wanted to do was to snap a photo of our cabin in the evening showing the minature Christmas Tree Lights that adorn our porch.

Below you can see them during the day.

To snap the late evening photo, I needed to sit on my cane-seat (shown below) to steady my camera for a slower shutter speed.

In the next photo, our truck was backed up close to the porch. 

I then moved it behind me and snapped the next photo below.

In the next two photos, please notice our truck has a ‘running board’.

Now (finally) The Stage Is Set.

As I snapped the last of my photos of the porch Christmas Tree Lights in the dark of  late evening, I leaned to my left and my three legged cane-seat tipped with me and I fell down to my left. As I fell to the ground (it was really a gentle fall but none the less) I let out an involuntary scream. Patti heard me scream and came running out to see what had happened. 

Patti asked me if she could help me get up. I said yes. Standing over me, Patti, bending down, offered me her two hands and pulled me up.

DISASTER !

As I became almost erect facing Patti, Patti lost her balance and she fell into me and we two together fell to the ground. With Patti on top of me, my right shoulder hit the running board of our truck about where you see the white piece of paper in the next photo below. The force with which I hit the running board was magnified by our joint body weights (close to 400 lbs).

The pain was instant. The pain was horrific. I went into shock. I do NOT clearly remember the below account that Patti will now write. It seems to me that the immediate pain of this fall was far FAR greater than when I fell in the Dubai Airport, Friday, November 25th, 2016, and fractured my left hip.

I, Patti, turned myself over and crawled on my hands and knees to an empty storage bin about 8 feet away from me to use it to help me get to my feet, which I did.  As I got back to Cap, he used the running board and was able to get to his feet with some assistance from me. With me supporting him under his uninjured left arm, Cap was able to begin taking some small, tentative steps back toward the cabin porch about 20 feet away.  He took about three or four steps and then started to collapse into a faint.  I stopped him, told him to steady himself, spoke some encouraging words about staying focused, and we proceeded to go through this same situation every three or four steps. I felt it vital to get him at least to the porch where, if he collapsed, he would not be on the ground.

As we got to the porch and I got him sitting down with me standing in front of him, Cap began to lean forward and collapse into my arms.  He blacked out.  I felt it important to get his legs up on the porch as well, otherwise there was still the danger of him ending up back on the ground. So, I layed him down from the hips up and then strugged with getting his legs up successfully.  Once he was completely on the porch, I dashed inside the cabin to grab Cap’s new smart phone.  (Aside: FORTUNATELY! For some months, Cap has been coaching a very reluctant me on the use and features of his smart phone) I called our nearest neighbors for help.  They answered immediately.  Cap regained consciousness and began yelling, “NO, do not call Terry and Bea .. Terry has a bad neck and back himself.” I told Bea that Cap had fallen in the driveway and that I had him as far as the porch but could not lift him myself to get him inside.  Bea could hear Cap yelling “NO” but assured me Terry already had his jacket on, was handing her jacket to her, and they would be right over.  They appeared minutes later.  Terry put his hands under Cap’s arm pits and lifted Cap to his feet and got him inside to the bed.  At this point, Cap seemed to have gained his senses and once Terry and Bea left, he said the major discomfort was his shoulder.  He got ready for bed and settled for the night. Keep in mind we were planning (and did so) to leave Manley to return to Anchorage the next day!

In all honesty, walking Cap from the driveway to the porch, and then once he began to collapse into my arms while sitting on the porch, I had visions of losing him altogether.  Needless to say, it was terrifying.  The next day Cap let out one blood-curdling scream when he reached up, forgetting his shoulder for a moment, and I thought, from the next room, that we were into another fall.  I got a little hysterical as I ran to him.  Guess I was a little on edge!

We finally drove away from the cabin the next day, Monday, September 28th, at 4:15 pm. We were facing first an 80 mile gravel/glacial silt narrow road and then another 80 mile paved road into Fairbanks. It is a total of 160 miles into Fairbanks.  I drove a good share of the way, but Cap did drive some with his limited right shoulder.  It was a great relief to get into Fairbanks/civilization.  We stayed the night in Fairbanks and then continued on to Anchorage the next day (Tuesday the 29th) with me driving much of the way.  It was even a greater relief to arrive at the condo in Anchorage and be home where we are close to doctors and hospitals.

Near Death Captain? My head missed hitting the running board by a few inches. As I wrote yesterday, IF you have a medical emergency out in the Alaskan Bush, help is a long way away. YES you may be able to get a helicopter med-evac but this, in and of itself, is a challenge. You can’t just make a call and within a few minutes a helicopter will arrive. It could take several hours. Had my head taken a brutal hit (hours away from medical attention) it could have been-my-curtain-call.

How am I doing on Saturday the 3rd of October six days later? With help from my left arm (I use it to reach over and elevate my right arm) I have about 40% usage of my right arm (and right hand that is attached to my right arm). It is definately (call it) uncomfortable. 

We are attempting to get an appointment with an Orthopedic Doctor. This is difficult with the Covid-19 situation and we may end up in a local Emergency Room which (with Covid-19) presents additional risks to my health.

For now, That-Is-That. 

Cap and Patti

10 thoughts on “OCT 3, 20 .. NEAR DEATH .. MY SECOND CLOSE-CALL .. A BAD FALL

  1. Gullible

    Okay, you two. On your way home after your visit from the orthoped or the emergency room, stop at costco and buy several rolls of bubble wrap. Once you are home, sign up for Meals on Wheels. Make sure Meals on Wheels can gain access to your condo. Choose the place you want to relax, wrap yourselves in bubble wrap from head to tow, making certain to cover all extremities several times (you might need a neighbor’s help with this part). Have the neighbor put helmets (aka brain buckets) on your heads. Then, sit or lie down and stay there. Do not get up.

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Today (Monday the 5th) I got an appointment with an Orthopedic Doctor for next Monday the 12th of October. Time will tell. I just replied to your friend Linda down there in Tallahassee, Florida, that things are improving slowly for sure but getting better. Thanks. Cap and Patt for sure

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Too funny you two. You two know each other don’t you? YES. It was through Gullible that we met (at least I think so).

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Thanks Slack Dog (aka Bill). STOP the aging process immediately. All our best to all of you. October 31, 2017, was our last visit back to ‘the hood’.. Time is flying. Cap and Patti

  2. Kathleen

    Cap and Patti, between the two major events, I think this is my least favorite trip of all your trips! Too scary! A lot of words come to mind and none of them good. I am very grateful you were able to get home safely and get some doctor appointments. Fingers crossed and a message to the universe to treat you with kid gloves (and a lot of bubble wrap!)

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Thank you so very much Kathleen for your concern and comments. Oh yes. It was a really serious pair of life-threatening issues. Luckily I have come out of it a good and good can be. I had my doctor appointment this morning (Monday the 12th of October) and will need some physial therapy but NO serious medical issues were found. Even I could see that the X-Rays looked great of my right elbow and shoulder. Smiles and Joy .. Cap and Patti

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