Penang Day 7 – Down and almost out

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I’m posting this report on our last day in Penang before I’ve finished with days 4-6, but thought it needed immediate attention.

On our last day of holiday, we decided to have a final beach day and take it easy before the trek back to Batam. As part of the day, I thought it would be interesting to try one of the beach activities offered by the hotel. I said no to jet skiing, as I hate the things, but agreed to go parasailing. It looks real easy, right? What could go wrong.

They give you four simple instructions, twice, before you take off, and apparently number four was the most important – it involves manuering your chute for a soft and accurate landing on the flat part of the beach. I didn’t do something right.

We were doing a tandem ride and came down past the flat beach area into an area with small dunes. My left leg hit one of the dunes straight on. The sand did not move. Putrie’s weight was thrown against me, my left knee buckled and I heard a loud snap. The pain was unbelieveable and I did scream.

After several minutes, I was helped to a seat, where the pain continued. There was a clinic nearby so I was helped to a car and sat in the back seat with my leg prone on the seat. Bending the leg was extremely painful. The doctor at the clinic could not help and suggested a hospital for x-rays, so we got back into the car and went to the Pengang Adventist Hospital, about 20 minutes away.

At the hospital, I was rolled into the emergency room and placed on a table in a private room. The hospital looked spotless, organized and well run. The nurses, attendants and doctors were excellent. The doctors spoke excellent English, even at the clinic, and looked to be of Indian descent. After some questions and probing of my injured knee area, I was wheeled into the x-ray department, where about 8 x-rays were taken. Nothing was broken but an MRI would be necessary to determine the tissue damage. The doctor recommended I have this done when I returned to Batam.

Then, since I could not bend the leg without severe pain, the doctor put a hard surface to the back of my leg. It started out as a soft item that, when wet, first formed around the contours of my leg and then dried very hard. The leg from mid-thigh to almost my ankle was then wrapped with tape to hold the brace in place. Then, I was wheeled to the therapy area to be fitted with crutches and shown how to use them. It was then I realized the problems facing me in negotiating the trip home, much less the steps to my apartment and the hill to and from my office.

I was told not to put any weight on the leg but making my way with the crutches and one leg was very painful to my armpits, shoulders and hands. We made it back to the hotel about four hours later, asked for a 7 a.m. wakeup call and a taxi to the airport in the morning. As if the day hadn’t been long enough, by the time I shuffled down the long hallway to our room, neither of our electronic room keys worked and Putrie had to leave me standing there while she had them recharged 20 floors dwon. We ordered room service and ate on the balcony. I was already putting weight on the leg as using the crutches in the room was a pain.

I was not given any pain medicine, only Celebrex for the swelling. So I took one Celebrex, two Ibuprofen and two naproxen sodium, and ample doses of Jim Beam, and slept mostly like a rock. By the morning, there was little pain in the leg, except when it bent slightly getting up or down. Friday would turn out to be a grueling day.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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