A Momentary Lapse of Common Sense

How many times have you done something, then thought back and say to yourself, “I was lucky something bad didn’t happen.” Personally I’ve had many experiences that could’ve turned out worse than they did. Even now just putting my thoughts together many memories come to mind.

Boat living makes you think and act safely on a daily basis. I can say that the times I end up regretting  have been when rushed or thinking “I’ll just hop over that”, or  “I’ll just jump down and get that.”

Well, lesson learned.  I’m going to relate my latest experience in hopes that you, the reader, will think first before just hopping or jumping.

Our day started out fine, beautiful  “let’s go for a boat ride” weather.  We took Bright Angel to the fuel dock at Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina, did a pump out and headed out onto Barkley Lake. We traveled to a nearby marina, stopped for lunch, had a great ride, and headed back to the slip. Hoping to enjoy our local area even more I set the dinghy down from its cradle to prepare it for a sail or just a row around the marina. Moving the dinghy along side Bright Angel I saw a line on the floor. “I’ll just hop down there, grab that line, and get back on the dock and move the dinghy, so it’s ready to go.”



How I wanted the dinghy to be so we could easily go for rides.

What happened next was quick. I stepped down into the dink, it moved, I lost my balance, went into the side of Bright Angel, crashed down onto the gunwale of the dink and over into the water. My first thought was to grab my glasses, no strap to hold them in place. They were OK.  Steadying myself using the transom of the dink, I began to think of what to do next. By this time Dearest (my wife, Cynthia) was up on the big boat checking out the commotion. “Do you have your phone?” was her first question. Later after things had calmed down I asked her why she thought of my phone before me. Her answer was, “You were above water and breathing so I figured you were OK.”

After the initial shock we both started to act more responsibly. Cynthia’s next comment was, “What can I do to help?” My first request was for Cynthia to switch off the power from the power pedestal to the boat.  (Lately we have heard of people killed by stray electric.)  With the power shut off I moved toward the swim platform on Bright Angel while Dearest lowered the ladder into the water. Back on board we evaluated injuries. No blood, that’s a good thing. Right arm sore, must have hit it on the way out of the boat. Next into the shower to rinse off. By the end of the shower my right arm was becoming difficult to move and more sore. We applied ice packs and did a more extensive evaluation. The arm just above the elbow was starting to bruise, and we knew that it would get worse as the night progressed. We continued with ice and took some acetaminophen.


First night after the fall

Daily progression of bruising.

By early evening bruising was getting worse. I could hardly move my arm, and the pain was becoming intense. I went for a more heavy-duty pain medication that we keep on board, for that “just in case” event. I kept the arm elevated and the ice packs rotating  throughout the night. The next morning we headed for Paducah, KY and Urgent Care.  X-rays taken, no broken bones discovered, but the bruised area was expanding down the arm and the bicep was looking strange. The Physician Assistant prescribed an anti-inflammatory and said if it wasn’t better in a week go to the Orthopedic Institute of West Kentucky.

Here we are just over a week later, another trip into Paducah and a visit to the Orthopedic Urgent Care, diagnosis;  torn ligament in the right bicep. Arrangements were made for a MRI to see how extensive the damage and a new prescription to help with the pain.

Currently the MRI has been performed and I have an appointment with a doctor to schedule surgery to attach the ligament.

All this because of “I’ll just hop down and get that line.”

I am not looking for sympathy or prayers. I’m passing this along so that maybe someone else will stop before hopping and move more cautiously and avoid lost weeks of fun.

Thanks to all the people at Green Turtle Bay Marina for the help scheduling the courtesy car, so we can get to doctors appointments and procedures.

Special thanks to Cynthia, for putting up with my whining about how much it hurts, and the fact that I will never be able to do dishes again.


That “Mom face” when I said that I would never be able to do dishes again.



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