Saturday, December 15, 2012

THE ACCIDENT


So, sorry for the lack of communication as of lately.... Finding a decent Internet connection has proven rather difficult in Central America; particularly when you are on a tight time frame and sleeping in cane fields half of the time.

Anyways as opposed to going back and starting off where I left off with my entrance into Guatemala, I will first fast forward a little to where I am now....

December 12, 2012 marked the point at which I have been on the road for 3 months, and it was SUPPOSED to mark the end of my journey and my highly anticipated arrival on LITTLE CORN ISLAND.....

HOWEVER....

 

first pic before swelling and bruising
A few days ago- on Sunday, December 9th; (The day that was supposed to be my last day of pedalling)
 I was hit by a car. 
The accident happened at around 3 o'clock in the afternoon; about 20 miles from the finish point of 
last sign I passed before the crash

my 3 month long cycling journey.... or so I am told. In reality..... I remember nothing. ..

I have vague recollection of concern for the safety of the highway as I noticed it narrowed and lost all shoulder at the same time as I entered an area of rolling hills ..... The next thing I remember I am in a hospital waiting room having my blood pressure checked and being weighed at the same time as entertaining everyone in the waiting room - walking like a goof and joking with the kids. That is all I remember of the first hospital....And asking if it was ok to ride my bike the next day, a question to which the only response was a laugh. (At this point we didn't even know where my bike was!)
Apparently after a few hours of being in and out of consciousness, the staff at the hospital were worried about my condition and transferred me by ambulance to a hospital in Juigalpa that has better facilities. This is my next point of memory... being in the ambulance on the phone... I do not remember who I was on the phone with or what we were talking about only remember repeatedly saying "it was my last day!!" and being amused by the fact that I was in the ambulance with the sirens on. ( In the hours after the accident apparently I made many calls to friends and family of which I have no recollection)

Upon arriving at the second hospital I had Xrays taken of my skull and arms and scans taken of my brain. The Doctor said he was surprised to see that I had no broken bones and seemingly no permanent damage to my brain. Only a fairly serious concussion and friction burn on 5% of my body...( I was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident as a week or so ago while in El Salvador I climbed a hill to take a picture and accidentally kicked my helmet off a cliff, watching it drop 250 meters into the pacific... I tried to find a replacement but it has proven a very hard task in Central America, as most bike shops sell helmets but only for children.. and my head isn't small enough to fit into a child's helmet...especially now that it is swollen to twice it's normal size!)

I woke in the morning in the ladies wing of a public hospital in Juigalpa, Nicaragua. Typical of any hospital in Central America there were about 20 other women sharing the room; you were expected to bring your own sheet,pillow and any other comfort you might need, we were only fed once a day and the food left alot to be desired  and the staff that worked there were a bit grouchy to say the least.

But my stay in this public hospital was not all bad at all. The ladies with whom I shared the room were WONDERFUL, and realizing I had nothing they did everything they could to make my stay as comfortable as possible
. - I woke up in the middle of that first night to one of the ladies in a nearby bed bringing her fan to me; the next morning when I went to take my shower (I need to sit under running water for 30 mins to soften my bandages before removing them), anyways when I went to shower that first day one lady lent me her flip flops to use, and another lady gave me her shampoo and liquid soap knowing I had none of my own; And towards the end of the day everyone seemed to be worried by the fact that I hadn't been eating and one woman bought me a bowl of fruit.

That day I also had the happy experience of having all my gear returned to me. I told the people at the hospital many time it was very important that we go look for my bike as it was not cheap and held ALL of my worldly possessions. There answer was always : when your boyfriend gets here he can go with the police to find it. But some how that was not necessary I do not know who brought it in or how my reunion came about; but around lunch I was woken up and asked to come outside... sitting there was my bike and all of my stuff.... not a single thing was missing!! AND it was all in pretty good shape...all of the bags and their contents were fine(surprisingly even my computer..or as fine as it had ever been)  and other than some deep scratches on the left handle and brake and a bit mishaped front wheel the bike was fine. It was such a happy moment that I barely wanted to let go of my bike again for it to be locked in the car yard... but bringing it into the hospital room wasn't an option so I had no choice but to allow it to leave my sight for only the second time in the last 3 months.

After getting all of my bags safely stored under my bed I went back to sleep and didn't wake up untill around 8PM when Dariel arrived. Something that all of the other patients were happy to see as he brought me food and being in better spirits I actually ate it. We spent one more night in this public hospital but in the morning when the Dr. made his rounds at around 7 we asked about private hospitals close by as it was not a very comfortable night in the hospital for my boyfriend as he had to sleep on the concrete floor beside my bed using a bag as a pillow and had to leave every once and a while when the nurses made their rounds. The Dr. gave us a name of a hospital but warned that it would be expensive. Around mid day we moved to Clinica Materno Infantal. A private clinic near by run by a very very friendly nun. It was much more expensive than the public hospital (which cost nothing) but still cheap for the service - we payed around $400 for three nights in this private hospital and that included a private room with 2 beds and a bathroom, 3 meals a day for me and breakfast each day for my boyfriend, daily Doctor visits from the same plastic surgeon who attended me in the public hospital who came by to clean and dress my wounds each day and very good services from friendly nurses who came by every few hours to pump my veins full of antibiotics, pain killers and put cream on my wounds to prevent them from drying and cracking. It was a very clean hospital and very good service even by Canadian/American standards and they had no problem even when another good friend (Howie) joined us for the last night there.

 
After that last night when Howie joined us we decided to move to a hotel as we felt a bit like we were imposing and felt as though we could take care of my wounds on our own without having to continue paying Dr. bills. So we found a comfortable hotel, went and got my bike back ( a VERY happy moment for me) and re continuing to treat and dress my wounds on our own which I think we a doing a pretty good job of

Tomorrow we will leave early and take a bus back to the point where the accident took place at which point I will get back on my bike and pedal the last 20 miles to El Rama with Dariel and Howie following slowly behind in a taxi as an escort car. From El Rama I will catch the panga to Bluefields and from there the ferry to Corn Island which runs on Wednesday. So I will STILL be making it to the island before Christmas and within my goal.
..p.s over the next week or so I will go go back and update what happened all through central america as well as keep updates comming on the progress of the buil of the learning centre


Thank you all for your continued support, this accident may be a minor set back but I am still determined to pedal the last little stretch and make it to LITTLE CORN with in the goal, before Christmas. We are very close to reaching the $7,000 goal but still have a little to go... and who is to say we should stop if we reach it. Any extra funds raised can still be used to benifit the people of the island. So please keep spreading the word, donating if possible. Let's do ALL that we can to make sure these people get the learning opportunities they so deserve. LEARNING IS SOMETHING THAT NEVER STOPS.... NEITHER WILL I ! LET'S DO ALL WE CAN TO GIVE THESE PEOPLE WHAT THEY DESERVE!
www.commonthreadz.org/stephsolverson







3 comments:

  1. Wow how is it happened mam!
    take care of yourself..

    You badly hit by car..

    Regards,

    Hotel Sai Sahavas, Shirdi

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