Last Monday afternoon Travel Man and I were enjoying a glorious day at a local beach here in Southern California. The temperature at the beach was a balmy 82°, and the water temperature was even better 69°. Beautiful, picture perfect day. We took our lunch with us, and had planned to stay until close to dinner time. However, our day had a different plan for us.
The waves were cresting at about 6-7 feet that day, which is unusual for Corona del Mar. It’s a beach that’s a little inlet next to the Newport Beach jetty. I swam a couple of times, and Travel Man brought the boogie board with him so he could “catch some waves”. Around 3pm Travel Man went out with the boogie board, and was having fun riding the waves. I was on the beach reading, and could see him bopping around in the water.
Then about 15 minutes later my Travel Man comes staggering out of the water, and he’s using the boogie board to hold himself up. I could tell something wasn’t right with him, so I went right down to the shore to see if he was ok. He definitely was not ok. He had some blood running down his face, and had a nasty scrape on top of his head, and he was hurting. I got him back to our chairs in the sand, and was looking at the cut on his head to see how serious it was. A swimmer who had seen Travel Man stagger out of the water came over to see how he was doing and offered to get the lifeguard for us.
The lifeguard checked him out, and cleaned out the cut on his head. He was having a tremendous amount of pain in his neck. The lifeguard told Travel Man he should have his neck and back checked out. The kind of crash he had taken to the ocean floor is characterized as “going over the falls”. Meaning he was at the very top of the crest of the wave, and the momentum slammed him to the ocean floor. The choices for getting medical attention were; call for an ambulance, or go the doctor on our own. We opted for no ambulance, and got the Injured Man in the car first. Before this a very kind woman sitting near us came over to see if we needed help loading up the car. Of course, being the fathead that I am I said, “No, we’re fine. I think we can manage.” Of course I was not fine, I was racked with fear that my husband had seriously injured himself. In hindsight, I should have insisted that Travel Man be transported by ambulance. We had no idea how seriously he was injured.
We actually started to drive towards home to go to our family doctor, and Travel Man was in so much pain we opted for the emergency room two miles from the hospital. Travel Man called my parents, as they had been in the area earlier in the day. We got checked in to the ER, and I called my brother and asked him to come and sit with me. And he did. He was at the hospital within half an hour, and my parents arrived about an hour later. My family is awesome like that. If there’s an emergency or you need their help, they are ALWAYS there for you. I just love my family.
Travel Man went through some painful moments waiting to be checked out by the doctors; getting a CT scan, and getting an x-ray. Then he got some pain meds and he was able to relax a little. Once we got the results that there was nothing fractured, he got released to go home. This was about 4½ hours after we had initially arrived in the ER.
And my brother, he stayed with us the whole time, until we got Travel Man back in the car to go home. He’s just awesome like that. We sent my parents home earlier in the evening, as they had a long drive home. I was ever so thankful for their presence while Tom was getting checked out. Otherwise my worry gene kicks in, my mind wanders, and I imagine the worst.
Since last Monday, Travel Man has been resting and recuperating. He’s not too happy about this arrangement, but he knows it is necessary. And I am happy to report that he is feeling much better. The abrasion on his scalp has already healed, and his black eye is nearly gone. He was quite a sight. We’re both looking forward to our batteries getting recharged from the resting and recuperating, and moving on to the next adventure. But you all should know, there will be no more boogie boarding in Travel Man’s world.
One other reminder from this story is that there are kind and warm-hearted people everywhere you go. The generosity of the people on the beach was amazing. Travel Man and I always tell each other if we see a chance to be helpful to someone we always will, because you never know when you might need the next “Pay It Forward”.