Hip, Hip, Hurray for Christmas Vacation!

Hello, dear readers, and Happy New Year!

My family and I just got back from our 18-day vacation in the Caribbean, Disney World and Sea World, and boy are we tired. We didn’t even stay up till midnight to usher in the new year. But it was truly the trip of a lifetime, like three vacations in one, and what a time we had! We swam in the sea on Grand Turk…shopped in the Dominican Republic…explored Curacao…walked through the streets and took in the sights of Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital city. Then it was five days at Disney World (and there’s a story about my clumsy ass that’s kind of long, but it’s a really good story) and we finished with a full day at Sea World before flying back home.

That’s not to say there weren’t a few hitches. I came down with bronchitis on the very first day of the cruise, and I must have been running on pure adrenaline because in spite of all the coughing and wheezing, I only missed one day of our Caribbean adventure. If I’d been home, I’d have been sick as a dog. Several other family members acquired the crud as well, but we didn’t give in to it until the limousine ride home, where we all just sort of wilted.

Now, the story about the first night at Disney. We were all parked in front of the Cinderella Castle waiting for the fireworks and light show when Shelley and I decided we needed to use the restroom. There were what seemed like millions and millions of people and we had to fight our way to the bathroom in Tomorrowland. I never made it, because I tripped over something in the dark and fell, hard, on my right side. At first I thought I’d just scraped my leg and went on as if nothing had happened, when my son said, “Mom, you’re bleeding.” I said something along the lines of “It’s OK, I’ll clean it up when I get to the bathroom.” He stopped me and repeated himself emphatically, “No, Mom, you’re BLEEDING!”

I looked down and saw that he was right. Actually, I was gushing. My shoe and sock were literally full of blood. I squished over to what turned out to be a break room for the cast members, who were aghast at the sight of my lacerated leg and called the medics. In the meantime I was trying to stop the bleeding by putting pressure on the wound, which was pretty much useless as I continued to hemorrhage. When the medics got there, even they almost panicked and insisted that I go to the hospital. Of course I didn’t want to go to the hospital, I just wanted them to put a few steri-strips on the cut and let me go back to the festivities. But then I got a good look at it and knew a bandage wasn’t going to fix things; even so, it was Christmas night and I didn’t want to spend it in an ER. So I reiterated my objections, but the medics came right back with, “You’re going to the hospital. We’ve already called the ambulance to take you.”

Then commenced a wild wheelchair ride through the crowds, with the medics commanding people to get out of the way as they rushed me to the waiting ambulance. At one point during the drama, we passed by the area where I’d bled and there were workers spraying bleach all over the place. It must’ve been 50 feet between the place where I fell to the break room where I’d been evaluated, and I knew they were scrubbing the floor as well because I’d gushed blood all over it.

Long story short, I missed the fireworks show. Instead, I spent the entire evening in the ER getting 22 stitches and being upset that I’d ruined my shoes and kept the family from seeing the fireworks too. (I did finally get to use a restroom, thank goodness.) I think I was more worried about that than the leg. But by this time, I was beginning to find the humor in the situation and had Ethan take pictures of the injury before and after it had been sutured, and I posted them on Facebook. It was incredibly gruesome—it actually looked like I’d been bitten by a shark—and even though he’s a nurse, he got a little woozy when the PA started sewing me up and had to leave momentarily. I found that funny too. But he came back in after composing himself, and the three of us chatted like old friends during the procedure.

Anyway, there’s a lot more to the story of our Christmas Vacation, and I’ll tell it in a future installment of this blog. And even with jet lag and a LOT of overstimulation, I stayed on an even keel mood-wise, making life easier for everyone concerned. Bipolar? What bipolar? 😉


Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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