Thursday, July 29, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Big Elk And A Broken Elbow


We have a rule in our house: "No using insurance while on vacation."

It stems from one of the very first vacations Jeff and I took after we got married. It was my family's reunion and we chose a campground in Estes Park, Colorado for the get together. It was fantastic! The weather was beautiful, the scenery was amazing, the campground was nice, and the wildlife was everywhere.

The animals, in fact, were the downfall of our vacation.

The first night we were there it rained. (Because what's a camping vacation without rain?) So we headed to town to eat and check out a local brewery. Just as we left the restaurant a herd of elk began to walk across the parking lot. My brother-in-law got very excited. More excited than he should, considering he lives in Montana and sees elk all the time. Although I will grant you that these boys were big and CLOSE! But anyway, he started shouting for someone to grab a camera.

Jeff took off for our vehicle, which was one of the closest. He slipped and fell on the wet parking lot. He popped right up and rubbed his elbow a bit, but none of us gave it a second thought.

Fast forward to midnight, and we were in the emergency room waiting for an x-ray. Sure enough, he had broken his elbow. A very nice doctor, who happened to be from the Frozen North not far from where we grew up, put him in a splint and a sling and gave us a prescription for pain medication. Then he informed us there was nowhere in town to fill it that night.

So we headed back to our tent. In the woods. With only Tylenol and elevation as treatment. That's not exactly what we had in mind when we decided to rough it.

We spent the few remaining hours of the night not sleeping in our tent. Jeff tried to get comfortable many, many ways, including by resting his very heavy splinted arm across my abdomen. Did I mention we were in a tent with no bathroom handy?

To add insult to injury, we had scheduled a whitewater raft trip for the next morning. Which meant that most of us headed off to have fun while Jeff stayed behind. My mom hates the water, so she never planned to go rafting, so she took care of Jeff. That rally only involved taking him into town to get his pain medication and finding him a pair of sandals to wear since he couldn't tie his shoes.

We got back late that day, and tried hard to pretend that it wasn't really much fun, even though we had a blast. By then Jeff was well stocked with pain meds and had spent most of the day in a drug-induced sleep, so he was in a pretty darn good mood considering.

It was not the vacation we planned, but it's one we certainly remember. Since then "Don't use the insurance" has become part rule, part mantra, and part standard for judging the quality of a vacation. It's a pretty low standard, I'll grant you, but it works for us.

I'm guessing that rule may get harder to follow with four kids in tow...

Play along with Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

Mama's Losin' It

© Trippin' Mama 2010

1 comment:

Lana said...

Deja Vu! We were on the second week of our honeymoon. The first we had spent driving out west with a stay at Colorado Springs before going to my favorite place in the world, Crested Butte. Tall Guy started not feeling too well at the end of that stay so we went to stay with a friend in Montrose,and there we found out he needed a root canal! UGH! My friend's dentist helped him as best he could, and we drove on to Estes Park. We didn't camp, but TG was on some pretty good drugs so I did the driving and oohing and ahhing at the scenery while he kind of uhhed and ohhed. It was fun, but I want to go back so he can have the full experience without being under the influence of Oxi-codone!