Sorry it’s been so long since the last update. Typing with one hand really slows you down! Let me tell you about how a great vacation can change in a Mexican momento!
Kent and I wanted to return to beautiful Cozumel this year so, luggage and passports in hand, off we flew Dallas-Houston-Cancun-Cozumel on May 16th.
SO excited! Got to the hotel, checked in, a couple of drinks for Happy Hour then off on the town. We were back!
The night was awesome. Great food, a nice stroll through town, followed by our Cozu tradition of a nightcap at Senor Frog’s. But the town was dead; of course, it was Wednesday, off-season, and only two cruise ships had called that day and they were both gone. It became a fairly early night for us but the day had started at 2:30a.m., so we headed back to the room with plans to start in earnest after a good night’s rest.
Dawn came early, beautiful and warm, and with our morning refreshments we sat on the balcony and watched all three cruise ships arrive and dock—all Carnival. This was a good thing, because even though we’ve never been aboard a Carnival ship (or any other, actually!), Carnival passengers are a BLAST. Plus, our resort—Ed Cid Cozumeleño—offers cruise shippers a day-pass option to their pool area, so when the fleet’s in port it is PARTY TIME by “our” hotel’s pool!
The day didn’t disappoint…the early part, anyway. After a delicious, sun-drenched, waterside breakfast, a stop at the bank to exchange US$ for Mex$, and a quick slathering of SPF30, it was pool time. Except it was barely 10am, and the pool was still a little chilly but the large hot (warm?) tub was hoppin’ with Carnival folks. The warm-tub also has a swim-up bar counter—which I swear is purely coincidental to this story. In the tub we joined two retired firefighter/EMT’s from the ATL, their wives and their 19-ish old sons. What a GREAT crowd!! As the day wore on and the drinks kept flowing, my sweet Kent was out beer-ing me (which NEVER EVER happens!) two to one. Of course, I had taken my diuretics that morning, so one beer in meant two trips to the baño for me, which essentially slowed my pace. We were having a GREAT day.
Lunch, eaten from the hot-tub was light, delicious, and so Yucatan. But we could see the storm clouds moving in—nice metaphor!—and the deluge soon started. About 3pm Kent and I closed out our tab, wished our hot-tub peeps a great rest-of-the-cruise, and we headed to our room. Once inside we took off our wet things and while Kent used the facilities I went to put the suits on the balcony to dry overnight.
And that’s when it happened. As I came back into the room I was suddenly airborn, and while the takeoff was smooth, the landing was not one I was able to walk away from. I fell with all my (considerable) weight directly onto my right upper shoulder. When I hit I felt, and actually heard, the crack of the bones. I must have yelped, because Kent came running from the bathroom, yelled “Oh my God!!” and ran to help me. I told him I thought my shoulder was broken, and as he helped me sit up the blinding pain confirmed that something was badly wrong. Because of the pain I was pretty shaky and weak, so try as we might we could not get me off the floor onto the bed. Kent stood up and declared, “I AM GOING TO CALL FOR HELP!!” sounding as if he were about to call in a dozen knights on white horses. “Really?” was my completely exasperated answer as I looked up him from the cold tile floor.
Now let’s review the scene. We had both taken our wet trunks off, so we had no clothes on. I, in particular, was butt-ass nekkid stuck on the floor, slowly freezing both cheeks solid onto the cold marble floor, and was not exactly prepared to “receive” strangers. Sure, I thought, call the cavalry for help, as long as they are strong, blind, and will sign non-disclosure agreements. Finally, though, we were able to get both underwear and jean shorts on me, and after Kent dressed he called the front desk for ayuda.
My first rescuer came to the door. He was a lobby bellman, about 200 years old, and weighed no more than 80 pounds. He had brought an old, clunky, huge transport chair with a broken seatbelt. Besides still wondering how I was going to get off the floor, there was no way he could help me, and no way the chair would fit in one of the tower’s airplane-bathroom-sized elevators. Enough of my high-school Spanish came back to ask him ¿cómo bajamos al primer piso? How do we get to the first floor? Escaleras abajo he replied. Down the stairs. I so did not think so, at least not with the world’s oldest Mayan sherpa as my rescuer! ¡Absolutamente no! Finally he was replaced with an English-speaking staff member who said they’d call an ambulance.
Within minutes the paramedics arrived—two big, burly guys and a wispy, beautiful young lady—and guess who the powerhouse was? Yep. She had me up in the chair with no pain in seconds and moments later I was in the ambulance on the way to the “Commercial” (good) hospital. The hospital was as spotless and modern as any I’ve ever seen. After popping in an IV and giving me some awesome pain meds, it was off to x-ray where both of the patients ahead of me were Americans. I was seeing a pattern. I found out the Hospital Comercial was primarily for International visitors, expats or wealthy Mexicans, while the Hospital Publico was for the “rest” of the populace. I was in no mood to quibble. The care was outstanding.
Pain relieved, x-rays done, the doctor (who looked like Mario Lopez and spoke perfect English) came in with the films to explain that my shoulder was indeed fractured in two places, directly under the ball of the shoulder bone. He said surgery would be needed, and both Kent and I said we would prefer to have that done at home, *if* I was cleared to travel. He said I was fine to fly, fitted my arm in a sling, gave us our paperwork and a a doggie bag of pain meds, and called a cab for us.
Back at the hotel, we knew vacation was over early, and there was no way I could get onto the Cozu-Cancun puddlejumper. I talked Kent through how to get us passes online AA. The next morning (of course) dawned achingly perfect, with the sun and the wáter beconing. Unfortunately, we had to pack and shower—for one-armed me, no easy feat (it’s gotten easier since!). We went down to Brunch where the staff could NOT have been more accomodating (I wonder why?). I wasn’t even charged for my meal. At checkout the staff was more than accomodating, with the Front Office/Reservations Manager telling us not to worry about the early checkout and that they would make certain we were not penalized—and our Wyndham points would be refunded.
At the Cozumel airport, the American Airlines staff was so sweet. That is not the pain meds talking. They immediately gave us bulkhead seats in Main Cabin Extra and ORDERED us to preboard. The supervisor then said “we don’t like to see people leave our island hurt. Please come back again soon.” My spanish kicked in again and I said “un día regreso, yo lo sé.” She blinked twice then said “that’s a Gloria Estefan song isn’t it?” “Well, yeah, but it fits!!” We all laughed, and they wished me well. Through Mexican immigration in 90 seconds, and a few beers later we preboarded. On climb out from Cozumel I looked out over the island, the cenotes, the beautiful beaches and Carribean waters. Yes, I thought. Un día regreso, yo lo sé. Es la verdad.