“Look what I found—four white horses, and I figured there are four of us … if we ever found the Lady. Hello, Lady!”
As the sweet little Mexican nurse asked me, “what’s your problem, Lady?” The only voice I heard was that of Fezzik, one of my very favorite characters from one of my very favorite movies, The Princess Bride.
“Dave, I think Andre the Giant (he played Fezzik) is trapped in her little Mexican-nurse body,” I looked over and we both laughed.
Of course Dave immediately responded back with a wave and a, “Hello Lady!”
Looking earnestly our sweet nurse continued, “Lady, what’s the problem? Oh Lady! Where you hurt? You pregnant, Lady?”
I tried to answer. She clearly did not understand a word I was saying. The words, “My period should start today,” washed right through her. Even though my words made no sense my pain most definitely broke our language barrier. “Lady, you hurt?” Finally after trying so many different ways to explain that no, I do not think I am pregnant and my arm really hurts, I pointed at Dave and said, “He hablas Espanol.”
“Ok, Lady.” She abruptly stopped talking with me, looked at Dave and started talking talking to him in Spanish. Dave made the v’room v’room motions of hands on ATV handles. He moved his arm up in a forty-five degree angle, I heard the word, ATV, and then he pointed at his flexed right elbow. I knew exactly what he was saying,
“Nurse Fezzik, see my wife, who you refer to as Lady, has never driven an ATV. She was trying to change gears. She turned a corner. There was a big forty-five degree angled hill. She popped a wheelie and was thrown off of the ATV onto her elbow and my eldest son. We think she may have broken her arm.”
Hours earlier and after a sleepless night in our new hotel I woke up crying. As Dave removed my arm bandage the pain increased and I nearly passed out. My right elbow was swollen and looked very strange. The elbow gash was deep and I was painfully annoyed. I showered, dressed and asked Dave to re-wrap my arm. I think it is important to our story to mention that the night before I also used my pain leverage to convince Dave that we needed to return to the safety and consistency of the Hilton Los Cabos. I am happy to say that my pain leverage worked, but before we could check back into our lovely hotel Dave insisted I have my arm X-rayed.
We checked out of the Fairfield Inn and made our way to the “American Hospital” where some of the people speak English. See, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the Fairfield Inn. We had initially planned on using it as a home base while we traveled our last few days to surf beaches and other Baja California Sur places of interest. My arm changed everything. And once injured, I fantasized about the Los Cabos Hilton pool, that warm pool, a place where the boys would entertain themselves FOR HOURS. In my mind I could see the lovely, pristine beach and then I saw our favorite waiters, our waiters at El Meson. I longed to hear the comforting words, “hola Senorita. Nice to see the Adams Family once again. Would you like more guacamole or more water?” Yes, we ate at El Meson the night we checked back in.
Alas, before we could return to paradise we had to address the whole arm situation.
Back in the American hospital and back in the room Nurse Fezzik told us that I needed an X-ray while Kyle and Eli waited in the waiting room with some other American couples. Shortly thereafter the X-ray guy came. I could not pronounce his name until Dave finally said something like it’s, “Adan, like Adam with an N.” The X-ray machine was an epic creature from the past, or so I thought. See, the night I returned to Utah we stopped on the way home to get a properly made splint for my very swollen and sore arm. The Salt Lake City X-ray machine was just as epic and just as old. I am just saying.
“How are the boys?” I asked Dave.
“The couples are leaving, but they left the boys with some cookies.” He responded.
The boys were safe and were instructed not to move from the waiting room couch. They obeyed until Dave and Eli ran and to get me something to drink and Kyle came in my room to keep me company. As Kyle sat with me, he watched a movie on his iPod and I listened to music. Moments earlier I had been told by the ER doctor, “Your arm is fractured. We have called the Orthopedic Surgeon. We are waiting for him now.”
As I sat alone in the room with Kyle I could not stop thinking about where he and I had been just a year ago. It was Kyle in the hospital bed fighting for his life and me helplessly watching him suffer. Kyle helped me find some ear phones, he went back to his movie and I turned up the volume. There is a time and a place for Adele’s, Someone Like You and this was that moment. I sat, listened, thought about surgery, casts and Kyle. Then I cried, something I have needed to do for a very long time. Tears streamed down my face. I was heaving and grateful. Thank you Adele.
Dave and Eli made it back with my green iced tea unsweetened no water and the boys went back to their couch in the waiting room. An hour or so went by. Dave and I talked. I rested. I watched and listened to the goings on in the hallway outside my room. There he was. A slender man probably 6’6″, wearing plaid paints, a yellow polo and white golf shoes. He walked into the room, shook my left hand and introduced himself. If I believed in reincarnation and if I somehow could get the timelines to match up I swear standing before me, down to the mannerism, inflections and facial expressions, was a Mexican-Orthopedic-Surgeon-Saturday-Golfer version of our dear friend, Mike Nelson, who passed away nearly eight years ago in Alaska.
I couldn’t help it. Once the surgeon left the room to confer with the ER doctor I blurted out, “Dave, he is Mexican Mike.”
“Yes, I can see it. He has a Mike-ness about him (Dave would never say Mike-ness, yet something like Mike-ness) he does remind me of Mike.” Dave responding.
Both doctors came back into the room pointing at my X-rays and arguing. One thought only the Spongy Bone was broken. The other still thought my arm was broken. Five minutes later the Orthopedic Surgeon was back to his golf game, we paid him in cash and with a prescription in hand and my arm in a sling, we were on our way.
We made our way over to the Cabo Wal-Mart, filled my prescription and made our way back to the Hilton. We checked back in. The view from our new room was even better than the old room. Kyle and Eli thanked Dave and me profusely, I rested and the three of them went to the beach.
We spent the next few days emailing my X-rays to various doctors and friends. No one was quite sure. What I pieced together is that elbows are tricky. My arm was injured, probably broken, but not displaced. I hurt. I was sad. I was crabby and mostly I was elated to be back in the safety of our favorite Mexican Hotel. Let me tell you, I could have not made it through this whole ordeal without the help of our very kind and qualified friends: an ER doctor, an orthopedic surgeon and a girlfriend who knew how to Facetime and could call Wawa (my mom) for us. Thank you! I could also handle the pain because I was able to see the joy wash over the boys the second they hit the beach and seriously who can be sad when kids eat free (a special hotel promotion that coincided with our stay)? Of course boys took full advantage. I loved seeing them devour yummy cheesecake or churros night after night. The fizzy Mexican Lemonade was better than any Lemonade I have ever had.
On our very last full day we decided to plant ourselves by the pool. We found one lovely family-sized beach pavilion. Dave and I luxuriated an watched as the boys play in the ocean. Into the water and back out they would go, running and chasing each other all over the place. Waves were smacking, the kids were laughing. Some fellow Utah beach friends we made came up to me and said, “We could watch them all day. This is how kids need to be. They are having so much fun.” I felt grateful. When that pavilion became too hot from the beautiful Cabo sun we moved to a shadier pavilion, still with an ocean view. We hung out. Dave and Kyle devoured their books. Eli listened to music. I did a little of everything. I could not sit still. The pain was annoying and it did not stop me from breathing in and enjoying every single second. I maneuvered my camera just so and also took lots of pictures (of course). It was perfect! The boys convinced us to order a late lunch. I wasn’t even hungry. Eli ordered fruit salad and the most gigantic kids’ pizza I have ever seen, Kyle had some sort of Tuna Salad and french fries, I had the yummy pork tacos and I cannot remember what Dave had. I know it was all good. Juan Carlos sang to us and brought the boys their delicious Lemonade and asked them if they wanted dessert. Of course they did!
Conflictingly broken arms and chipped teeth (yes, Kyle chipped his two front teeth on this trip too) are par for the course. We were alive. That stupid ATV did not crush us. We were happy and we were together. I honestly could not ask for more.