Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My CPR flew out the window!

Last Thursday was an eventful day for Speakeasy! We took Sarah and Felicia out for a sail. From our mooring at Moxie's, we motored across White Lake to the channel which took almost an hour. Once out in the Big Lake, we put up our sails and turned the engine off. For an hour, we enjoyed blue sky, sun, wind, and waves of 2-4 feet.

As we returned to White Lake, we created a plan for docking. Winds were out of the north west and our slip (with starboard tie up) faces north so we anticipated that Speakeasy would be gently wedged into the dock. We put Felicia at the Port Stern ready to secure a line over the bollard. Mark stood at the bow, ready to get off the boat and secure bow lines. Sarah was at starboard mid-ship with a fender in case the wind bumped us too strongly.

I was at the helm as everything went dreadfully wrong. I turned into the slip. The wind pushed our bow to port. Mark yelled, "Starboard." It was so engrained in my brain that the wind would push us to starboard, that I didn't react. I saw the starboard stern bumping the post. I did not see Mark as he leapt for the dock. One foot on, one foot off, he slid against the dock into the water and immediately crawled back up. Finally I yelled, "We could use help," and two people from a nearby boat ambled over.

So many lessons to learn. But not yet. Sarah suggested to Mark that we go to an Urgent Care Center, but he said he was OK. We wiped the blood off and disinfected the 10 x 10 inch wound. We put on gauze and wrapped it with an ace bandage. Sarah fetched ice and we put some in a baggy and Mark put it on the wound.

We'd timed our outing so we could attend a booksigning at The Book Nook and Java Shop in Montague. We arrived in plenty of time, and I suggested Mark sit in an easy chair right at the window because it had an upholstered foot rest. As Jeff Alexander told us the grisly story of finding dead 70 dead loons on the shoreline, the room got hotter and hotter. I motioned to ask if the shade could be lowered to keep the late afternoon sun at bay, but no one responded. Later Debra did lower the shade, but by then Mark was sweating and dehydrated and possibly in shock. He leaned over and said, "I need water." I wove through the audience and asked at the counter for water but was told I couldn't get tap water because it wasn't filtered. I could purchase a bottle of water which was in a case on the opposite side of the room. As I figured out how to get to the bottled water without disturbing any more listeners, I heard my daugher say, "Mark!" I looked over, and he was slumped in the chair. I shot across the room and reached him almost immediately. I called his name loudly. He gave me a brief far-away look and passed out again.

What happened next? It's hard to remember accurately. Someone asked, "Shall we call 911" and I answered, "Yes, call nine eleven."

Fortunately, oh, so fortunately a man in an orange shirt took over. "Let's lie him on the floor. Get away everyone else. Let's lie him on the floor. Now elevate his legs." A woman brought wet cloths for Mark's forehead.

The paramedics arrived five minutes later. Debra told everyone to move outside. The paramedics lifted Mark onto a gurney and into the ambulance efficiently. By now, I was giving information to someone with a clipboard. Eventually I got into the ambulance. Jeff was talking to Mark. Keeping Mark talking to be accurate. They checked his heart, his pulse and told me in their opinion, we should go to the hospital. We drove off with Sarah and Felicia following in their rental car. I sat in the front seat with Tony. I couldn't hear what Jeff and Mark were talking about, but I did hear voices. I learned later that Jeff had shared his secrets for catching salmon with Mark.

After tests and X-rays, Mark was released at 9:55. Just in time for us to dash across the street and get his prescriptions filled. We arrived back at the cottage an hour later.

Now we're back in Chicago and Mark is recovering. We hope to get back to our beloved Speakeasy this coming weekend.

I took a CPR course in March 2009 at the Columbia Yacht and received my certification. But when faced with my first accident, I failed miserably. I have re-read my materials. I plan to re-read them regularly. I shudder to think how much worse the accident and the subsequent events could have been.
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