|Marlene, Michele and John enjoying sundowners after John's|
healing hands made life bearable for awhile.
Joe and I had planned a provisioning trip to Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island where groceries and other necessities like beer and wine tend to be cheaper than in Hopetown on Elbow Cay. The main island is where the large freighters from Nassau offload goods due to its deeper entrance channel.
Simple Life's engine was running and we were about to drop the mooring lines when my upper back went into a spasm. It was clear that there was no possibility of leaving. I spent the rest of the day crawling about the boat on my hands & knees. After awhile I was able to crawl out to the cockpit to sit in a straight chair (not jacket) although some might think that would have been the more appropriate choice.
A few hours later a dinghy came up to Simple Life. It was friends John and Marlene from Four Aces. John is known among the boating crowd as a fine bluegrass mandolinist. To my surprise he's also a licensed massage therapist. I excused myself for not getting up when they came aboard due to excruciating pain. He asked about the problem. I described the issue which has occurred only once before where I was treated at Rhode Island Hospital emergency room where two shots of morphine was administered along with a couple of Valium. I said, " My doctor recommended deep tissue massage, but I'm never home to follow through." He rubbed his hands together and asked if we had any coconut oil told me to lie down in the cockpit on my stomach and instructed Joe to pull my
T-shirt up to my neck. He proceeded to work his magic. After therapy I was able to sit up and walk relatively pain free. He returned the following morning for another session.
My plan was to see the nurse at the Hopetown clinic on Monday. Joe went to the site and discovered the clinic had been closed for quite awhile since the nurse "hadn't been coming on the mail boat from Marsh Harbour" according to a local. Clearly, we would have to sail on Monday from Hopetown to Marsh Harbour where a government clinic was opened. Don't die on a weekend in the Bahamas. No muscle relaxants for me until Monday.
|Lynn & Walt from Iolar after delivering much |
needed pain medication.
On Monday morning, we sailed to Marsh Harbour where we dinghied ashore to walk more than a mile to the government clinic on the outskirts of town. The realization of third world country is easy to understand after experiencing a clinic in the Bahamas. First of all there's no hospital anywhere in Abaco. If a person has a heart attack or serious injury that person either expires or if lucky hangs on for a rescue helicopter to airlift them to the hospital in Nassau on New Providence.
|The Marsh Harbour Government Clinic |
where I was treated well
|Filing paperwork at the Marsh Harbour Government Clinic|
While waiting one young Bahamian man behind us waited to register his two month old daughter for her inoculation. His wife was sitting in the waiting room with the infant on her lap and a three year old by her side. He was friendly and asked lots of questions about the States and about how far we had traveled in a sailboat.
|A young Bahamian boy leaving the |
Government Clinic at Marsh Harbour
On the walk back to the boat which was over a mile our new Bahamian friend Jean from the clinic stopped his car with his wife Princess and new baby offering a ride to the pharmacy! He was so kind and would have been disappointed if we turned him down.
So many people have helped us during this minor ordeal in the Bahamas. We are so thankful for our close community of friends. Those whom we know and those whom we have recently met. It warms my heart knowing so many folks are kind and caring.
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Location:Marsh Harbour, Abaco