To Inject, or not to Inject?

It was a rough day at the yoga retreat.

And I’m not talking about handstands, backbends, and pretzel twists, though we have been doing plenty of those.

“Little did I know,” said Dan, “that fainting from the sting of a ‘choker’ insect would only make THIRD on the day’s drama ranking….”

After a three-hour yoga practice we are off on an excursion to a nearby cove. Everyone else takes a schmantzy yacht, but susceptible to motion sickness I beg a car ride with Abe. He shrugs off my apologies. “As long as we take care of each other everything will be fine.”

I am checking out the swimming pool when a commotion erupts.

“Where’s Erica?!” yells Rachel.

Bitten or stung on his foot, Dan has fallen back on the grass and turned ghostly pale.

Erica, our physician yogini, tries to decipher the Spanish-language fine print on the emergency kit Juan produces. Poisoned insects of the tropics are not Erica’s specialty–she’s a gynecologist–but she is game and everyone is happy she’s stepped up.

To inject? Or not to inject? That is the question.

Dan comes to himself fairly quickly, and despite a good deal of swelling on his foot, he is breathing better, and his color is returning. Gradually playing-in-paradise mode returns. For a few hours.

A former ballerina, Rachel is the bendiest among us, “way bendier than me,” says our teacher Laura. But Rachel has been suffering with a terrible cough and difficulty breathing from newly diagnosed asthma. Just a few days before coming on this trip she even had a chest x-ray and full workup to make sure she is safe to come. Her yoga bag contains three inhalers.

During Tuesday’s dinner she decamps in misery to one of the expansive couches nearby. Along with Laura I go over to keep her company.

Again Erica to the rescue. Lacking a stethoscope she presses her ear to Rachel’s back and not liking the sound, asks her to use the inhaler again. “Breathe it in really deeply.”

My humble contribution: giving Erica my iPhone stopwatch so she can check Rachel’s pulse.

Pulse not bad, but Rachel is still having a terrible time breathing. The local folks try to be helpful, pour some kind of oil on her chest, and hand her a wad of leaves to put near her nose. Kind, even in her fearful state, Rachel tucks the leaves into her bathing suit top.

Best news from locals is that the medical clinic is two minutes away. Rachel is whisked off into the waiting arms of a nebulizer.

Although she’s not yet back I hear Rachel is improved, so go to bed a lighter heart.

But learn in the morning that KC has stepped wrong on a stair. She heard a horrible pop as she fell and there’s concern about her Achilles tendon.

What’s the Sanskrit for “yikes”?

Becca calls her father who is a sports medicine doctor. He runs KC through a few movement tests. Achilles definitely not torn, though perhaps her calf muscle is. Whatever the injury, it doesn’t wipe the smile from KC’s face, but does keep her on crutches and very friendly with the ice bag.

When Abe said it, he was just talking about a simple car ride, but his words keep coming back to me:

“As long as we take care of each other everything will be fine.”

Originally Posted: 11/16/2010

About Karen Ray

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