Perfect Blemish

I have several thoughts burgeoning in my head but I choose not to pen them down. Penning them down results in creating memories and knocking down the alibi to deny their occurrence. We all try to push away our ‘past’  but  somehow it lurks into our ‘present’, stealthily. On the contrary, letting our emotions simmer and allowing them to roil up as regret isn’t a consolation by any reckoning.

When you cant remember when you were hurt, that’s when you are truly healed! said someone hurt… I thought excruciating physical pain would record highest numbers on the dolorimeter. Alas! the backstabbing mental agony far more hurtful goes unnoticed.

“Severe hematoma (solid swelling of clotted blood) and possible thigh fracture” I overheard the doctor. My heart sank into the deepest slumber and my mind went into a shell. One might wonder without the H&M (heart and mind :P), should one feel anything? I wondered too… With a  swollen thigh-the size of  an overgrown grapefruit and a bone that may not see the next sunrise…I felt reality…

Rewind: 2 days ago

I was vacationing in the beautiful island of Kuaui: the oldest of all the Hawaiian islands laced with open beaches, jagged mountains and canyons. The laid-back atmosphere and umpteen bouts of rain and sunshine made great ingredients for  a relaxed holiday.

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To SEE-DO List

My next port of call was the eponymous Hawaiian island-The Big Island! As the name suggests its twice the size of all the islands combined and home to  Kilauea, world’s most active volcano since 1983. I was all charged up to explore the island in all its beauty.  I did the under water submarine tour, star lit Maunakea, graceful Luau Kalamaku (dance drama) and the one of a kind volcanic helicopter ride.

After my panoramic helicopter tour, I was lost in the sheer hubris of the volcanic mountains spewing molten hot lava in the cool calm waters of the Pacific, adding new land to the ocean bed. Acting both like the destroyer and the preserver. Being an Environmental Engineer I was assailed by the urge to watch the  lava ooze upfront and decided to bike up to the mouth of the crater, although it ranked ‘low‘ on my esteemed to-do list.

With helmet in place and headlights turned on, I was wading through gravel ridden path strewn with boulders and volcanic rocks both intimidating and daunting.The ride was grueling  dsc_1346but the thought of the fresh lava flow with the sun fading into the endless sea allured me to bike on with much needed Aloha! The lava fields along the chain of craters road was

dsc_0005an unforgettable sight leading up to the ancient abode of “Madame Pele”(The fire Goddess). As, I was gearing up the rocky path and pedaling with my residual strength a sudden patch of downhill came along as a much needed blessing until I found out otherwise… As I was descending downhill I caught up momentum, much to my dismay and was riding past my comfort zone at break neck speed. While I was still frantically trying to manipulate the situation to my advantage (although my gut felt otherwise) I spotted a boulder a couple yards ahead of me. In panic to avoid the boulder, I wrenched the brakes sharply and steered to the right. But, it was too late. The sudden braking threw my head over the handle bars and I fell on the boulder while my bike landed on me with the handle bar stabbing my inner thigh.

DSC_0015-Edit-2.jpgAll in a split second! Before I could realize what had happened I felt my thigh ballooning up. A wave of shock tore through my body. I did not cry! Actually, I was too scared to cry. I felt crying would ascertain the onset of something bad had occurred. I lay still hoping I could rewind the last few moments to when I was still biking unscathed. My helmet had flown past and was lying on the other end of the road and my backpack was nowhere to be seen, at-least from my tilted angle.  I could feel stones in my clothes and my arm was bleeding …

I woke up in the emergency room  feeling a stinging pain in my arm and thigh. I am told that I was  rushed in the ambulance to the hospital which was 2 hrs away from where I had the accident. The hospital odor was nauseating and the nurse advanced towards me armed with a needle to sedate me, while the other nurse was effortlessly running a pair of scissors on my favorite pair of jeans to prepare for x-rays and scans.

Rumor has it that Pele a.k.a Fire goddess casts a curse on anyone who tries to take away anything native: volcanic rocks, sands or stones from the islands of Hawaii. Every year the Hawaiian Post office receives several unknown packages containing bottled up sands, rocks and shells rolled up along with letters, notes, and detailed instructions on where to drop off the contents and lastly asking Pele for forgiveness (No kidding!).

All rocks returned to Hawaii Post Office : Courtesy Pinterest

As, I was scanned for femur fractures my mind drifted to the sand I was given by the tour guide a day before at the Green Sands beach. “It was a gift! ” chimed my mind. But, you do have it in your suitcase ready to be taken home, isn’t it? murmured another part of me. My mind went groggy because of the high dose of morphine running through my veins. Even in my comatose, a part of me was wondering if this unsolicited visit to the ER would cost me a fortune…

Unfortunately for the hospital, I did not have a fracture and they wanted me gone as they could not milk my insurance company any further unlike in the event of fracture or vein rupture.  But for me, I was in the same state in which I was admitted: swollen thigh (now the size of a football).

Their brusque refusal to treat me any further angered me but the sedatives proved too powerful for my meek body and I dropped to the bed. My occupancy of the ER bed made me a default victim to their subterfuge. fullsizerenderSeveral tests were performed ranging from CT scans, ultrasound, more blood tests, arteries were examined and what not until I finally regained my senses at 6 am in the morning.

I flew back home after a lot of hustle with the airlines: for demanding an “extra comfort” seat to Washington. I returned home but without my stability. I was nothing without my feet. Every step would agonize my entire body. Several trips to the orthopedic followed who aspirated my thigh to remove the blood coagulated  due to the impact. I used a crutch to climb up and down the stairs and bed. The activity I dreaded most was to attend nature’s call. Positioning myself without bending my leg, and seating myself in the right posture to avoid spillage (ewww) was an arduous task! To add to my miseries “the time of the month” followed suit without any delays.

With a lot of help and endless support from my devoted husband I took my first steps. Like a baby I cruised, toddled and finally walked. I graduated from wearing skirts and flowy dresses to putting on socks and pants on my own. My joy was unparalleled. But every time I moved too fast I would feel the pain and the deep wound mark : a quick hyperlink to the uneventful day.   “Daag Ache Hain” I told myself and tried to move on.

The days that followed were crucial. I moved slowly yet steady and continued to remain active. Its very easy to slump onto the couch and give up especially given the drowsy Seattle weather. But, I pushed myself and continued Yoga rather than the pocket pinching physiotherapy to release the tightness and soreness from my muscles and walked every day to help with blood circulation. Days went by and 3 months down I was back to being the Outdoor person I loved to be. I have snoeshoed, danced, ran and biked since then!

What doesn’t kill you makes you GRUMPY, CRANKY, PISSED OFF, VINEGARY, ANGRY and finally STRONGER! (I guess)


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6 thoughts on “Perfect Blemish

  1. Oops.. I dint kno so much happened in last few months!! Great escapade.. But yes the first thing that I want to tell you that struck me was why did your helmet fly off? Was it not secure enough? Babes, your head was saved in that case.. You are blessed to be able to come back to normal. Good that you have bounced back to normalcy. These scars should only make us stronger not scared to explore the world!! Love, Prasanna

    Liked by 1 person

  2. From ur writings I realize how much physical and mental agony u have endured to b back on ur feet and pursue the normal routine.Like once Steve Jobs had commented”I dint realize I had a liver until I got cancer”.All these things have made u more strong and mentally tougher.Keep writing….About your journeys and experiences

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ranjani dear, your writings are out of this world. You are the grittiest person I have come across. The supremely gritty are not afraid of obstacles and embrace them with open arms. Courage is like a muscle. It has to be exercised daily. May God shower his sweetest blessings!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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