Friday June 6th (6/6 at O600 actually) these stairs, which have always caused us some concern with their potential for a nasty accident, did their worst. The banging and clattering, which I heard from indoors and hoped against hope was not Ian taking a tumble, proved to be exactly that!
Of course it was also a morning with no phone service so a quick trip to the Primary School principal’s quarters, which are a mere 400 metres from our front door was required. Luckily for us he was already heading to Bajo and to the hospital so we were invited to go down with him.
The swelling was already developing and we were sure it was broken at that point.
Thankfully after a considerable wait and a good deal of jostling in the crowd waiting to be attended to, a very cautious examination followed by X-rays, showed that it wasn’t broken and the doctor declared it only a 3rd degree sprain.
Nonetheless it needed to be plastered.
Crutches replaced the wheelchair, which would have been next to useless given the terrain around our home and schools and we were allowed to leave the confines of the hospital.
The next 9 days were spent mostly in this position and not attempting to negotiate those stairs again after the slow and painful backwards-climb up, on Friday afternoon.
Of course as you may imagine, the terrain between here and anywhere else is a nightmare for the crutch user. Added to the general undulations, broken surfaces, potholes, exposed tree roots and open drains is the fact that the monsoon is now well and truly with us so it’s wet, muddy and slippery to boot.
I thought I would start the tradition of signing casts and see if there were any takers in the local community.
By the following evening the flow of guests coming to see sir and bearing gifts of food, as is the Bhutanese tradition, had started and following the initiative of both our staffs visiting, over the week more and more students arrived and delighted in adding their initials and get well messages to the plaster
It wasn’t until Sunday that the stairs were once again braved. An outing for me to buy supplies for the coming fortnight and a chance for an almost stir-crazy Ian to escape the confines of our abode, was by now long overdue.
Then waiting roadside for a lift from our “lopen- landlord.” A narrow escape from having ants crawl inside the plaster was avoided by a bit of quick maneuvering. At least at this point Ian’s sense of humour and smile had returned with the new competency on the crutches!
This successful outing inspired a few trips to school in the afternoons to finalize the classes continuous assessment scores over the next week, before the long awaited return to the hospital to hopefully have the plaster removed.
It was not exactly a pretty sight despite the 2 weeks of support and restricted movement.
Now we are waiting hopefully for the swelling to subside and the bruising to fade and thinking our plans to visit the Summer Festival in Haa may still be achievable.
Only time will tell……