Take five leaves and call me in the morning

Like ships of centuries past we carry a comprehensive medical kit on board. In it there is everything from good old saline solution and band-aids to an arsenal of antibiotics. There are over the counter remedies for cough and cold, constipation and diarrhea, swimmer’s ear and pink eye. We have suture kits, emergency dental repair compound and a varied selection of prescription pain killers. But most of this is “just in case” stuff.  Just in case we find ourselves in an emergency situation 1000NM from any medical facilities, or point of land for that matter.

What probably gets the most use is a pot of Tiger Balm, a vial of Arnica Montana tablets and a little red tube of Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment, a salve made out of papaya fruit that cures everything from chapped lips, burns, scratches and minor topical infections. As you can tell we have a healthy respect for natural medicine.

But despite my usual judgement last week I kept surprising myself by refusing to try using some local bush medicine. I don’t know why I was so reticent when several of the Fijian staff at the marina kept suggesting it to me. Every time someone insisted I found myself making excuses, thanking them politely and then hobbling away. Time, I figured, I just needed some more time. Continue reading

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A-lone-some Week

Steve and I are on opposite ends of the time zone spectrum; his late night is my early morning. We usually are able to connect as I am dragging myself out of bed and he is crawling into his. But this week either he hasn’t been able to stay up late or I haven’t been able to get up early so we’ve missed each other.  Not a huge deal, no sweet “Good Morning!”, but it is something that over the last several months I have grown accustom to, and the day seems a little lonely when I don’t get a chance to hear his voice.

On Wednesday morning I woke at 3am covered in a light sweat. This was odd since it is winter here and as of last week I was wearing my woolie socks to bed.  Then I was cold, searching for another blanket to pull over me.  Shortly there after I was leaning over the 8 quart pressure cooker (no water means no flushing toilet) as the chillies from the pizza the night before burnt my throat for a second time. There is nothing like a bout of food poisoning to get you excited about the day.

Thankfully after a few hours of alternating hot, cold and vomiting I was able to keep down some rice and water and fall asleep on the sofa. It was a pretty low day, but no one is gonna make you feel better when you’ve got food poisoning, and being a sympathetic vomit-er myself , I was glad no one was around to witness. It would have been nice to have a cold clothe for my forehead, but I survived.

This morning however I hit rock bottom. Or perhaps I should say I hit a dirty, grassy bottom very close to the boat.    Continue reading