Our stop in Seymour has been an interesting one, but a very trying one for Paul. The day that we arrived at the Big 4 Seymour Holiday Park to take them up on their offer of a powered site for a few days, we were also due to speak at the Rotary Club of Diamond Creek. For those that follow our Facebook page, you’ll already know that Paul was having a bad day, with his anxiety and panic having an advantage in the daily struggle to keep them contained. He was completely exhausted, and so we arranged for a raincheck, the Rotary Club being very understanding of Paul’s health, and happy for us to come back when we’re in Victoria in January.
As if a battle with mental health isn’t enough, Paul now has a physical one too. On Wednesday evening, he stepped out of the camper trailer (which we’ve done hundreds of times now!), and onto a patch of uneven ground next to it. His ankle rolled, making a sickening crunch, and he dropped to the ground, crying out in pain. The kids saw him fall and were extremely upset. Kirstine checked to make sure he didn’t have pain anywhere else before helping him to sit up and grabbing a packet of frozen veg from the freezer. Looking at the growing lump on the side of his ankle, we got everyone into the Legend and headed to the Seymour District Hospital urgent care department.
The nurse on duty didn’t bat an eyelid as Luna walked in with us, and dropped to the floor next to the hospital bed that Paul was instructed to lie on. With radiology closed for the day, the kids watched with great interest as Chris prepared a back slab cast for Paul’s ankle, to give it support till we could get back the next day. Interestingly, Chris told us that her parents took her on a trip around Australia too when she was young. She fondly remembers the journey, and in her words “turned out just fine!”. Chris has had a varied nursing career, including working in remote communities, so knew some of the places we have been to.
We headed home with some pain relief, a pair of crutches, and concerns about what the x-ray would show the next day.
The radiology staff and hospital staff fell in love with Luna on Thursday, as did the brilliant staff at Seymour Medical Centre that afternoon when we had an appointment to get the x-ray results. An undisplaced fracture of the malleolus is a better outcome than it could have been. The back slab cast was bandaged on again, and another x-ray needs to be done on Wednesday this week, allowing time for the swelling to subside, to assess if there was only one break, and whether Paul can move to a moon boot, or is doomed to a full cast for six weeks. Getting the pain under control is also key, as Paul’s body is resistant to some of the controlled forms of relief. Either way, the trip will continue, and with Kirstine driving, Paul can concentrate on documenting his thoughts about the trip.
The staff here at the Big 4 Seymour Tourist Park have been brilliant. Kirstine went to speak with Andrew to let him know that we need to extend our stay due to Paul’s injury. Prepared to pay for the unexpected extension, Kirstine was blown away when Andrew said “just see how you go. It’s fine”. Even more than that, the cleaning staff helped move a chair into the disabled shower for Paul, and provided us with a sign to close the amenities while he showered, so that Kirstine could assist in making sure he didn’t slip and break the other ankle!
The kids insist on sitting in the camper to keep Paul company as they do their school work. Luna knows that Dad has a bung foot, and uses every opportunity to lie next to him on the bed.
So, Seymour, we’re here for a bit longer, but for medical reasons. Your hospitality and kindness is so appreciated, and helps to ease the stress of this unexpected stumble in our trip. Thank you!