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Old 09-12-2010, 12:32 PM   #1
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My wife, family and I have been living aboard our boat since 2007, firstly cruising in Indonesia and now based in the Philippines. We had planned a voyage to Papua NG, Solomons, Noumea and Brisbane trying to retrace the steps of Gen McArthur in his campaign to retake the Philippines. We wanted to visit New Britain, New Ireland, Rabaul and Guadal canal before heading south to Oz.

Unfortunately, just going ashore and about 20 metres from the yacht gangway, I tripped badly on some rough ground , fell forward and my right leg snapped. Luckily there was a navy ship moored a 100 metres from us, and the para medics where able to stabilise me, get my leg into a makeshift splint and give me pretty strong painkiller. I was rushed to a general hospital to see a specialist orthopedic doctor, and my leg was pinned and placed in a brace. I was released 1 week later.

Four months on, I am still unable to get aboard my boat and still taking psyhio. Hopefully in the next week or so I will be able to get over the gangway. Luckily my wife has good family here and they have maintained the boat, and me. God knows what would have happened if it were in Indonesia or somewhere more remote. . I was such a simple fall that it could happen to anyone, anytime.
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:16 PM   #2
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May I ask what type of fracture? As in where in your leg you broke it (upper leg - femur, lower leg tibia/fibia fracture) Just wondering as the type of fracture, age of patient and a few other issues can dictate which types of physio/rehab' are best for the person. I hope it heals fully and you are able to get back to sailing soon with your family.

Michael
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:40 PM   #3
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I did that back in '74, two broken femurs, but I was 37. Don't know how old you are but I can sure sympathize with you. It is no fun. Sometimes it seems someone is looking out for us, let's see, the Navy was there and as you say the in laws are near. As soon as you can get on your knees, I would.

John
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by chiroeurope View Post

May I ask what type of fracture? As in where in your leg you broke it (upper leg - femur, lower leg tibia/fibia fracture) Just wondering as the type of fracture, age of patient and a few other issues can dictate which types of physio/rehab' are best for the person. I hope it heals fully and you are able to get back to sailing soon with your family.

Michael
Hello micheal

I am also a brit but been living in southeast asia since 2001/. Both the fibia and tibia were broken or fractured, the lower part of the bone was sticking up through the skin. In the philippines it is common practice to put a brace on the leg by pinning it. The ortho wanted to place a steel rod through the bone, but coz of several cycling and ski accidents there was'nt enough room. My leg is almost a steel junk yard already. The ortho said the bone density was poor - osteoporosis ?

they kept the brace on for three months but had to remove coz of continual infections were the pins were screwed into the bone, so they put on a cast, and its still on six weekls later - at a daily and night temperature never dipping below 30 C its gets like an electric blanket surrounding the leg.

I am going to take it off this week, and had my friendly sail maker make up a sturdy canvas splint reiinforced with bamboo sticlks. - bit like the joc\key in the movie Seabiscuit.

I am 60 years old, drink and smoke too much.

hows Scotland. My brother lives in Dumbarton and has a Westerly 35ft on the Clyde. We used to make lots of voyages to Rohesay, Mull and the Western Isles - Beautiful country apart from the weeather.

When there is a window of opportunity we will be heading to the Solomons - and Oz. about 2 weeks sailing from here.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:30 AM   #5
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I snapped my foot a couple of years ago (doing something stupid) and was living aboard at the time (still am). It really taught me that you can't be broken and crawl around on a sailboat. In fact, (after my foot healed) I ended up getting into a lot better shape. It's a lot easier to work on deck in high heat when you're in good shape. Hauling a big anchor up is no problem when you lift weights, etc.

All that being said, even the strongest guy in the world can snap his back and be useless on board a boat. I try to be really careful and never rush around. The most simple move done wrong can send you flying into a bulkhead or worse. I took some CPR and first aid courses through the red cross for my captain's license. They're cheap to take and I'd recommend them to anyone.
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