Cocoa Village Marina was home port to some of the nicest people anywhere. And I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a marina with cleaner facilities. I can’t recommend it enough, although I can honestly say I didn’t get to enjoy my time there. My right shoulder started causing me severe pain, and muscle spasms made sleeping impossible.
On Monday, April 29th I decided I needed to see a doc, so we found an urgent care center 2-1/2 miles away. Jeff and Terry Z aboard ‘Ariel’ were kind enough to drive us there, then took Jim to the Publix while I was getting a steroid shot in the good old Gluteus Maximus, along with a 6-day regimen of oral Prednisone. The nice old doc diagnosed my problem as osteoarthritis.
Later that day we walked into Cocoa Village for some fish tacos, then to the famous old Travis Company Hardware where Jim was able to order some more stabilizer hardware for the dinghy. The store is housed in the original building, and is still run by descendants of the founder, where they had an amazing array of inventory – some looked like it had been on the shelf for decades.
On the 30th we enjoyed talking to 2 of our sons who share the same birthday, four years apart. We sat in the cockpit and watched the lightning and storm clouds build around us. Jim made a sling for me out of a strap he uses on the dinghy motor, and assembled and installed another dinghy stabilizer bar. I decided wine might be the best medicine for me, as nothing else seemed to make a dent in the excruciating pain. Later we took a sauna where I applied moist heat. Again, sleep eluded me.
On May Day, with the assistance of fellow boaters, we pulled out of the marina, as I was incapable of performing my first mate duties. Jim drove to Titusville, about 25 miles up the ‘ditch’ as the ICW is commonly referred to here. The waterway was wide, with a very narrow marked channel running through it. We went under three bridges and passed by the 140,000 acre Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, an important winter area for migratory birds. In the distance the Kennedy Space Center was clearly visible. Out-running an expansive rain cloud, we grabbed a mooring ball outside the Titusville Marina. It was a long, stormy and rocky night, but I managed to catch a few hours of sleep.
The following morning, my pain, weakness and stiffness had increased. I was a wreck, and decided I needed to see an orthopedic doc. I found one close by within our Blue Cross network. Jim made a great decision then – we were going in to get a slip. Otherwise, he didn’t know how he would get me in the dinghy and to land safely in the rain and high winds. I couldn’t even get myself dressed…
A very helpful marina worker, after understanding our situation, assigned us a floating dock and helped us secure the boat. He provided little wooden steps for me to get out, as we had to climb out the port side of the boat. After getting settled, the harbor master drove us via the Cruiser’s Caravan to my doc appointment, where I finally got an accurate diagnosis of calcific tendonitis. X-rays were taken and I was given another cortisone shot, this time in the rotary cuff of my right shoulder.
Calcific tendonitis is somewhat of a mystery. My body, for unknown reasons, built up calcium deposits in the tendons of my rotary cuff. It has stages, and the pain begins during the reabsorption phase when your body attempts to assimilate it. The calcium is the consistency of toothpaste at this point, although it feels more like razor blades. A side effect of the intense pain is frozen shoulder, which sets in rapidly, and makes it impossible to move your shoulder. It’s my own little personal strait jacket!
I was prescribed Oxycodone and started physical therapy yesterday to reduce the inflammation, muscle strains, and to get my shoulder moving again. With the help of my other arm, I can now raise it up almost 90 degrees, although I still have little side mobility.
All of this pain makes me think over and over of my dear Mom, who had more than her share with her 2 hip replacements and 1 knee replacement. How did she endure it for so long, all the while caring for my ailing father? She is a great inspiration and mentor to me.
Thursday evening Jim bumped into Kevin and Tom aboard the paddle wheeler ‘The Indian Princess’. We last saw them back in Ft. Myer’s Beach, where we got a complimentary ride. Apparently the boat has been sold, and they are in the process of transporting it up to New England. It’s so fun to bump into people again that you’ve met along the way. They become part of your personal story.
Yesterday the rains came heavy at times. We saw a couple manatee in the marina catching rain water drops from a neighboring dingy. Waves as high as 17 feet were reported outside in the Atlantic here, and winds were gusting strong even in the harbor. Many of us added lines and discussed hurricanes. There was a power outage in the marina, which caused quite a stir, and Jim met many of the neighbors. After dinner aboard (I was able to cook) Jim took down the table booth and set up a nice flat area and we watched a good Travolta flick while the rain poured down around us. With the help of the pain meds, I was able to get a full night’s sleep.
Another day of rain today – Jim walked to a couple of marine stores, and rode the marina Cruiser’s Caravan to the hardware store to purchase a cheap drill. He is currently making adjustments to the most recently installed dinghy support. I’m hoping that tomorrow he takes a look at the electric stove-top which has been working sporadically, and now seems to be completely caput.
Tomorrow the chance of rain diminishes and sunny skies are forecast for the next few days. I hope my pain level diminishes with the rain. Next week I go back to the Ortho Doc and to physical therapy for three sessions.
We are looking on this as just another bump in the road. One never knows what’s in store, and we feel so blessed to be fulfilling our dream. We’ll be here in Titusville until I’m functioning better and my pain has subsided. Our hope is to take the bus to the Kennedy Space Center where we want to spend an entire day before moving north toward Daytona Beach.
Blessings to you all!