Surfboard: Impact

shaken, unnerved, the
same unexpected feelings
after the impact.

Of all the things that could have happened on this trip, all the things I imagined, being slammed in the throat by a surfboard was not one of them. And even Holly, in all the 17 years of her surfing career, had never heard of such a thing either.

Gleefully excited for having finally gathered enough confidence to push the board forward (without any assistance) into the whitewash, steadying myself if but for a minute in an abbreviated warrior stance, I approached the shore just in time to slip off the board in shallow water. Shallow water, low tide, no wind--it took but a moment to readjust to standing when the board took flight, flipping out of the ocean in a horizontal cross, with a clothesline to my throat.

It is by far the most helpless of feelings losing one's voice (as I would imagine losing any one of the senses you rely on so heavily)...imagine being the furthest distance away from the group and the camp and not having the means to let the others know that something is amiss. Flailing hands and jumping up and down could easily be misconstrued as excitement from afar. I had to calm myself down (nerves and fear) long enough to disengage from the board and make my way across the beach to the cooler of beverages where Joice was taking a break.

No blood, no bruising, and thankfully no concussion, just my new role as a silent movie actress in a technicolor film.

Once back at the lodge Jamie's kitchen staff provides hot lemon water to soothe my throat and ease the pressure and sore throat feeling. I begged off on afternoon lessons for a hammock nap. my larynx/esophagus it feels as if someone had attempted a strangling, thwarting my speech by applying pressure to my vocal chords. My voice is raspy at best and I lie in wait wondering if my voice will ever return to normal. 


24 hours later I find it hard to swallow--as if I have a bout of laryngitis, which isn't too far off the mark. There's a constant raw feeling in my throat--from the saltwater intake or impact, it's hard to determine. And I have a dull tension headache that is lingering, I cannot remember if I had it before I went to sleep or what.

At breakfast, Jamie asks if I want to go the local clinic...and I am torn. I am in a 3rd world country, what could they possibly do other than take an x-ray. The real damage, if any is with the muscles and cartilage on the inside of the my throat, that will take an endoscopic tool of some sort. Better to wait and see, and make an appointment with an ENT as soon as I get home.


Interesting thing about being voiceless, it heightens the capabilities of your other senses and the awareness of one's observations. (...to be continued)
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