So, after moving far enough away from the elephant that I wasn't worried about being trampled, I looked over and saw Matt's croc under the elephant's foot. Despite the fact that I was in a LOT of pain, it cracked me up.
After he retrieved the shoe, we got up and started walking away. But my right knee hurt really bad. I knew I couldn't bend it. Oh. My. Gosh. I was thinking, "Are you kidding me? Who falls off an elephant?"
A lady who lived near where we fell just happened to work at the hotel we were staying. So, she drove us to the hotel clinic. They cleaned up our cuts and scrapes and were super concerned about my right knee. It had a giant knot on it and really hurt. They wanted me to go to a hospital, but I said I would be okay. I would just go and rest but if it was still hurting later, I would go to a hospital. (Most of me did NOT want to go to a hospital in another foreign country. My experience in Turkey was enough for me).
Well, they kept poking and prodding me, and it was hurting really bad. I was shaking and nauseous, so I thought maybe something was broken.
A hotel van drove us to the nearby town clinic. Two of the guys who worked at the elephant place came with us too. Thankfully, we had befriended one of them before we rode the elephant, and we felt comfortable with him helping us and interpreting for us.
When we got to the second clinic, they put me on a stretcher and rolled me into the ER. It smelled powerfully like death, and as I glanced around, I realized that there were A LOT of really sick people in there. There was barely enough room for my stretcher. I prayed that we wouldn't get something like TB just from being in that room, and I prayed for the other people who were really sick. I felt a bit ridiculous being in there. As I finished praying, a nurse came over and poked and prodded me. My right knee would not bend. It hurt a lot when she poked it. The nurse was concerned. But the clinic didn't have an x-ray machine, and THE (as in only) doctor was away on holiday. We needed to go to the next town to another hospital.
On our way out, as I'm NOT comfortable being wheeled around on a stretcher when I had just been thrown from something that should have been more sturdy, I saw a cat running around in the clinic. A cat, running around. In the clinic. Matt took a picture. He said there was also a mangy dog in there too. (More comic relief).
Alright, so were driven to the next hospital in the next town. Lots of pain but also laughter. I kept saying to Matt, "Are you kidding me? Did we really just fall off an elephant?" And I was thinking, how come I'm the only one that got really hurt? We DID fall off the same elephant. On the drive, we discussed the physics of the catapult. Since I was on the side that broke, I got thrown further and harder. Plus, that old expression 'the bigger they are, the harder they fall' must be true.
When we arrived at the third place, an actual hospital, we were taken to the er. A doctor came and looked and then a nurse took me to get x-rays. After x-rays, we went back to the er section, and they did more poking and prodding. The knot was bigger. Then they took me back to x-ray the other leg, to compare, I guess. The poor driver of the van and the elephant guys were following us around the whole time. When we got back to my section of the er, there was casting stuff. I looked at Matt and was like, oh dear, this is not going to be fun. But the doctor said, "Not for you. You don't need." I felt better immediately. Life in Thailand would NOT be fun with my leg in a cast.
Turns out it was just a bad sprain and lots of cuts and bruises. He did ask if I wanted a cast anyway. Thanks but no thanks.
After getting some meds and getting BOTH knees wrapped (to help with the swelling?) and instructions not to walk for 3-5 days (yeah, right!), we left.
A huge praise is that the elephant people also PAID for the trips to the clinics, and the van ride was complimentary from the hotel. (Remember that I still have no health insurance, so that was a big concern during the afternoon of clinics.)
It's now been about 24 hours since we fell. We are not nearly as sore as we thought we would be, and I'm able to put weight on my right leg. Still can't bend it comfortably, but it could have been A LOT worse. Plus, now we have a cool story. I mean, how many people can say that they...
fell off a daggum elephant!