07-23-2018. Day 139. 0 miles. Evacuation to Skowhagen, Maine. (703.5 + 140.1 = 843.6 + 8.8 = 852.4 Miles)

Game Wardens: Left: Will Reinsborough and Nick Johnson

I won’t say it was a long night because, in spite of the rain, I slept most of the way through it. About 0830 the next morning 18 hours had passed and with no change in symptoms. I could not move without massive dizziness so Jed made the call for assistance. The 911 system went into action immediately. An hour and a half later two game wardens appeared with a paramedic and rescue team right behind them.

Rescue, EMS, and Game Wardens

IV Initiation

Let me say from the beginning that I am overjoyed with the treatment I received from every level of care here in Maine. All were ultimate compassionate professionals and I found the care rendered by each of them to be spot on. I now have a diagnosis which I agree with and with it comes a plan to work through this non life threatening condition. I ask if you feel the need to pass along your remedies that you do so quietly on Messenger. In other words I have no desire to make this anything dramatic. I will tell the story and let you know that I have been in capable hands. The combination of their excellent treatment, my low grade experience and the total trust I have in follow up with Bill Chiles back in South Carolina leaves me totally confident that I will be back on the trail when this thing plays itself out.

Preparation to Carry Me Out

I hated that this was happening. I’ve been on the other end of it many times. The truth was there was no way I could get out without their help. The paramedic’s name was Pete and he immediately made a good stick in order to give me fluids. I had already taken something for the expected nausea which never arrived.

From there it was a matter of carrying me out. There is nothing that a Southerner hates more than having a Yankee come South and telling them how they do it back where they came from. (The normal thought is well go back there then).

I was determined that I would not be one of those in some type of role reversal. The truth is though they did everything picture perfectly. I was not aware when they crossed the river which had given me fits with a collection of large rocks. Before I knew it we were at the ambulance. I had not moved my head once. There was no way I wanted the dizziness to increase.

My Ride

Pete had me into the ambulance in a flash and his partner Janice quickly worked me up. Another Zofran for potential nausea/vomiting, a glucose check, a stroke scale test and an EKG already had me knowing that I was just dealing with a form of vertigo. They took my clothes off and wrapped me in a heating blanket. My heart rate was now 52. At first I thought it might be because I was hypothermic. It never went back to my norm of 68. The workout since March has done that for me. At least at this time I have an athlete’s heart! I like it.

I Behaved as a Patient

It was 37 miles to Skowhegan the town with the nearest hospital. Most of it was gravel roads. Pete and I talked as we rode. Life as a paramedic was not much different than what we experienced in South Carolina.

In Time We Arrived at Redington-Fairview Hospital in Skowhegan

The care was immediate and efficient in the ER. Testing proved that my blood work was great. Nothing was out of whack with my electrolytes. I was not dehydrated. An MRI discounted a stroke. Yet the dizziness persisted.

My Admission

That is how I was admitted. Observation with a diagnosis of vertigo. I will be back on the trail in time. Jed had ridden in the ambulance with me. The hospital folks helped him find a hotel. The evening meal was five star. It proved to be a comfortable but dizzy night with me not allowed out of the bed. I’m really good at using a urinal. Now all I’ve got to do is to learn how to walk in a straight line again.

11 thoughts on “07-23-2018. Day 139. 0 miles. Evacuation to Skowhagen, Maine. (703.5 + 140.1 = 843.6 + 8.8 = 852.4 Miles)

  1. Pretty amazing story! How far did they have to carry you? Glad this didn’t happen 25 miles (or more) from anywhere on top of a mountain in the 100 mile wilderness. When Jed started hiking with you I thought it was great for him to have a trained medical professional hiking with him in case of an emergency. Sounds like he has been pretty handy to have along too, what with Mouth’s medical problems and now yours. “Never fear! Jed is here”. Hope you are back on the trail minus the vertigo soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was right! Symptoms were amazingly similar to the bouts I had with vertigo. Hope you are up and about (without the dizziness) very soon! “Stop the world, I want to get off!”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your fortitude and attitude is amazing. Jed is an earthly angel. One should never hike alone. As in scuba, a buddy can be a lifesaver. Photos (thank you Jed,) of the organized effort in your rescue and care is appreciated. That you were in devoted medical care is evidenced by the presentation of our American Flag🇺🇸 to you. Dear veteran, thank you. When ready, hike on. Know heavenly helpers have your back.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Now you know how being a blond feels. Natural dizziness on a regular basis. (Just joking other blonds out there) Hope you feel better soon. C

    Liked by 1 person

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