Wednesday, February 4, 2015
As I mentioned previously, not everything has been peaches and cream since we got here to Rocky Bayou on Monday. When Gary was putting the stabilizer jacks under me, he spotted a large crack on my door side frame rail. Thankfully, I didn't feel it break. I had no clue that anything was wrong. But once I got the news, I began to worry. Gary was worried too. Neither of us slept well on our first night here. I knew that I was going to have to have surgery the following morning to repair the break. Letting it go could lead to more damage or maybe even my death, so Gary HAD to find a place to take me to get me fixed up. Early Tuesday morning, Gary began making phone calls to try to find a doctor (welder in this case) to make the repair. He eventually found an auto body shop that was only about five miles away from the campground who said that they could take care of me. So, just like when we pack up to go from campground to campground, Gary got me ready to go. I got hitched up to Dodge, and off we went. I was SO scared. I didn't know what to expect. What if I couldn't be fixed? What if they didn't want to take care of me after they said they would? We arrived at the clinic, and the doctor (welder) took a quick look at me. He said he could fix me up right away. With all the wrecked cars and junk that was sitting around, getting me into the operating room (garage) was a bit of a problem. Gary somehow managed to back me in without hitting or running over anything. I was disconnected from Dodge, and jacked up so the welder could get to the problem area easier. He ground off all of the undercoating first, making the crack more visible. That part of the operation didn't hurt at all. Then he sealed up the crack with an EXTREMELY hot welding torch. That REALLY hurt! Where's an anesthesiologist when you need one? A bit of grinding to smooth things up was next, then a patch was welded into place to reinforce my frame. That didn't seem to hurt as much as the first round of welding, but I think I was getting used to the intense pain. Last but not least, I had some cool air blown on my wound for a minute or two (that helped ease the pain a bit), and then the entire repair area was sprayed with undercoating to keep things from rusting. That REALLY helped take the sting away. I sat there for a short time while Gary paid the bill (I don't have health insurance), then he hitched me up to Dodge and brought me back to the campground. I was sore for the rest of the day, and I slept a lot, but I feel as good as new now. Many thanks to those of you that heard about my ordeal, and took the time to call and email. Your kindness means a lot. And thanks to my buddies Gary and Dodge for watching over me while I recuperated. I am good to go now, and ready for my next adventure. As long as it doesn't involve emergency surgery, I'm going to be one happy camper!