Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A tale of a horse fly & the dentist disaster

So, in my last post I mentioned that we were taking a few days off over spring break & heading to canoe the crystal, clear waters of Weeki Wachee Springs.  Let me start off by saying that it was more beautiful than I could have imagined.  I seriously felt like we were in the Caribbean sea, that's how clear & blue that water was.  So, how then did our trip turn into an utter disaster?

I'll back up to the day before our canoeing journey... I mentioned in my last post that Cam bit his lip while he was numb from his cavity filling.  He did quite the number on it & it looked terrible!  After talking with the dentist, she confirmed I was doing everything I could; ice, medicating for pain & serving easy-to-eat foods.

This blood sucking, disgusting insect is the reason that our outing was a big fat fail.  It was the horse-fly vs. me & lets just say that I lost.  Big time.  I was so relaxed as we started our canoeing journey; the sun was shining, the weather was perfect & the air was fresh.  As the morning progressed to afternoon, we decided to pull off the river to swim & eat lunch.

 The water of the springs is a constant 72 degrees so it was super refreshing.  Although I was uneasy from the get-go because we had to pull the canoe up into the brush to keep it from washing away down the river.  Florida brush = insects.  Insects & myself DO NOT MIX.  I have no fear of heights or really even public speaking, but it's putting it lightly when I say I am terrified of bugs.  As we parked our canoe, I stepped into super squishy sand on the river bottom, carefully trying to avoid the slimy seaweed.  Despite it all, I started to settle in to eat & watch Cam swim.  Everything came to a screeching halt when a horse-fly the size of my head came out of nowhere.  It buzzed all around me, zigzagging around while trying to bite me.  When I say I freaked, I'm putting this mildly.  This blood sucking, massive fly was relentless, it seriously would not leave me alone.  I screeched & flailed while Cam cried that he still wanted to swim.  We quickly got back into the boat & set off down the river, leaving the fly behind.

I paddled away, praying I'd seen the last of the horse fly.  Unfortunately, the bastard reappeared about an hour later & this time we were mid-river & I was a sitting duck.  Again, the massive beast zoomed & buzzed around, relentlessly trying to bite me.  I flipped out & in a moment of desperation, I think I tried to jump ship.  If you've ever canoed, you know the boat is not very stable & easily flipped.  Well, flipped we did & it all happened so quickly.  Thank God my kids were in life jackets because the river was over six feet deep at this point.  I found myself under the boat & very quickly swam out from underneath, desperately trying to orient myself & figure out where the kids were.  Mike had Reese, so when I realized I wasn't strong enough to right the boat, I yanked Cam out from under the boat.  I will never forget the panic & fear I saw in his face.  And it was all because I spazzed over a bug.  I continued to tell the kids that we were going to be okay & they soon calmed down.  Cameron really thought he was going to die, he later told me, "I didn't want to go to Heaven today, I wanted to stay here with you."  How heartbreaking is that?  Thankfully, two nice guys in kayaks helped us to a dock.  We were very lucky that the boat flipped in an area of the river with one side lined with homes so we could get out & drain the water from our boat while gathering our strewn belongings.

When we all stood safely on the dock, counting our bleesings, we tried to assess the damage & see what items were still in the water.  I had my brand new, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phone in a ziplock bag in the pocket of the cooler, so I pulled it out & found that I had apparently not sealed the bag well enough because it was all wet.  I also realized my nice sunglasses Mike had gotten me for Christmas a few years ago were also lost.  If you know me, you'll know that most of the time I am an extremely frugal person.  When I do splurge on an item, I take care & protect it.  I've never had a cracked or wet cellphone in the past & here I am with the best, new cell I've ever owned & it's ruined & worse, uninsured.  In the big picture, this is nothing, I know.  Things can be replaced & I thank God that my kids are okay, but I still mentally beat myself up, knowing I had goofed in so many ways.  I put my kids in harms way by flipping the boat & I was now out an expensive pair of sunglasses & a very expensive phone because I was careless about sealing the bag.

Worst yet, Cameron re-bit his lip when the boat flipped.  It was not a proud moment for me as I stood on that small dock, looking at my soaking children, bloody lip & strewn, lost, ruined belongings. I couldn't get off that river fast enough & we still had twenty more minutes of paddling until we reached our destination.

After camping out in a bag of dry, white rice, we confirmed that my phone was a goner.  We also waited for Cameron's lip to get better as the weekend went on, but it never did.  He was off school Monday so he stayed with me & then Mike took him back to the dentist yesterday (they were closed Monday) & he was given antibiotics to prevent it from getting infected.  He's home with me today & he'll be going back to school tomorrow.  On the bright side, his lip is slowly getting better.  It's been torture watching him suffer in pain; he's on a mostly liquid diet, can't smile & can barely talk.  Yesterday we also found out that the sales guy at T-Mobile put insurance on my phone without Mike's approval.  Hallelujah for shady service because he saved us a ton of money!  In the meantime, I will not be returning to any nature spots during horse-fly season which happens to be March-November.  At least I'll be able to enjoy the beautiful Florida springs from December-February! 

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  1. Oh goodness. So sorry your trip ended on such a low note. And poor Cam! Glad to hear you got your phone replaced free though. That was lucky news!

  2. holy crap - this was quite an entertaining post - i felt both super sad for you but also laughed a few times as well. especially when you called the horsefly a bastard. poor cam and oh i know that mommy guilt, it's a nasty thing! next time just try to take a deep breath and bring along a fly swatter for the bastards.