Adventures living as expats.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pelabuhan Ratu Surf Weekend

Shamefully Jeff and I haven't used our surfboards since arriving in Indonesia (or in my case ever).  To remedy this we headed to a popular surf beach on Java, about 160 km south of Jakarta.  Our 3 car caravan got an early 4 AM start and enjoyed with a relatively smooth drive clocking in at about 4 hours.
Pelabuhan Ratu location on Java
We arrived at our beautiful villa on Sunset Beach and immediately propped ourselves down to stare at the enormous waves crashing just in front of us.  We watched a brave surfer tried to paddle out against the waves only to give up after being pounded relentlessly.

Enjoying the waves
View from the villa
Seeing that the waves were too big for our group of newbies + Jeff with only 1 paddling arm, we went on a mission the next day to find some anak (child) waves.  We were handsomely rewarded with an almost deserted beach, free of garbage, and full of waves just big enough to give us a rush of adrenaline.  We all caught a few waves, but only Bede our beach-raised Aussie pal managed to stand up.

Beach bums
The excitement continued when we had to get the van back up the near 45 degree rock road.  We walked up the road cheering our driver on and managed to make it out only leaving a bit of tire rubber after spinning out a few times.  We arrived back at the villa to be greeted by the delicious smells of grilled lamb leg (yes I confess I've recently become a complete carnivore) and stunning sunset.
Rubber from our tires
Trying out the HDR setting on my camera
By Saturday the waves on Sunset Beach had calmed down a bit so we all headed out to have another go.  Jeff caught a few waves which boosted his spirits and left him with a big smile the whole day.
Kowabunga dude!
Trying to stand up...
We enjoyed Brendan's fantastic homemade pizzas that night along with lots of wine and beer.  Although I went to sleep early, Jeff had plenty of fun for both of us!  He stumbled into the room at 5 AM with a scratchy voice from hours karaoke and smelling like a slab of bacon.  I won't try to describe the compromising position he was in when I woke up a few hours later, but let's just say the whole crowd loved the reenactment.  I'm still laughing about it and wondering how the heck he managed to get so tangled up.  All in all an epic weekend that was well worth the 7.5 hour stop and go drive back to Jakarta.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Jakarta Medical Care

Over the last year we've heard a few medical stories that have been either horrific or hilarious.  Thinking this wouldn't be the case for us, we laughed them off and cringed when appropriate not thinking much about it.  The last few weeks we've both tested the level of care at the SOS Clinic where most expats go.  I went suspecting a parasite and Jeff went after a heroic Ultimate Frisbee dive  that tweaked his shoulder, the same one that fell victim to an ice skating crash on a homemade rink after a few shots of tequila.

I was the prizewinner and only had to visit the clinic twice to get the correct prescription and diagnosis.  As a bonus, I asked for Xanax to calm my recently developed flight anxiety (thanks Lion Air).  I was rewarded with a prescription after answering just 1 question - "how many do you want?"  Care-free flying here I come!

About a week later we returned after a highly competitive Frisbee play where Jeff opted to tuck and roll instead of belly-flopping onto the turf.  He heard a loud pop and knew that meant trouble.  We managed to make it home that night and headed to the doc first thing the next morning.  After a mulligan or two by the X-ray tech, he had 2 usable shots of his shoulder.  The local doctor took a 15 second look at the X-ray, concluded everything was fine, and handed us a prescription for muscle relaxants and local brand Bengay cream.  He gave no advice on icing and my probing questions about  physical therapy yielded an indifferent shrug and response of "if you want."  The doc also recommended not to move the shoulder which we later learned is a good way to extend the recovery by locking the muscles up.  

Jeff managed to survive for a few weeks and I picked up the X-rays on my next trip out to the Kemang area.  After a quick peak  it was obvious that there was a BIG difference between his two shoulders.  Why is the collar bone on the left side just floating in space while the right side look attached to another bone?  Why is there 3 times the space on between the shoulder bones on the left side?  
Jeff's X-ray.  Sorry for the building in the background, had to tape this to a window to get a picture.
That night we consulted good ol' Wiki and cringed when the first image for a separated shoulder looked the same as his x-ray.
Here's the Wiki picture of a separated shoulder
Jeff's separated shoulder
It's not all bad news though, we miraculously met a fantastic physical therapist specializing in shoulder injuries at a friends birthday party.  Jeff's just under the cusp for needing surgery.  He's working on his range of motion every night (with a little nagging from the wife) and plans to be better than new in under 8 weeks.