After the introduction, of course, the right thing to do is get off the stage and let the performers perform. And that's what Erica went to do when something went wrong somewhere on the middle step and left her falling toward the ground.
Erica's written about this at some length over here, so I can just provide my perspective. Which was, pretty much, sitting in the front row, watching the fall, and hoping that nothing too bad was about to result.
Now my first instinct in a situation like this is "Do no harm". Or maybe just "Don't make it worse." I started up from my seat, but paused to see what exactly the situation was. By the time I would have considered moving again, Erica was already surrounded by Kathleen, Dr. James, and John O., so it seemed like I wasn't going to add anything to the mix unless lifting was required. I stayed put.
It was interesting to see that Erica's reaction to the accident was pretty much the same reaction that I have when in such a situation: sit there for a bit, figure out what hurts and why, and perform some basic assessment of what's happened before doing something that might make it worse. (See above.) When I broke my leg ice skating, I wouldn't let them pick me up and carry me off the ice immediately, because the damned thing hurt and I didn't want to make it worse by doing something stupid. In that case, it gave my leg enough time to swell up around the break and effectively set the bone in place.
So when Erica told Tony & Vixy to go ahead and play, that she was just going to sit there for a bit, I fully understood. After a bit, her back started complaining about sitting on the floor, so folks helped her get to a chair for the duration. And the set went quite well, aided and abetted by a variety of guest performers. Afterwards, Erica asked me to go up and make the closing announcements for the night and we adjourned.
Erica had wanted to go to the Polite British Filk Circle being moderated / led by Mich and Marilisa. This seemed like a fine idea to Gretchen and me, so I went in and helped arrange chairs so that we'd have a place for Erica to sit when she eventually arrived.
Which she didn't.
I went out looking for her and found her at a table outside the restrooms where she'd stopped, because hopping around on one leg, even with support from others, just hurt too much to want to keep moving. And I realized that a solution existed and went back to improvise a sort of wheelchair.
You see, we'd just hauled a bunch of chairs off of one of those rolling carts that hotels use to move big stacks of chairs. And if I put one chair back on the cart, I had a rather unorthodox wheelchair, albeit one where I'd want some spotters around to help.
Ok, most wheelchairs don't involve the patient looking up at the ceiling and have useful things like handrails on each side, but that's what the spotters were for. :) We rolled Erica into the filk room, very carefully lowered the chair back into a sitting position and voila!
At some point during the evening, Gretchen and I got to sing "My Husband, the Filker", which was fun. Erica, understandably, decided to make an early night of it. The trip to her room was much easier using the wheelchair (and also crutches) that Beckett had provided as the trophies from her earlier knee surgery. We made arrangements for a trip to the hospital in the morning and I headed back down to the filk where I rode it down to pretty much the end for the night. Not an extremely late end, which was probably good under the circumstances.
In the meantime, I'd made arrangements with Seanan. I wasn't initially sure who was going to end up taking Erica to the ER, so I became backup toastmaster #1, while Gretchen became backup toastmaster #2. Once we arranged that I was the designated driver, Gretchen became the substitute toast for most of the next afternoon -- or, as she put it, "Pancakes".
The next morning, I got up, asked the hotel's front desk if there were any urgent cares in the area that were actually open (a question that they didn't seem to understand), and finally went up and hit the Business Center computers to determine that they all seemed to be closed on Sunday. Much like Arlo Guthrie, I had never heard of an urgent care center being closed on Sunday, but this just meant that we were going to end up going to the ER, rather than to the bottom of a cliff, so it was probably an improvement. I also printed out the application for an Ohio Temporary Handicapped Placard for Erica to use if necessary.
I met Erica at her room, wheeled her out to the car, wheeled the chair back up to her room, and we set out for the ER. One wrong bit of navigation later, we arrived. I got a wheelchair there, the docs took a look at Erica, X-rayed her, determined that nothing was broken, and sent her on her way with an open cast and a pair of pajama pants that would fit over the cast, as opposed to the jeans she'd worn to the ER. Fortunately, she had pants at the hotel that also would fit over the cast, so that wasn't a problem. We stopped, had lunch, picked up lunch for Gretchen, and headed back to the hotel.
I pulled up the car in front of the hotel and ran up to deliver Gretchen's lunch and pick up the wheelchair. On the way, I filled in numerous folks on Erica's condition, including the rather concerned hotel manager who wanted to talk to her ASAP. I pointed him at the car while I went to get the wheelchair. :)
We ended up in the bar for a bit while he filled out the forms on the accident. Yes, the big laugh line of the process was "Were there any witnesses?" I volunteered to be the designated witness for purposes of the form. And when all was done, I dropped Erica off at her room to change clothes and decompress for a few minutes while I headed down to the concert room. There, I got to compare notes with Gretchen and catch most of Leslie's concert before going back to wheel Erica down for the Bohnhoff's concert.
Erica resumed her duties as toast (or toastmistress or toastmaster, depending on your preference), introduced the Bohnhoff's from her wheelchair, and we settled back and enjoyed the show. (It's not very hard to enjoy Jeff and Maya. They're high on my list of favorite people to listen to -- well, and to talk to too...) After that, we left the rock jam behind and went out to grab dinner with Liz and a friend of hers. It meant we had to load the wheelchair in the back of Liz's Honda Civic because it wouldn't fit in the trunk of the Mercury Grand Marquis. (Yes, that seems strange. But the rented Mercury had a full-size spare bolted into an inconvenient location, while the Civic could drop its rear seats to make a large flat space.) After that, we went to Borders so Erica could pick up some books for the trip home, since picking them up in the airport seemed unnecessarily complex.
And then it was back to the hotel and the dead dog filk. Gretchen and I sang "Brain Sludge" fairly early on -- someone mentioned "dredging" and I took it as an excuse for a follower. :) But she was tired and headed off to bed before Erica was ready to come down from her room. A bit later, Erica and I wandered out into the hall and I pulled out the secret stashed lead sheet for "Down at Hot Rod Blue's", one of Barry Childs-Helton's new songs that we're fond of.
You see, when Barry and Sally weren't able to make it to Capricon due to a medical emergency (which turned out not to be a serious problem, but you want to be sure), the rest of the Wild Mercy crew had scrambled to put together a replacement concert. They'd considered doing Hot Rod Blue's, so I had been handed a photocopied lead sheet. Then they decided they couldn't quite pull it together.
And I figured out that I could actually play the fool thing. So I'd told Erica that I had the lead sheet on Friday. We figured we'd practice and then play the song at the open filk. And then life got a bit busy.
So we ran through it once in the hallway and took it into the room. All things considered, it went pretty well. We'll give it some more practice before the next time. :)
Erica crashed out not too long after that, since she had a 6 AM flight. I stayed around until fairly late (our flight being at noon), then headed up to get some sleep so I wouldn't be completely zombified the next day. And I'd heard a lot of good music over the weekend.
The next morning, we got up, packed out, drove back to the airport, and flew home pretty uneventfully, by way of San Diego. Ok, the routes may be circuitous, but the fares were cheaper. :) And I managed to read the last two volumes of Lois' The Sharing Knife and Niven and Pournelle's Escape from Hell on the trip...
There were other things that happened. I got to chat with a great many folks. I showed off my cellphone pictures of the girls. I marveled at the con suite. I got asked for lyrics to one of my songs (which is always a kick).
And we had a fine weekend off.
But by the time we got home, it was really good to get back to our girls.