Apologies for the very long gap between posts. I would have posted earlier, but it would have been too whiney.
On the 16th of July I fell off my moped and fractured my collarbone, sprained my ankle and scrapped my knee. After 6 very long weeks, I am finally, nearly, almost fixed.
I know I am not good at riding bikes, but I thought a moped would be different. For a few rides it was lovely, until – ironically – I went out to get my insurance documents. Then, I fell off.
Straight away some very lovely locals came over, picked me and my bike up, checked I was okay and after a bit of persuasion, let me carry on to my destination. It was only when I got there that some of the adrenaline had worn off for me to realise the clicking and moving in my shoulder wasn’t normal, that my ankle hurt quite a lot and my knee was bleeding. I was taken to the doctors, then to the hospital. I was seen straight away, something that in an English A&E would have been pretty unusual. My BP was ‘perfect’ and according to everyone who saw me that evening, I was in a strangely good mood. I was cleaned up, x-rayed, put in a brace and prescribed an array of painkillers and muscle relaxants within the hour and for only £20, despite worrying how much it could cost. The hospital was clean and the doctor spoke good English. I was told to keep the brace on at all times, sponge wash and come back in 4 weeks. Wearing a brace is similar to wearing a child’s backpack; it forces your arms back slightly and forces you to sit properly. I was totally convinced I could go back to work the next day, I was told otherwise.
They were right. The next morning everything hurt. I spent the next week at home, having food delivered to me thanks to my lovely flatmates (Thank you, thank you) and Thailand’s lack of kitchens. After the first week, I could hobble to places. By week 2, I was back at work and getting lifts to and from the flat. I even survived a 4 day weekend alone. But the brace hurt, my shoulders were pulled back and by the end of a school day I was desperate to lie down. It had started rubbing where the brace came in contact with my arms.
Some days I felt like it would never end. I got frustrated at not being able to do little things like: wash my own hair (another thank you to my lovely housemate, Fiona), go out for nights out, roll onto my side to sleep, wear half my wardrobe, etc. My kindergartens were lovely, they spent the first day touching their shoulders and making sad faces. The competition to carry books back to the office after class has become fierce.
Week 3 I went to the doctors – I didn’t want my rubs to become infected and was told I had cellulitis and was put on antibiotics and given dressings and ointments to clean my ‘wounds’ on my back (again, thank you flatmates for that).
When a month was finally up, I went back to the hospital. This time no one spoke English to me for the first hour or so. I was ushered from queue to queue with lots of pointing and when I finally got to the doctor, after another x-ray, he advised me to wait another 2 weeks. I told him I couldn’t have the brace on anymore. Even moving my arms was painful. So we settled with a sling which gave me the freedom to take it off at night and let me have a proper shower (best.thing.ever).
I have a small scar on my knee, a bump on my collarbone and my ankle is still fat and mildly painful, but after a final dose of antibiotics for a particularly nasty rub and some calcium tablets, I am now 2 days away from the all clear (hopefully!).
As much as I would advise not injuring yourself in Thailand, if the worst comes to worst and you find yourself in that situation – It will be okay. I left England thinking Thailand would be so basic, but I have found myself pleasantly surprised on many occasions.
A few tips I have learnt from this experience:
- Listen to your friends – even if you think you are okay, chances are they know better.
- Even though you might become frustrated that you are wasting time being injured, just keep going – you’ll get better eventually and getting better is more important in the long run.
- Always wear a moped helmet, you’re asking for trouble if you don’t.
- Don’t wear t-shirts that you will get stuck in.
- Don’t be ashamed of asking for help, even if you hate every second of it.
- Appreciate that it could have been much, much worse.
A huge thank you to Harri, Fiona, Emmanuelle, Cillian, Justin, Amy and Luke for putting up with 6 weeks of moaning and whining.