- It Helps To Have Medical Insurance. In Canada we have health care, but you still have to pay out of pocket for an ambulance (and in the US you pay out of pocket for everything). There’s nothing worse then getting injured and then finding out that not only do you have to spend a day recuperating (thus missing out on many, many things), but you have to pay a hospital bill as well.
- Sympathetic People Are Awesome. My sis was really helpful during the initial “incident” (figuring out insurance, talking to doctors, etc), but she was also helpful when it came to the rest of the trip. She didn’t complain if I was slow or needed to rest and she helped guard my leg while on the subway. I didn’t plan on getting injured so it was great that nobody was a jerk to me.
- Speak Up For Yourself. Once when I caught the shuttle into the city there were people sitting in the first row. They did not make an offer to move and just sat there. Instead of asking them to give up their seat for an injured person, I hobbled my butt to the second-last row of the shuttle. In retrospect I should have demanded that they move (using my crutch as leverage). Injured people should not have to hobble to the back of the bus, no matter how young they are.
- Normal Things May Suddenly Scare You. I love the subway – normally – but I was having trouble bending my knee, so my leg had to stick out into the aisle. On a crowded NY subway I was freakin’ terrified that someone would bump into my leg and I’d have a repeat dislocation (hence why my sis was guarding my leg).
- Sympathy Points Are Awesome. While I was in New Jersey watching yet another movie on TBS, my travel companions were enjoying a lovely supper at Red Lobster. They told the waiter of my “incident” which resulted in a lot of laughs, a free sympathy dessert for me (yay!) and some free buns.
- Don’t Let It Ruin Your Trip. There was no point in beating myself up about what happened. I couldn’t turn back the clock, I could only deal with it. I didn’t spend the rest of my trip in my hotel room crying about how my trip was ruined – I pulled up my (metaphorical) britches and dealt with it. Yes, my injury modified the trip and some things we’d planned on doing, but we still did stuff.
- Have a Sense of Humour About It. It might be hard to laugh while you’re sitting on a subway terrified that someone might bump into your leg, but the rest of the time you should try. Besides, it is kinda funny if you think about it. Other people will laugh when you tell the story, so you should too.
- At Least You Have A Story. Whether it’s a good story or a crappy one, it’s still a story. Something that you will be telling for years and years and years – possibly on a blog online…
And let’s not forget my craziest souvenir.