Getting injured while traveling is never something you plan for, or want to happen. I have to say that over the years as I’ve hopped across the country and globe for different business trips, I’ve been lucky to not get injured. Yes, the occasional cold or even a couple cases of the worst food poisoning ever (which is no fun to fly with – let me tell you), but never injured. That is – until this past year. Not only did I come home from a trip with two third degree burns, but had my first experience having to be taken away in an ambulance for an injury.
Let me set the stage, we have a few hours before we have to start our press trip – so I suggest to my friend we go and play putt-putt at a local place that my parents and I went to years ago. Full of goofy statues and things that will be perfect for Instagram photos and our websites. It’s just a little wet out there from the rain the night before, and we decide to play then take photos after the fact.
While playing, I’m losing – which I fully expected to do. I’m not that great at putt-putt but still love to play. My back is hurting a little bit from the 14 plus hours in the car the two days before. But I don’t think anything of it. Then we get to the sixth hole, I get the ball in and bend down to get it. Then it happens. Not my back – no it wouldn’t be that simple. But my foot slips, and my knee cap goes the other way. I go down. And then, my friend sprung into action. Thankfully he was there during the whole thing, got someone to call for an ambulance, called our host to let them know what was happening and even followed to the Emergency Room and kept our other friends notified.
I always pride myself as NOT being the one who gets sick or injured on press trips, but here I was, in an ambulance going to experience the emergency room several states away. And as an added bonus – my insurance decided to cancel my coverage three days previous for no actual reason. (this was remedied and retroactive after I returned).
So what do you do if you are traveling and get injured? Here are a few tips I picked up on my first and hopefully last experience with this
Yes, it sucks. There are elevenity thousand other things you want to be doing when this happens. It’s ok to scream, cry and curse. But know that there is nothing you can do about the situation once it happened. Don’t just push through the pain and keep working or go on with your day – but take a deep breath and get the help you need.
Notify Your Family and Loved Ones
No one likes getting a call that their loved one is hurt. I took a picture inside the ambulance and sent it to a couple friends. It probably would have been better with some context, but once I told them what was going on it was all ok. The harder call was to my boyfriend back at home telling him that I was in an ambulance with a dislocated knee and on my way to the emergency room – over twelve hours away. I let my parents know what was happening too, so they didn’t hear it second hand. But once everyone was notified – it was more a focus on getting taken care of and not cursing too much from the pain.
Get Taken Care of
Insured or not – you need to be taken care of. The dispute with my insurance company was so poorly timed with this incident, but that didn’t mean I didn’t have to get help. I knew what bills would be building up during my ambulance ride and trip to the ER but that ws something I would handle later. If you have insurance obviously use it right away, if not – get help and deal with the bills later. Many hospitals will work with you on payment plans. Remember you health is the priority here.
This is probably the hardest thing for me to do. I hate to ask for help, and I’m willing to push through to get things done. Unfortunately, my injury did not allow me to do that. Not only could I not walk, but required to being pushed around in a wheel chair most of the day. I needed someone to bring me ice in my hotel room, and a friend to come put my shoes and socks on in the morning. I managed to use the bathroom on my own and take modified showers, but overall it was a good lesson in humility and being humble.
I can’t even express how grateful I am to my friends for helping out through the trip, I managed to make it through the majority of the activities and definitely have some stories from this trip that I’m sure will become more funny as the years go on. I’ve sworn off playing putt-putt for now, and I’m still managing to heal after this injury.
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