Published: March 1st 2007February 27th 2007
Are you sure?
Worst Case Scenerio: you break your ankle smack dab in the middle of a 4 month long "once in a lifetime" adventure-filled vacation in Central America.
So no more hiking, biking, climbing, swimming, or volcano exploring for me. Managed to fall and break my ankle a week ago on a rather rocky path at the Laguna de Apoyo a volcano crater lake . At first, thinking it was only a sprain, I resisted going to the hospital for 4 days. That´s right, 4 days of walking on it- with elevation and icing it in between. Man, didn´t realize how stubborn I am!
After the "sprain" Saskia and I decided that instead of climbing the volcanoes at Ometepe (as originally planned), we would instead head down to her cousin´s beach house south of San Juan del Sur, right at the Costa Rican border. What a beautiful spot this was. Idylic really. So we chilled at the beach for several days, drank Michelada´s and I got to know all of her cousins quite well while resting my ankle, praying it was only sprained.
BUT... by the time we returned to her mother Nadia´s house in Granada, I realized
Next few photos are of Nadia (Saskia´s mom) & Manolo´s house where I stayed for 4 days after getting the cast on. As you can see, not a bad place to start my recovery. I can´t thank them enough!
I needed to suck it up and go to the hospital to get an X-ray. Just to, you know, confirm that it WAS NOT broken. So Nadia took me to the public hospital here in Granada- which is much different than the standards I am used to in the US, but surprisingly not THAT bad. X-rays were taken and the X-ray technician quickly diagnosed the break, but sent me back into the Emergency Room (literally one room) to see the doctor there for the true diagnosis. As she examined the X-ray in the light of the sun, there was no doubt it was broken. Of course, everything was in Spanish... and I´m getting better with my Spanish, but when people start to speak quickly I just get lost! Between the tears I tried to understand what the heck was happening. Apparently, I was lucky... and according to the doctor and the other nurse, I should be thanking God that it broke the way it broke and not in a way that I would need surgery. They continued to reassure me that I did not need surgery and again, that I should thank God.
5 minutes later I had a
Villa Nadia 2
Courtyard in middle of house
cast on my leg.
Nadia took wonderful care of me and wiped away my tears. I felt so defeated- with 63 days left of travel, my trip was ruined. I mean, what could I do now? Certainly no more bouncing around conquering every mountain and lake in my way. As they wheeled me out of the ER, I thought- this must be a dream. A very vivid dream that I will wake up from at any moment now. Pinching didn´t work.
So a huge cast meant I also needed crutches. But ironically enough they don´t have any crutches at the public hospital in Granada. As a matter of fact, there are no crutches in Granada... the receptionist at the hospital told us we could maybe
find them in Managua.
On the flip side, the entire treatment from x-ray, to doctor visits, to cast- all free. Didn´t pay even one centavo!
Lucky for me I was with Nadia and she was taking care of me as though I was her own daughter. After a day of sharing the wheelchair with her father, she was able to find some crutches for me through someone who
works at the house. They are slightly small, as I do tower over most Nicaraguans, but they work. And they are certainly better than a wheelchair on the cobblestone streets.
There are more photos below