Posts Tagged ‘backpacking’

This trip to Europe with my best friend has been in planning for years. It’s been our idle Sunday afternoon’s daydream, our weekly cafe chitchat, bursting with ideas and places we needed to see, our long-term goal, our only definite life-plan. As February 2014 approached, the gap from dream to reality was slowly shrinking.

It became real 8 months ago when we bought our travel backpacks, 5 months ago when we purchased our direct plane tickets from Vancouver to London, gateway to Europe, 3 months ago when we bought our tickets from London to Naples, our official starting point, and a few weeks ago when we walked from one insurance firm to the next, researching our best travel medical insurance options. It’s just over a month away, and it’s become real. Not this dream we’ve had for more over five years, it’s 30+ days away.

The fact that this trip (that’s been my long-term goal for so long) might not happen as we planned it, absolutely devastates me. That it might be canceled or postponed for the sake of an accident frustrates me. It was so perfect, so real now. I wrote up what is probably my last to-do list before the one I’ll write the day before leaving, ready to purchase my last necessities and little commodities for the road. I received a lovely Penguin Books bright orange on-the-road travel water bottle for Christmas, two Canadian-themed tanktops too, ready to flaunt my nationality from border to border. Besides the packing, we are all but ready to go.

And then I went skiing, a favourite sport of mine, on the lovely ski hill our town boasts, 30 fresh cm of powder over night, new skis on the ready—and I had an accident. Knee swollen, pain increasing, there was little the doctor could deduct from my leg that could barely be moved and the x-rays that couldn’t be read. The doctor’s assumption is that I tore my ACL, “snapped” was the word he actually used, an injury that could cost me my job for weeks, an average recovery time of 6-9 months, and an almost definite surgery required. A top verdict of Europe-trip cancellation or long postponement.

First denial. My initial (hopeful) thoughts on the injury were that it was only a bad twist, or perhaps a fracture, with an easy solution of a cast, rest for a month, and more or less back on my feet and ready to backpack Europe before I leave Canada.

That’s not to say it’s not fractured, maybe it’s a fractured patella, or the side of my tibia. But I know what fractures feel like, and granted I’ve never had one on my leg before, the pain isn’t the same. The swelling hasn’t gone down, my mobility is no better at the joint, I can’t bend my leg without causing myself serious pain. I think it’s ligament damage, I just really hope it isn’t a serious one.

I guess I’ve just about mentally prepared myself for receiving the news, the confirmation that is could be, and might be a torn ACL, at my next doctor’s visit in a couple days.

What I’m not prepared for is breaking the news to my best friend (so far I assertively denied any chance that I won’t be up on my feet and healed in a month, totally repulsed by the idea that we would cancel our trip, how dare she even suggest that—via texting). I’m not prepared to call the travel agency and try to bargain my tickets back, to apply for EI, to be told I need surgery, to postpone the trip to past that of what was supposed to be our return date, to stay in Terrace longer and heal, to email and phone all my family and friends on both continents about the accident and cancelation.

No. I don’t want any of that. I want to live what has been my dream for the past five, six, seven years. I’m a believer that everything happens for  a reason. But I can’t understand this one.

Here’s hoping it’ll be alright.



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