Hesitant about writing this post at first, I decided it could be a helpful insight to those with the ‘it won’t happen to me’ mindset.
My New Years Eve was, yet again, nothing short of eventful. The apartment party started off well; new friends, delectable dishes, champagne, the midnight countdown and kisses (I am in France, remember). I was having a ball. Ready to move on to the next party we grabbed our coats and it was then that the one-last-dance-before-leaving song came on. As I was gracefully (or not so gracefully) moving with the music and swinging my hips just I had seen in Footloose, my rhythm was broken as another body knocked into me. It all happened so fast; I fell backwards, landing on my friend, causing a wine glass on the table a foot away to fall, breaking in half. As I tried to catch my fall I reached for the table but instead fell directly onto the broken stem of the wine glass. The broken shards embraced my upper arm, making themselves at home deep into my muscle, cutting my vein on their way in. Thankfully they left my artery alone.
The next thing I remember are two men in front of my face and after that my friend jumping beside me, into which I realized later was the ambulance. This all happened at 2:40am on Tuesday, New Years Eve (technically New Years Day) and I ended up staying in the hospital until Friday, the 3rd, at 4pm. Apparently I lost a lot of blood and it took a bit of work for the surgeon to dig out all of the previously mentioned glass in my forearm. I didn’t react well to the anesthetics either, and since I couldn’t eat for the first day and a half I was sick from all the medication, so they wanted to keep me in under watch.
This couldn’t have happened at a better place; C.H.U Angers (the hospital) has a great reputation for their great staff and services and my experience saw this to be true. I was treated like a princess throughout the entire duration of my stay. The nurses were friendly and kind, constantly checking up on me and my doctor/surgeon visited me twice.
Besides little arm movement I am in good health. My bandages are changed every two days and I will be starting physiotherapy soon.
Now to get to the inspiration of writing this post; all of these services are NOT free, especially since I am a foreigner. My bill for the operation, stay and medication expenses ended up being around 1200 euros, or about 1,750 Canadian dollars. Thankfully I have additional travel medical insurance, which was something I had to go along with my working-holiday visa. Otherwise I am not sure I would have bought it. The insurance cost me a total of $680 for my 11-month trip covering up to 5 million dollars in fees, including trip interruption coverage (a free return flight home in case of emergency). A very important detail to note about travel insurance is that the coverage may begin as soon as you leave your home PROVINCE, and not country, as I had thought. I bought my coverage so that it would begin on the 18th of October, the date I would be flying into Paris. Since I left PEI on the 11th to spend one week in Montreal before my trip, my insurance was almost invalid, being that I left PEI (my home province) before my insurance contract had started. According to the insurance company, my trip had started on the 11th, despite still being in my home country. After hours of arguing my case and a ten dollar fee to push my coverage back, they reconsidered my case and I will have full coverage.
So after reading this post I hope you leave with a few things in mind; have fun but be careful, it definitely CAN happen to you. Buy travel insurance and when doing so make sure you have every detail down pat because the insurance company WILL try to worm out of paying your fees. Finally, don’t let one fall keep you down or stop you from moving forward. With every container to open, shopping trip, shower and meal-prep, I am seeing the world with a different perspective. I am realizing how lucky I am to (usually) have two working arms, legs and good health. La vie est belle.
“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass… get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.”
― Steve Maraboli
Ready to shower!