Not a fracture thank God, it was only a sprain but an injury all the same. We were at Plettenberg Bay for Kloofing and Bungee Jumping. While registering at Africanyon River Adventures, I dumbly decided to walk on a tight rope. I saw one of their staff confidently walking and I thought hmm why not try, it looks fun. My inner voice’s telling me not to do it, but I did it anyway. Then pop! Next thing I knew, I’m on the ground, my left foot hurt so much I cried. Ever had a feeling you had a bad idea? Yeah, most likely it is a bad idea. I needed rest for a few hours that means we needed to bail Kloofing which sucks, could have been an amazing. Thank you to the same staff for bringing the ice.
Lesson learned on that. Now here are simple things to keep in mind while travelling
1. Get a Travel Insurance people!
When you’re out for a trip and know you’re off for some crazy stuff, better have insurance. It’s small price to pay compare to what you might potentially spend, really. Get travel insurance with medical coverage, read fine prints for the extent. Some airlines offer insurance in booking tickets. Banks or your current insurance may offer travel insurance too. I did one through a bank, others through airline booking.
“Better to have and not need, than to need and not have”
2. Learn Basic First Aid
Basic things like, what to do the a cut, first thing to do in case of burn or a bruise, knowing how to apply figure of 8 bandage is helpful for minor injuries. Lucky for me, we’re all from medical field so our professions came in handy. My friends refreshed their bandaging skills on our vacation.
3. Assemble a Medicine Kit
Some place may have pharmacy, others don’t. You may have diarrhea in the middle of the night and the pharmacy is closed. Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Loperamide, Antacids, Antihistamine, anything that matches your medical condition. I’m talking about minor stuff, like for example if you have allergy it’s prudent to bring Antihistamine. I tend to have headaches and upset stomach on long travels so I have Paracetamol and Antacids. Have just enough for your vanity kit.
Local products are nice to try too. We had Grand-Pa headache powder and Crème Soda aka “Green Ambulance” for hangover in SA, works wonder. In Nepal we had Tramadol over the counter for an awful body pain which a prescription only drug here in Qatar. Just make sure to have it before you go off the grid.
* I don’t recommend above mentioned medicine, what applies to me may not be suitable for your medical condition. Consult your doctor.
4. Know Local Hotline
Saves time in finding help. I’m guilty on this, I don’t pay attention emergency numbers but I should. I will on next escapade.
5. Follow Safety Procedure
“Prevention is better than cure”. A good way to prevent a medical injury is to follow safety procedure as advice by professionals. When they said, don’t step on the line, don’t step on the line, they have a very good reason for that. Our rafting guide once says “Follow exactly my instruction and we’ll arrive alive” and we did, fell in the rapids twice but I lived.
As for my broken foot, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the rest of the holidays. It was unfortunate it happens but it might be for a good reason. (I keep telling myself so I won’t feel bad. I cried more for the missed activity than my sprain.) Next time I’ll have the same idea I’d still do it, but I’ll be more careful. Where’s the fun in life if I stop trying new things every time I get hurt or scared?