22.06.2015 - 25.06.2015 33 °C
Well we've finally made it to Cochin but not quite in the way we intended.
Left Thekkedy earlier than we planned, following an evening with no hot water, no wifi, no electric and candles for the evening! We took a decision to stop in Alleppey for lunch and coffee which unbeknown to us at the time would prove to be chatastropic! The taxi pulled up outside a nice hotel and we got out directly at the foyer, focused on capachinnos and lattes. Not to be; all of a sudden I hear Jaquie let out a shriek and I turn to see her doing a slow motion, full body roll down the small set of steps into a giant puddle. Of course my first instinct was to laugh, and yes it was an incredibly funny sight! And it's not even the first time she's managed her acrobatics having done something similar in Delhi.
This time, the give away that it might be different was, the pain etched across her face, which was accompanied by her comment "I think this is serious!" Talk about making an entrance! Before we knew it, the whole of the hotel staff were trying to help and with every attempt Jaq was trying not to pass out. Evident by her clamminess, her crys of agony and needing to lie down. We finally managed to get her onto a bed, in one of their luxurious rooms, complete with hotel white linens. I mention this because by the time we leave they are purple and black where Jaquies wet and colourful, but obviously not colourfast trousers have been - whoops!
Long story short, following a Drs visit and ice packs it becomes evident she will need hospital treatment for her bad sprain (!). We start the rigmarole of getting her off the bed, into the wheelchair and back into the car and say goodbye to the line up of staff waving us off. Not a capachinno in sight let alone lunch, I'm starving and secretly thinking I hope there's not a wait at the hospital whilst obviously playing the caring nurse to Jaquie, telling her it's not a problem. Strangely enough, thoughts of lunch and coffees don't seem to be preoccupying Jaq in the same way.
In fairness, the reception at the hospital, couldn't have been better. On arrival, we were met and immediately transferred to the emergency department for assessment. A couple of X-rays and a CT scan later and the diagnosis is confirmed not a bad sprain as we'd convinced ourselves but a fracture. Oh dear - perhaps the crys of pain hadn't been over the top after all then! We were told we had to wait about two more hours for the Consultant to do his rounds for news on recommended way forward.
During the wait, we comforted ourselves with the confident treatment plan we'd devised ourselves which consisted of wrapping the fracture to help it heal and being careful for a little while. This seemed to also be the general consensus of all the other visitors and patients to accident and emergency who took it in turns to pay a bedside visit to the strange sight of two English speaking, white people in their hospital!
Feeling much more positive and pain being managed with painkillers when the consultant arrived it took a while for us both to comprehend what he was saying. He immediately broke the news that surgery was required. This was met by Jaquies sensible enquiry...... "Just saying I could have surgery tomorrow, will I be ok to catch my flight to Sri Lanka on Sunday?" In fairness he masked his thoughts well when he responded with a point blank No, adding and you will need 6 to 12 weeks minimum to recuperate. He left to complete his rounds and allow the reality of the situation to sink in.
By the time we met him again later we had a hundred and one questions mainly focused on continuing the trip but as he patiently ruled out all options it was clear Jaqs only option was to fly back to the UK at the earliest opportunity for a surgery. By this time, we understood she had four injuries to her foot/ankle/leg. Two breaks and two fractures. She required both pins and a plate to be put in and wasn't going to be able to go anywhere for some time.
A plaster cast from knee to foot was applied and her complete immobility was evident every time the Drs/Consultant reiterated how important it was for her to keep her foot higher than her heart. Not being funny but Jaquie laying down and having everyone waiting on her was clearly not something she was going to be able achieve lightly. Talk about role reversal, I'd have been fine being waited on but not sure what was going to be worse for her - having to be dependent on me or my thinly veiled, gritted teeth responses of "yes, no problem Jaq, I'll be there now!" Don't think I'm cut out to be a nurse, but I am trying, honest!
What we didn't realise was that the hospital experience, complete with language barriers and Indian protocols was going to be the easy part of the process. Next step was to deal with the UK Insurance Company OMG!!!!
First call with a lovely helpful girl called Rhiannon was excellent but things quickly deteriorated and are currently not resolved. As I write this we are now on the fourth day since the accident and waiting for confirmation that Jaq will be repatriated, will have the operation within seven days as advised by the hospital here, will have medical assistance to fly home and her affairs in relation to the operation and her remaining trip organised on her behalf! That only leaves 3 days for them to achieve. She did get a response to one of numerous emails asking for an update this morning. I think it's because she also asked for a copy of the complaints procedure, but we will see. We both bought comprehensive insurance policy direct from TrailFinders who we bought our tickets off and the response to date has been truly shocking!!! I will of course update you if that changes.
My own concern is that I leave late Sat/Early Sunday to catch my flight to Sri Lanka where I'm meeting Jo Fraser Jones (looking forward to seeing you x). I can't see Jaquie being on a flight before me, leaving her totally isolated in a strange country and immobile! In fairness, the hotel staff where we are currently staying have been amazing and have assured their ongoing help if she's still here after I leave and Jaq says she's comfortable with that. I'm not convinced she's not trying to make me feel better, but either way not a lot we can do other than continue to chase the insurance company to get her home.
On the plus side, the setting is beautiful and we got to see the lovely Perro and Feli before they left this morning
As I said at the outset all a bit drastic to get away from my jibber jabbering, she could have just told me to shut up! Update when there's any news will follow xxxx