Getting injured – to put it plainly – sucked. Having my inter-vertebral disc forced out of its vertebral space, rip, and squash my spinal nerves, irritating them (and me) in the process – sucked. It was painful and it sucked. Not being able to walk, sit, stand, or move for more than 10 minutes at a time much less ride – sucked. Having the only comfortable position be lying on my back with a pillow under my knees – you guessed it – sucked. Having this happen while grooming the horse I was going to ride – I zigged, he zagged, and my disc went kaput – didn’t help. Having this happen in a country where I knew hardly anyone – hello Kuala, Lumpur, Malaysia – didn’t have a steady place to live, or a support system really didn’t help. At the end of the day though, what hurt most was the fact that I couldn’t ride for 3 months, or do any kind of physical activity other than physiotherapy. Yeah. Doctor’s orders. All of this just felt like a punch to the gut on a trip that I hoped would be anything but.
Well, about a month in, yours truly tripped on an uneven bit of pavement, fell, ripped up a couple of ligaments in her right ankle, fractured her right foot, and set her physio back to square one. How’s that for a gut punch?! To put it mildly, this was not a fun time. Being away from everything that’s familiar, having no family or friends to lend you a hand or a word of encouragement, a different healthcare system, physios that seem clueless, and growing increasingly skint with all the injury-related bills piling up – I took solace in single-mindedly rehabbing myself to be fit and ready to ride in Argentina for the start of the polo season, and in drooling over camping and hiking kit on the internet.
My travel insurance – LV or Liverpool Victoria – ended up being a life saver. Once my appointments started to taper off I sent them all the documentation and had my claim refunded. By July I was ready to fly back to London to have a final appointment with a physio I knew – a fellow horse rider – and a few confidence boosting lessons with Coach Mandy, not to mention check in with a couple of friends, before I set of for my next stop – Buenos Aires, Argentina.