How the accident happened……

I went skiing with my family in March. Now I know, possibly more than others, the dangers of skiing. During our annual family holidays my mother has dislocated a shoulder, torn a cruciate ligament, broken her back and broken her arm. My brother dislocated his shoulder so many times he had to have surgery; he also tore all the ligaments in one knee and has had multiple surgeries to his leg. My daughter hit a pole and had stitches in her eyebrow and my son and my husband have both broken arms.

When it is written like this it does make me wonder why on earth we keep going. Well, the simple answer is it is a fabulous family holiday, we love the mountains, the exercise, the adventure, the food….when it is good it is amazing!

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This year wasn’t so good. We arrived on Saturday and by Sunday night I was in hospital. I was involved in a collision with another skier and knew instantly I had hurt my shoulder. Having made both husband and son ski on broken arms I decided to ‘man up’ and ski down to seek help. 400mg of ibuprofen, 4 ski lifts and a lot of swearing later I made it back to our appartment.

As soon as I took my jacket off I knew I was in trouble as my arm was so swollen so we went and found the local doctor. Before he x rayed it, he told me my arm was broken, however, when he saw the x ray he went pale and told me I would need an operation as there were multiple fractures.

He kindly took my husband to one side, put an arm around him and presented him with a bill for €350 and a prescription for painkillers and a sling to take to the pharmacy around the corner.

While my husband went and collected the painkillers and sling ( a further €160) the doctor called an ambulance for me. The ambulance staff were very kind to me as we went down the mountain to the hospital. On the journey they presented me with  the bill for the trip – €180. As for some unknown reason my debit card wouldn’t work they stopped at a cash point and got the cash out to pay for the trip! By this point I really appreciated our NHS!

At the hospital I had to fill in numerous forms, tricky as it was my dominant arm that was injured and they were all naturally in French. I had an MRI and further X ray and was told I would have an operation in the morning. I was reassured that this was a specialist orthopaedic hospital and that they were used to doing this type of operation. As it was all in French the medical terms were testing my language skills but I went up to the ward confident that I was in good hands……..

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