A Lesson in Vulnerability

It’s been a rough week for me. I’m feeling very vulnerable and thought it would be therapeutic to get my thoughts down.

Last week I went on a fantastic mountain biking adventure. We signed up for a half day tour. The tour company offered about 6-different track options, and thankfully Jim signs us up for the “easy downhill track.”  It was about 3-minutes into the ride that I realized my definition of “easy” was very different than the tour companies. I was terrified the entire three hours of the ride. I wanted to give up every single minute of the ride, and I even had a massive whip out, but I ended the trip with a smile.

It didn’t take me long after the trip to realize that I had severely hurt my hand and 2-days later my hand was a hot mess. While I could “use” my hand, it hurt, and I had pain up my arm.

5-days later, my hand was still very swollen and very sore.  A few friends from back home insisted that I get it checked out, so with MUCH reluctance, I posted a message on the Chiang Mai Runner group I joined and asked for recommendations.  A few people recommend the Clinic 108, which is just outside the Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital.

As soon as I walked in, a very friendly nurse approached me to help. I obviously looked like a visitor, and she offered to help — everything was in Thai including the computerized check-in kiosk. After check-in, I waited about an hour to get registered.  After being registered, I wanted for about 30-minutes to see a doctor.  The doctor was very young, but she was patient and explained in English what she was doing and what her recommendations were for my hand.  She ordered an x-ray to ensure my hand wasn’t fractured or broken.  The x-ray was done in the same building and took about 10-mins. As soon as the x-ray was completed, I went back to see the Dr.  She reviewed the x-rays, confirmed the bone was not compromised, and then recommended two prescriptions; an anti-inflammatory and a pain reliever. She said if it still hurt in 2-weeks to return for an MRI.  Total cost for the entire visit, including x-rays and prescriptions = $15.81.

It wasn’t until I was leaving the clinic that my eyes filled with tears and I lost it.  I was totally fine as long as I pushed through and didn’t allow myself even to consider that something serious could be wrong with my hand, but as soon as I realized how vulnerable I really was and how far from ‘home’ I really was … I had a mini breakdown.  As I got into a TukTuk to head home, I allowed myself a few minutes to just cry. I was relieved that my hand was fine, I mean it hurts like hell, but it’s going to be fine, I think … but even the thought of actually getting severely hurt was upsetting.

Thankfully, I have a fantastic husband that I was able to confide in — I’ve found that Jim and I have gotten closer through this trip because he really is my only person. If I cannot tell him I’m scared, who can I tell, right???  Jim was so very loving and supportive, he didn’t try to “fix” my feelings, he just let me be upset. Honestly, at this point in the trip, there’s a freedom that comes with the knowledge that we both struggle at times and we are able to confide in each other.

Later that night, I went for a run, cleared my head — got my mind right and now … it’s time to pack up and move to Hong Kong!

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