I’m writing this one-handed, not the easiest task. So,please forgive any typos or misspellings.
We were visiting a majestic site, Kerid, a crater formed from an extict volcano with a rainbow of colors – a clear cerulean lake at the bottom, unusual red volcanic rock around the sides with varying shades of green moss from chartruese to forrest.
Still, I put on my big girl panties, sucked it up and journeyed on our hike, besides, it was the only way back to the car.
We found a restaurant to get some ice, but by the next stop, Geysir, with incredible hot
spring spouts, and where the term “geyser” originated, I knew i needed a doctor.
We used Google maps to find a health clinic, and there was one about 15 minutes away. But they didn’t have a x-ray machine, so we headed back to Reykjavik.
Hospital #2 didn’t have an x-ray machine either (and I later learned that it was a heart hospital), but they directed us to one that did.
Luckily, Icelanders speak impeccable English, so I had no problem getting treament or understanding what was going in. I was examined, x-rayed and casted within about 2 hours and the hospital was just like getting treated in the U.S., except for the price tag — a very reasonable US$590.
Here are a few things that I did learn:
1. Always have access to your passport.I recommend securing your original passport in your hotel safe, but carry a copy or have a photo of it on your phone at all times. Healthcare providers will have to have the information to give treatment.
2. Travel insurance is worth the cost. i bought some very inexpensive coverage (i think around $20 per person) when I purchased our airline tickets, mostly to protect us in case luggage was lost or flights cancelled, but having my kids with me, also made me more cautious. if you have a chronic condition or have health challenges, you might consider purchasing a more comprehensive plan, but most are under $100 per person that include medical evacuations and coverage up to $15,000.
i have also filed the claim under my private insurer and am curious to see what they pay, if any, but the travel should cover the full amount,
3. Go ahead and seek treatment. I fell on Thursday and we were scheduled to leave on Friday. A couple of times, I considered toughing it out until we got home. That would’ve been a really bad decision. yes, it was a giant inconvenience, but hopefully it saved me from surgery or further injury by getting seen in-country.
It does make for a good story. i have been clumsy and accident-prone since childhood, so I could have just as easily broken my wrist my walking down the stairs in my house, but i now have a story souvenir.
i felt quite foolish falling, but i did feel better when the nurse handed me a brochure in English about breaking your wrist. I guess I’m not the only English-speaking idiot to venture to incredible Iceland.