Andorra: Day 8 – Heading Home

Up early again to pack and clean before catching the bus at 9am. I headed off early with Bernie as the 5-minute walk has now become a 20-minute walk for myself, plus I needed to be early to guarantee getting the back seat on the bus. The trip back to the airport was uneventful; we got to see parts of Andorra in the daylight and watch some episodes of ‘Only Fools and Horses’ on the TV in the bus. At the airport I got special treatment, and was able to bypass the queue through customs, and got to get on the plane first as well. Customs was interesting, I had two options, take off the knee brace and set off the metal detector with the crutches, or walk with the knee brace alone and set off the metal detector anyway as the brace had built-in metal strips, I chose the second option. The made me take off the knee brace off on the other side to check it out, they then asked me to move out of the way unaided without brace or crutches while they examined both – needless to say I couldn’t move so they had to wait! Getting on the plane also proved interesting, while waiting an attendant offered me one of the attendants seat, I declined saying I wouldn’t fit, a look of horror came over her face, which I found out, was due to the fact the seat offered had more room that my seat on the plane – would I be able to sit on the plane. They had given me the window seat behind the toilets at the front, which had standard legroom; luckily the aisle seat behind the toilets had extra space on the right beside the toilet cubicle for one leg. I now know that the seats with lots of legroom (next to bulkheads) are banned too injured or pregnant people – they’ll be a problem if every there is an emergency, getting in the way of others getting out. There was a girl on the flight that had the same injury as me, she was lucky in that she was shorter, but unlucky in that she had to partially stand for the whole flight. Both she and I got an airport buggy at the Gatwick end to take us through the airport and customs, which was nice.

After a train ride, tube journey and taxi trip we found ourselves back home and relaxed, completely knackered after our trip but with (mostly) fond memories. It was definitely a good trip, accidents notwithstanding.

Not Andorra, rather Muswell Hill the day after we got back.
Not Andorra, rather Muswell Hill the day after we got back.

It turns out after many months of physiotherapy and doctors appointments, that I had torn/sprained the medial ligament in my right knee, with some damage to the cartilage as well. I was in a knee brace for two weeks, crutches for 6 weeks, and a limp for an additional 4 weeks after all that. Finally after 3 months I could walk normally, and take stairs carefully, and not have too much discomfort. The doctors are now playing a waiting game, according to them since I can bend my knee and walk there is no problem, even though I still feel discomfort. I am on a waiting list for laproscopic surgery to find out the extent of the damage, and then there will probably be another operation to fix things. Unfortunately the doctor didn’t tell me it could be more than a year before I get the first operation, who knows how long I’ll have to wait after that.

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