Slightly derailed

21. August 2016 § Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

My journey this time has come to an abrupt and undesired ending. After I had got off the ferry in Tallinn, Estonia, and was feeling my way through the capital´s wet and sparkling streets, I suffered the cyclist´s classic accident: my front wheel slid on the tram rails, and the cobble stone surface as well as a construction site didn´t help. The bicycle didn´t contract any damage, nor did my head thanks to my new helmet I had just bought in Helsinki (I always wear one nowadays). But my shoulder felt odd and hurt. I suspected a rupture of the collar bone, slept badly at the very nice Kreutzwald Hotel, and so I went to the emergency room of the nearby Eastern Tallinn Hospital. The X-rays confirmed that the Clavicula was still intact, but two ligaments had either ruptured or been strained. I walked away with my arm in an improvised sling and the severe advice that I should keep my shoulder stable for three or four weeks and get some physiotherapy afterwards. More cycling? Not a good idea at all. Just as I was getting into the mood again, after a week of school visits in Finland which I had managed by public transport mostly. It would have been so nice to cycle all the way to Riga, from where I had set off in 2011 with Reto!Well, nothing doing. But I also came away from that hospital with a feeling of respect for the professionalism with which the young doctor and his student assistant had diagnosed and treated me. Or rather, I was aware that I had had a lingering stereotype of less than adequate care in underprivileged regions of the world. I remember a visit to a Brazilian hospital ages ago, where the treatment was really basic and ill-advised. But hey, this is Europe, this is 2016, and the education systems of former east bloc countries live up to high expectations. 

After less than an hour and a half, I walked out with a medical report in Estonian and English, resigned to changing my flight and hotel bookings. But it will be nice to get home after 6 weeks in the north.

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