It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 months since that scary day when a surfing session on the beach in Costa Rica left me with a tibia and fibula fracture. Most of you have already heard the full story of what transpired on that day and many of your have followed along as we shared bits and pieces of my initial recovery on Facebook and in our monthly updates on the blog.
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Today on the 4 months anniversary of the accident, we wanted to take a minute to thank everyone that has emailed us asking about my well-being. (Thank you!) And while we are at it, we wanted to share an update on our lives post surgery and our plans moving forward.
The great news is that my recovery is going really well and it makes us ever so grateful for choosing to go through with surgery instead of waiting 3 months for the bones to heal inside the cast.
When it comes to the big milestones in my recovery, there were a few.
- 3 weeks after the surgery my doctor allowed me to put weight on my leg while using crutches
- 2 weeks later, he told me to get into the pool and start walking
- Just a week later, I traded my crutches for a cane and we set off on our road trip across the US. Being out of the house and back on the road did wonders for my recovery. It pushed me to walk more (according to my doctor pushing through the discomfort and the initial pain was the best thing I could do for my recovery) and helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. It reinvigorated our zest for life, and once again proved to us that travel really is the best cure and the fastest road to happiness!
- I spent a total of 4 weeks walking with a cane, relying less and less on it with every passing week. By the time we hopped on the Fathom Cruise to the Dominican Republic, I was able to make my way around the ship without a cane and used the cane for shore excursions only.
We retired the cane in mid-May (about 10 weeks after the surgery) and since then the recovery has been all about rebuilding my leg muscles and regaining the strength in tendons and ligaments in my injured ankle.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to master the art of walking without a limp, walking on tippy toes, walking on uneven terrain, balancing on my injured foot, gaining back my confidence in the ocean (I’m still working on that, especially during big waves in high tide), and on the hiking trails.
Aside from a few scars (which I plan to turn into some cool tattoos in the future) and occasional swelling, my leg looks and feels ok most of the time. We estimate that it is now back to about 80-85% of full functionality, which is amazing really considering that it’s only been 4 months since the accident.
But despite the speedy recovery, the injury has had a big impact on our travel plans for this year. We missed out on a honeymoon in Panama and a chance to spend some time honeymooning in Costa Rica. We didn’t get to hike Machu Picchu in Peru and had to essentially cancel or reschedule all of our trips for this year.
But despite the initial disappointment, we have managed to revise our plans to make the most of the last few months, and are looking forward to finally embarking on some bigger and more exciting trips in the near future.
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So here is what’s coming up for us over the next 6 months:
Cuba in July
We are beyond excited that our next big adventure is just around the corner! In mid-July, we’ll be packing our bags and setting off on a 3.5 week trip to Cuba. Thanks to our Canadian passports we have no restrictions when it comes to Cuba travel, so we’ll be able to move around the country freely and experience Cuba before the newfound US/Cuba relations change the course of tourism in the country forever. Some argue that we are already too late, but we are convinced that once we get beyond Havana and the other popular tourist spots, we’ll find lots of off the beaten path experiences and places that aren’t teeming with tourists yet.
We’ve given ourselves lots of time to explore and while our itinerary is not set in stone, our rough plan includes visits to Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santa Clara, Santiago de Cuba, Baracoa, Holguin, and Vinales.
Brazil in August
We are sticking to our initial plans and heading down to Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympics! We fell in love with Rio during our first visit in 2014 for the World Cup and have been really looking to an opportunity to come back and spend more time in Rio as well as explore the rest of Brazil.
We’ll be spending a total of 4 weeks exploring the country. Our week in Rio will coincide with the last week of the Olympics so we are hoping to check out a few Olympic events while we are there. The rest of the time we’ll spend visiting Iguazu Falls and then traveling North along the coast. We’ll see how far we can get, but we are hoping to check out Recife, Fernando de Noronha, Fortaleza, and Jericoacoara.
Colombia in November/December
We are giving me a few more months to go from 85% to 95% before traveling to Colombia. A trip to Colombia can be a pretty low impact if you just want to hang out in major cities, eat, drink, and be merry, but we have bookmarked a few very cool treks we’d love to check out as well. The Lost City trek, a 5 day trip through the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to an ancient, ruined city Ciudad Perdida is one of them, along with a trek to a few off the beaten path colonial villages near San Gil. We are hoping to spend a total of 3-4 weeks in Colombia from mid-November to mid-December.
At this point in time, Peru and Bolivia are officially off the list for this year. Our itineraries for both of these countries were way too strenuous for me, so we decided not to risk it. Instead, we are looking to add 1-2 additional countries/trips to fill the rest of our year. There is talk about a trip to Europe, a visit to Panama, and/or Nicaragua. We’ll keep you posted on our plans via Facebook and our Newsletter.
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7 thoughts on “Breaking a Leg in Costa Rica: 4 Months Recovery Update + Future Plans”
Don’t let people trick you into believing that Cuba has already “changed” since President Obama began opening up relations with the Government. There are still plenty of villages and towns around the island that won’t be impacted by American influence anytime soon. Case in point – San Juan Bautista de Los Remedios!
Remedios is the 8th oldest village in Cuba, and has the oldest Catholic Church in Cuba (approx. 500 years old). If you are spending a couple of days in Santa Clara, then Remedios can easily be done as a 1/2 day trip as it is about an hour drive Northeast of Santa Clara. In fact, it is my favourite village in Cuba just because of the laid back lifestyle and that it is extremely “off the beaten path” for Cuban travel. The only time it really gets tourists is during their annual Christmas Festival.
Santa Clara has also not been touched at all by tourism, yet it is where the Cuban Revolution was won in 1959. Aside from Che Guevara’s Mausoleum, you will be pretty hard pressed to find anything “touristy” about this significant town. All the more reason why you should go visit if you really want to see what day-to-day Cuban is really like.
That’s great to know! We look forward to exploring more off the beaten path places like Santa Clara!
A couple of suggestions for Colombia. I opted out of the Lost City trek as the sandflies are in full force. If you get bitten by them, be warned. I saw people coming back looking like they had leprosy so decided not to go as I’m allergic. You can get local black soap which is supposed to be good. Try juice wherever you go, its fresh, cheap and so tasty! I’m hoping to go back next year and take my husband. Have an awesome time!
Awesome tips! Thank you, Claire. Can we ask what time of the year where the flies in full force? Did you go around Nov/Dec as well?
Yep, I was there late Nov early Dec. I think that’s probably the worst time of year for them. Most people seemed to be able to avoid them by wearing long pants & DEET repellant but nothing I did would stop them. I was fine everywhere except jungley places like Minca.
Glad to hear you’re feeling better and are already making plans to travel!
You poor thing! I know a broken leg can pose a ton of challenges and a great deal of discomfort. So glad to hear that you are recovering well!