To say the last few days have been a whirlwind is putting it lightly. No one expects to actually use their travel insurance, especially not the dramatic ‘helicopter rescue for emergency medical treatment’ section.
But here we are, in a hospital room that will be permanently etched upon my brain (and no doubt Scarlett’s too, the length of time she’ll be lying still in here, poor thing), reading through policy documents and working out the pro’s and con’s of the options the insurance company have given us.
We are lucky enough to have a choice. The initial response was that we had to all fly home and end the trip. However, they have now agreed that we can continue with the trip and they will cover Scarlett’s treatment on the condition that we stay in Nepal and use the same team of doctors that she is with now. If we move on to a new country, we have to take responsibility for the cost of Scarlett’s treatment, which means we would realistically have to be here until early January when she moves from a full leg cast to a half leg cast and has various scans and x rays to check it is healing properly. After that, there would be no scheduled appointments except for the final removal of the cast after a further 6 weeks (mid Feb), which would be fairly cheap to pay for privately, so we could move on to Thailand in early January.
Alternatively, we can all fly home in about 3 weeks time when she is fit to travel. This would mean we could get the cast changed and all the scans etc in the UK, with a plan to basically set off again in early January. This would mean buying a new insurance policy (which of course would exclude any cover for Scarlett’s treatment, so again we’d be paying for the cast removal in Thailand). And of course, paying for flights for all 5 of us from the UK to Thailand.
We are currently leaning towards coming home, but it’s a tough decision and I’m not sure we are in quite the right frame of mind to make it just now.
My thoughts today on coming home are:
- The NHS and the safety of knowing that Scarlett will get whatever she needs, medically
- I think Scarlett would be better entertained in the UK as there’s not a lot to do in Nepal on crutches – lots of steps, uneven pavements etc. In the UK we could take her out for a drive and there’s always disabled access to places. Plus those mobility scooters you can hire – she’d have a field day on one of those!
- We’d be home for Christmas, which we’d all really enjoy
- We’ll save about £200 in postage as we were planning to send a suitcase of trekking equipment home which we could just take with us
- Catching up with family and friends
- We are lucky enough to have already had offers of places to stay (as our house is rented out)
- The girls could see Marmalade, our cat
- It breaks up the trip which none of our children want – they feel very insecure about flying home
- It costs about £2,000 more than the option of staying (new insurance and extra flights)
- Risk of blowing a lot of our travel money while in the UK on things like petrol and food…our budgets are based on third world prices
- We have no winter clothes!
- I have a strange fear that we will somehow get stuck and not be able to set off again – irrational I know but I can’t help it
The main things I’ve always wanted to get out of this trip though are for us all to spend a year together as a family without the distractions of work, the drudgery of housework and the chaos of modern life. So whatever we decide to do, as long as I can focus all my attention of being there for my family and enjoying our time together, I don’t think it matters too much where in the world we end up.