2 weeks ago we went with relatives to Kodiak. My daughter, her cousin, and the cousin’s grandfather were originally supposed to go visit my sisters-in-law at a rural village, but due to a wildfire, we had to change plans. So we decided to go to our boat on Kodiak.

Everything got off to a good start. My son and husband drove down to Anchorage while the rest of us flew to meet them there. Then we all drove the rest of the way to Homer where we were to catch the state ferry the next morning.

The ferry was delayed several hours arriving into Homer. Then we boarded and made our way up to the lounge. Since it was a day crossing, we had decided not to get a cabin. There’s a padded play area. I chose a bench nearby and kneeled on it to crawl to the far end. Unfortunately, the bench was not properly together and it collapsed!

I fell into the bench, landing with my left knee on he concrete deck under the bench. I was trapped like that in the bench for a few minutes while my friends came over and figured out the best way to extract me without hurting me more.

After getting me out, I sat in a nearby chair while ship’s personnel came to see what help I needed. One of the other passengers we had met while waiting to board was an EMT, so he came over to help as well.

Ice and pain killers were fetched. A large foam pad was found to prop my leg up on, which was actually very comfy considering the situation.  There I stayed for the next several hours. My husband brought lunch from the cafeteria. Then the purser offered a stateroom, which I accepted so I could lie down. I was getting stiff from sitting with my leg propped up. A wheelchair was brought and we were escorted to our large room. It was the handicap room so it has 4 bunks. Good thing considering there were 6 of us traveling together.

After a nap, I was wheeled to the cafeteria for dinner. Then another trip up to the lounge to prop my let up and sit awhile. Finally we all took a nap before arriving in Kodiak.

Once in Kodiak, I was to be the first one off. They wheeled me down the elevator to a handicap van which brought me off the ship. It was now around midnight so we decided to stay in a hotel for the night and see a doctor in the morning since I didn’t think anything was broken and not life threatening to need an ambulance that night.

The next few days were spent at the doctor and hospital getting x-rays and an MRI of my knee. It wasn’t much of a vacation for me. The kids were kept busy by my husband and the other girl’s grandfather. The went for drives and he even took them on a flightseeing tour.

Turned out I was right. Nothing was broken or torn. However, it looked like the kneecap was slammed downward onto the fibia bone, causing cartilage damage. The doctor said I had all the symptoms associated with a broken knee except actual broken bone. He went on to say that is among the most painful injuries a person can have. Oh, goody, lucky me!

Then there was the flight home. First, even though we all had tickets, we were told we couldn’t board because the flight was overbooked so my kids didn’t have seats. We had to wait and see if people didn’t show up. Finally, we were told we could board since check-in was now closed.

Going through security was very painful. I was on crutches so had to do a pat down. I took a pain pill but it hadn’t taken affect yet.  I told her I had a broken knee and to be very careful. Needless to say she felt all around my brace from every direction, which hurt a lot. Then took a swab thing and ran that all around it too.

By this time everyone else had boarded. You can clearly see security from the boarding door but the clerk made an announcement paging us to hurry and board rather than simply asking if we were the people she was needing to board. That was embarrassing!

Next came the stairs. It was a combi plane which means boarding through the rear of the plane after going up some steep stairs. I was in tears from pain (and I have a very high pain tolerance) before even halfway up them. Finally once on, the flight attendant gave me a bag of ice for my knee and we were on our way.

In Anchorage, a lift truck met the plane where me and an elderly couple were taken off in wheelchairs, presumably headed for the elevator. The lift truck had some problems and the operator jerked it several times trying to lower the platform to the ground. Once inside the building, there was only 1 agent. I was left alone in that entry room stairwell area about 5-10 minutes while the couple were taken upstairs. The door to the elevator part of the terminal had no doorstop. When it was my turn, she banged the wheelchair around trying to maneuver and keep the door open at the same time.

When we get upstairs into the main terminal, I told what my next flight was and was taken to a gate. She even asked someone from Alaska Airlines to verify it was the right gate. When it came almost time to board and no one was around and the display still said Bethel instead of Fairbanks, I sent my son down to the other gates to see if we were in the wrong area. We were. They had just closed boarding for our flight! Explanations were made and we were able to board.

Turns out it was the same plane and gate as the Kodiak trip was. Why we were taken off then on again or to the wrong gate, I don’t know. I was taken down the elevator and did the entire process in reverse this time, banging my leg on the doors again.

Thankfully once we arrived in Fairbanks, those ground handlers were very gentle.

So today I have a follow up appointment with my doc here. I’m hoping for physical therapy and a chance to still go on our bicycle trip next month. It’s less than 5 weeks away now, so not sure if that will happen or not for sure.


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