Swords Orthodontics
17 Main St, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland

My Broken Rib: Day 3

I woke from a good night’s sleep. It’s quite sore to stand up though. I had a shower with some apprehension but without incident. I will experiment with bathroom-appropriate footwear over the coming days, but it would appear that Darth Vader slippers don’t offer any more traction than my own skin.

Dressing with a broken rib

This was my first day where I revised my usual approach to dressing- instead of pulling things over my head, I chose shirts and cardigans and fleece jackets that can be buttoned and zipped. Ideal technique for me was to use the arm on the good side to pull the sleeve up the arm on the sore side. This means I can hold my arm at the least painful position and make the good arm do all the work.

Today was the day where I had to see about cancelling my holiday and claiming on my travel insurance.

“So you are planning to cancel your holiday. Is it just flights and accommodation?”


“We have an excess of €85 on your policy. Who is the flight with?”

“Aer Lingus.”

“So if you go to your booking reference, it will show a figure for the flights and a figure for the tax. The insurance won’t cover the tax you have paid. You’ll need to let us know how much of the flight ticket price you were charged and how much they refunded. You might be able to get some of that tax refunded later. If you have a penalty for cancelling the accommodation, you’ll need to send confirmation of how much you have paid and how much you’ll get back.”

So essentially, although the money I paid included some taxes I don’t get the all the taxes returned to me if I don’t travel. The flights themselves were non-refundable. I could get about 2/3 of the accommodation price returned, so the insurance would cover about 1/3 of the accommodation and the flight component of the plane ticket, apart from the first €85. So if the ticket cost €285 for the flight and €50 for the taxes, then I’d have spent €335 on the ticket. I would expect to get €200 from the insurance company (285-85) and might have a refund of some of the €50 from the government. Better than nothing, and that’s the details of the policy and it’s that excess that keeps the cost of the policy down, but it did seem a bit of a disappointment and the general direction of the conversation didn’t seem to be geared to cheer up someone who is in pain and has missed out on a holiday they’d been looking forward to – and there are likely to be people calling them with considerably more serious conditions than mine, and with considerably more special trips planned.

There also seemed to be some confusion over whether the insurance required me to be unfit to take my holiday as planned or unfit to fly.

You can be unfit to fly for various reasons – including drunkenness, as well as some critically serious things. Fitness to take a holiday is different, but basically if you’re considered medically unfit for work, you’re not fit to enjoy a holiday. That’s my perspective on it, but it’s also consistent with employment law, at least as I understand it – when someone is on long term leave of absence from work due to ill health, their holidays accumulate and then can take them when they return to work (or they need to be compensated for them if they never return to work).

Still in no mood for cooking at home, so I treated myself to a meal at Indie Spice – delicious Sag Paneer and nodded off early listening to a podcast. As a result I didn’t take my painkillers that night and that may have been a mistake....

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