Even a Broken Foot Couldn’t Ruin My Accessible Vacation

Columnist Kerry Wong makes the best of a mid-vacation injury

🦋 Kerry Wong avatar

by 🦋 Kerry Wong |

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“Hang on a sec, hon,” I called to my husband in the car, at the airport, and again on the plane. “I want to get a good shot. I’m sure something from this trip will work its way into my next column.”

Boy, was I right — but not in the way I’d hoped.

Prior to COVID-19, my husband and I used to travel two or three times a year (more if we include advocacy trips), but this was the first time we’d flown in over three years. I couldn’t tell if I was more anxious or excited, and looking back, I’m still not sure. Last year, we drove to Montreal for a COVID-19-safe compromise, but this felt like our first real vacation — closer to the kind of trips we used to take.

I’d spoken with my doctors and gotten all the recommended vaccines and booster shots. I walk with a cane, but I brought my fully decorated mobility scooter for longer distances, along with plenty of N95 and filtered cloth masks so I could be protected, supported, and always coordinated. I was prepared.

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My husband had booked a beautiful Airbnb on the beach so we could easily remain socially distanced from the rest of the world. Even if sarcoidosis fatigue kept me from going anywhere, we could have a perfect day on our deck. All I had to worry about was the airport, but a glass of wine helped ease those nerves.

Our home for the week was a small room inside, but our own private paradise outside, and we wanted to try all the different spots: the hanging chairs that twirl, the cushioned seats where we could watch the sunset over the beach, the counter where we could enjoy breakfast out in nature, the wicker daybed, and especially the hammock.

Kerry relaxes on the hammock on the deck at her vacation spot

Kerry enjoys “good vibes” on the hammock at her temporary private paradise at Crash Boat Beach in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. (Courtesy of Kerry Wong)

We knew we wouldn’t be able to lie together on the hammock the way we did years ago, but we were each determined to get on there. And we did! I was going to use that for my “gratitude challenge” post of the day, noting that I was grateful to be able to get on and off without falling. But before I got a chance to post that on social media …

‘Oops! I Did It Again’

I was slowly walking down the three steps from the platform, and then down I went. And I couldn’t get back up.

My husband helped me up to the bed, where we iced, wrapped, and elevated my foot for the night. When I still couldn’t put weight on it the next morning, we went to urgent care. I’m counting that as sightseeing.

As I suspected, the X-ray showed I’d broken my foot. Again.

X-rays of Kerry's right foot, highlighting (left) fifth metatarsal fracture in 2021 and (right) second metatarsal fracture in 2022

X-rays of Kerry’s right foot, highlighting (left) a fifth metatarsal fracture in 2021 and (right) a second metatarsal fracture in 2022. (Courtesy of Kerry Wong)

It’s a different bone, but the same foot I broke when I fell last year. This may be something I’ll have to get used to, as people with sarcoidosis have been found to have more than twice the risk of bone fractures as healthy people.

My husband started packing and looking up flights back home, but I convinced him to stay and make the most of where we were. Even if all I could do was sit with my foot up, I’d rather do that in paradise than in my messy living room. And I knew we’d find a way to do more than that.

Naturally, we had to make some adjustments.

On the day we went to urgent care, we had a reservation for a private sunset boat tour. When we contacted them to cancel, they offered to take us another day so we wouldn’t have to miss out. I couldn’t walk to the boat, though, and when my scooter got stuck in the wet sand, our tour guide helped my husband push the scooter as close to the boat as possible, and then the two of them helped me get on board. After that, it was smooth sailing, literally.

For relaxing beach days, our original plan was to simply walk to the water from our deck, but I couldn’t do that now. There was an accessible entrance a little farther down the beach, though, so I was able to scoot down to the end of the ramp and have an umbrella and chair set up there. Sitting in paradise with a cold drink, a good book, and the great view of my husband in the water was all I could ask for.

Split screen shows Kerry on the blue accessible path at the clearly marked accessible beach entrance, and Kerry's view from the beach chair: an elevated & protected foot, a book called "Butterfly" on her Kindle, and a tiny dot in the water that is her husband.

Kerry enjoys the accessible beach at Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, at the clearly marked entrance and from a beach chair. (Courtesy of Kerry Wong)

Admittedly, I’m still frustrated, because before I fell, I really was making progress. Just two months ago, I felt the rush of new beginnings as my medication and restrictions changed. But with one misstep, I’m dancing the cha-cha again, sliding backward as I lose my independence. At the same time, though, I’m reminded that even on my lowest days, I’m surrounded by love, light, and kindness.

And that’s even better than a working foot.

Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.


Marian Hellstrom avatar

Marian Hellstrom

Kerry, I feel your pain. I too was just feeling like my life was beginning again in June, 2022, when I fell and fractured the 5th metatarsal on my left foot. No hiking all summer. No way to do all the projects I had planned during my summer off of teaching school. Thankfully, I'm better now and I hope I don't do a repeat like you did.

🦋 Kerry Wong avatar

🦋 Kerry Wong

Yeesh - I definitely feel that with you, Marian. It sure stinks to miss out on so much through the summer, but I'm glad you're better now and able to get around more easily. And yes! Let's hope there is no repeat for you!

Anna Easley avatar

Anna Easley

Wow, thank you for this article. I was diagnosed in 2020 and received treatment since then. I'm just about to come out of my first ever flareup and looking forward to attending a smooth jazz cruise in a week. The pain and drugs is hurting my spirit. I too plan to try my best to prepare for my trip. This flareup affected my ability to walk, but thanks to a doctor in the ER who recognized my systems, I am not receiving the amount of drugs to at least bring the swelling of my left foot down. Thank you so much for your input so that I can be prepared for anything that might happen.

🦋 Kerry Wong avatar

🦋 Kerry Wong

Ooh, a jazz cruise sounds wonderful, Anna! Cruises are my favorite type of vacation, even if what I do on them has changed. While I always hope to enjoy excursions on the islands and activities on the ship, there is a real opportunity to relax and enjoy the balcony, poolside, or a show if you're not able to do anything more physical than that. I'm so glad you're coming out of that flare and able to see real improvement ... that'll surely help you have a great time!


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