Reassurance

To all of you reading who are new to the world of Broken Ankleism.

I’m imagining that you, dear reader, are at the beginning of your journey.  You’re freshly dispatched from A&E with a Backslab cast and you’re wondering what the hell has happened to your life in the past 24 hours.  I’ve been blogging about my inner feelings for the past few weeks, but I felt that a summarising post was necessary.  A post that you can quickly refer to, just to reassure yourself that you are normal.

So here are the key feelings that you may experience.

  1. If you are used to being the housewife/husband and your partner has taken over, nothing they do in the first 14 days will be right or up to your “standards”.
  2. You will feel guilty that you’re not doing anything
  3. You will feel useless and like a burden
  4. You will feel totally overwhelmed that you will be off your feet for at the very least 6 – 8 weeks, and in reality it’s going to be more like 12 weeks before you’re back in the saddle.  Actually that thought still overwhelms me (I’m 5 weeks in) so I’m not going to read that back to myself.
  5. You will worry if you ever will be able to walk “normally” again.
  6. You will regret not walking your dog for 10 miles a day while you had the chance.
  7. You will worry about your job.
  8. You will start to go stir crazy.
  9. You will watch rubbish like The Jeremy Kyle show – and wish that you could walk 10 miles with your dog just to avoid daytime TV.
  10. You will make mental lists about what you’re going to do when you are able to walk again.  If you never had a bucket list before, you will make one now.  Mine includes visiting the Grand Canyon and the Shoes by the River Exhibit in Budapest.  Best get a passport then…..
  11. You will think that you will NEVER be able to control your crutches.  You will.  I promise.
  12. You will discover you have a temper.  In the early days you will lose the plot at the slightest thing or if someone/something isn’t in the right place at the right time.  Reassurance for your loved ones – this does get better.  It’s gradually improving for me anyhow.
  13. You will miss driving and your independence.
  14. You will wonder if you’ll be able to weight bear without your ankle snapping again immediately.
  15. You will feel slightly jealous at some point of those that can drive or those that are independent.
  16. You will think about events that you’ve got planned for the year ahead and wonder if you’ll be able to cope.
  17. You will enjoy, for a brief period, being the centre of attention.  That stops when you realise how long you will be out of service.
  18. You may have a period of time where you sink under covers and feel very blue.  You will seriously consider the possibility of hibernation for the duration of your recovery.
  19. You will realise what’s really important in life.
  20. This will change you.

I’m sure, being at week 5 myself, I will continue to be able to add to that list as the weeks go on.  It’s really important that you know that you’re not alone.  There are others in exactly the same position.  And most importantly you’re not alone in how you feel.  Your feelings are normal.  You will recover.  That last point is what I’m hanging onto myself right now.

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Rest, Rest & More Rest

What can I say about the past nine days?

The days between my trip (literally) downstairs and now have been strange.  I’ve tried to keep the happy front on show at all times, and there times where I have been genuinely happy, and there have been times where I’ve sat on the loo and cried.  Mainly because it’s taken so much effort to get there in the first place, and now I’d face a trip back on The Sticks of Satan to find some comfort again.  I’ve had two more loss of balance episodes on the crutches, but thankfully only one more sideways tumble-down the side of the dressing table.  That was amusing.  My husband and youngest son just stood and watched as I fell like a freshly felled tree.  In hindsight there actually was very little they could’ve done apart from pick me up, but I believe that was the first occasion my ‘Inner Monique’ came out to play, and to be honest she’s been sitting on the foot of my bed or on the handle of my crutch ever since.

I’ve had visits from the Hardcore Heidi crew…I’ve been brought flowers, chocolates and  even doughnuts.  I’ve rested, I’ve done as I’ve been told and I’ve had my first clinic visit where I was given another x-ray, a new plaster, and seen the same lovely consultant who told me I could eat breakfast last week!  My bones are healing really well, so thankfully my sideways tumbles, the dog jumping on my cast, and my husband accidentally  (not convinced on this by the way) dropping a crutch on my ankle, haven’t set me back at all in the healing stakes.  I have another check up in a few days, and then if all is well I’ll be left to continue healing for another four weeks.

The hardest part of all of this is that I can’t drive my children to where they need to be.  I haven’t attempted anything domestic as husband has been in control, and along with the lack of freedom I can’t look after my eldest son who requires pretty much constant care due to Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities and a whole other collection of conditions, most of which fall under the umbrella of m-cm syndrome.  Again, husband has taken over my sons care too, but I know he’s finding it very hard, I have actually had the opportunity to sit back and ponder over how the heck I’ve managed to keep all the balls in the air for so long myself!  I have taken a trip downstairs a couple of times in my sons lift, but none of it feels like mine anymore.  I suppose that sounds strange.  Maybe it’s because I’ve spent so much time up here in the bedroom.  I’m sure that I could’ve laid on the sofa downstairs, but it’s been a lot easier to be up here as the bathroom is more accessible than the one downstairs.

Next week will see some changes though.  Son is off to respite care and husband will be going back to work.  The kids will be at school, so I will be left to my own devices – which will be very strange.  I’ve got hold of some basic equipment this week; a shower stool, a cast cover that arrived today – so I can at last have a shower and wash my hair, and I am fast becoming the boss of balancing on one leg when needed.  With the aid of the stool and a carefully placed pack of bed pads, I was able to get my son ready for bed and gave him his medication.  This was a huge boost.  My Mum has also loaned me a walking frame with a seat on it, and this will help me get around in the kitchen, so no fear of starvation whilst everyone is out!  I’m a solitary creature by nature so as long as the fridge is full and I have that walking frame, I will be fine.

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