The light at the end of the tunnel

Week 4

There have been some changes this week!  I appear to be emerging out of the hiding under the duvet stage and quietly happy to start living my life again – even if it is on one leg.

I’ve actually gained a good amount of control on the Sticks of Satan, and am able to get about with reasonable ease.  My shoulders no longer hurt with the effort of using them and I am a total boss of balancing one leg!  Getting dressed is a lot easier, and I’ve learned how to get down on hands and knees to crawl round my bedroom to get into lower drawers etc and to be able to get back up again.

My rucksack really has become my best friend (thanks Mel!), and with this enables me to get all my essentials downstairs if need be.

I also gained the confidence to shower alone – with no assistance this week.  I know that sounds totally lame that I haven’t done that before week 4, but this accident has really knocked the stuffing out of me and I can state here and now that breaking a bone shatters your confidence as well as body parts.

In week 1 I completed all of my overdue college work, and then although I had eLearning to do for my new job (that I was due to start days after I broke my ankle), I lost my passion for study, side lined everything, and spent my time reading, watching movies and sleeping.  In all fairness I don’t think it was a bad thing – I actually needed to switch off for a bit,  but now I feel the need to reboot and get on with all the things that I feel passionate about – including my new job.

I’ve not really written about my job.  I think that I’ve felt so grateful that it’s being held open for me that I didn’t want to jinx it.  I currently have no idea when I’ll be able to drive again, and therefore no idea when I can start – and I really pray that they can continue to accommodate this.

Twenty two years ago I became a mum.  My eldest son was born with a whole range of medical conditions and caring for him became my sole focus.  Two more beautiful children followed a few years later, and I was lucky enough to be able to be a full-time mum and carer.  In the last few years I started to think about what I’d like to be able to do with the remainder of my working life, should I be in the position to work again.  With everything that you learn being  a parent of a child (now adult) with special needs, you learn more that you could ever dream possible.  And you also come to learn and embrace that you really should use these newly acquired skills in whatever way you can….or maybe that’s just me?  Anyway, having left school with no qualifications , I decided that maybe some distance learning would help me get some qualifications to show for everything I’d been doing since I was last in the world of work.  My local college offered Health and Social Care NCFE qualifications via distance learning, so I began with a qualification in working with Individuals with Learning Disabilities.  I passed – which led the way to me doing two more; Administration of Medication and End of Life Care.  To cut a long story short, I applied for a part-time position as Support Worker at the Resource Centre that my son attends and got the job!  I began my induction, and was flying high in every respect.  And then I fell down the stairs one evening at home – and that, my friends, was that.

Hopefully I am coming towards the end of my time in plaster. In less than two weeks I am back to the Fracture Clinic again.  Hopefully I will be free of my cast and then into a boot.  And then a new phase of adaptation comes again.  I suspect that I still won’t be able to drive again until possibly week 12.  However – maybe I’ll be in a better position to spend some time at work – even if it is only shadowing and reading policies and procedures.  We shall see what the next appointment brings.





The little things

I think we all have a well-meaning person in our lives.

They think that by telling you not to feel sorry for yourself and to get up and crack on you will recover much quicker.  This is not so.  And I seem hell-bent on learning this the hard way.

I should have known.  The same person told me to get my coat on and get my baby in the buggy and take a walk (uphill) to the shop less than 10 days after my C-section.  I did it, thinking fresh air would do me good – and ended up with a really nasty infection in my scar.  These people are the ones who are all too happy to give you advice over the phone, but they are never the ones who will show up or even offer to come over and help.  And if their conscience does prick them, they show up for a day and then tell you they are ill and can’t possibly help out in any other way….but they will always “be at the end of the phone” should you need them.

And then there are the people, who despite fighting many battles of their own, offer to drop everything, drive many miles, and get everything back in order housework wise!  And you know that they mean it and they would absolutely help you.

There are others that can’t help, and you don’t expect them too….but they throw you a vital lifeline in the form of constructive advice about crutch use (because they used to work in this kind of field), and they loan you a laptop indefinitely that becomes your absolute lifeline to the outside world.  You know, that had their own situation been better they would’ve been on the doorstep when you got home from hospital with everything under control.

It really is a case of the little things counting at the moment.

The point of me saying all this, isn’t to shame anyone or to make them look bad, but just to highlight my thoughts.  It really is when the chips are down that you discover who you can really count on, and who you never really could.

So.  After that period of digression, let me tell you about my day so far (it’s 11.30am)

I’ve just dragged a duvet cover full of wet laundry back upstairs to go in the dryer after I was told that I needed to stop relying on others and just get on with it over the phone yesterday.  Whilst I was downstairs I made myself some breakfast and a coffee (go me!), and now I’m back upstairs and I am completely. done. in. I’m back on the bed, typing this, wondering where I’m going to get the strength from to go back into the bathroom, get washed and dressed and ready for my hospital appointment in two hours time.  My advice giver has rung my phone out twice this morning, and I really can’t be bothered to answer.  I know they mean well, but I just can’t deal with hearing anymore right now.  I won’t be dragging any more laundry anywhere.  I’m going to basically sit on my butt now and bark orders.  No more listening to any advice from anyone who isn’t qualified to give it!

Before this, I thought it was easy to get on with normal life minus one leg…just a case of finding a different way of doing stuff.  But it’s a lot more complex.  So many different factors come into play and not just practical ones.  But the upshot of all this is, this situation is just temporary.  I will be back on my feet at some point soon.  I just need to accept that for now, I need to rest and I need to recover.  Maybe I need to use this lovely laptop to draw up a housework rota for my family who are just getting on with their lives. They are helping when I ask, but my teenagers seem to have lost the ability to switch a vacuum cleaner on.  I have a fantastic idea!  Maybe I should fashion one of my crutches into a some sort of cattle prod….any lame excuses and they get zapped!

Don’t put that idea past me……