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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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.

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