Fresh Air

Week 8.  Liberation

Two days ago, on Thursday 9th March, I was finally set free from my cast.  I wasn’t certain how the appointment would go, but to my joy, the circular saw from hell removed the cast, the consultant tapped my the bottom of my foot and my ankle joint and asked me if it hurt (which it didn’t) and he declared me healed!!  I was given a boot, just to ease me back into weight-bearing, and obviously I still have my crutches.  However, I was told that he expected me to be free of both the boot and the crutches within two weeks.  At the time this seemed like a tall order.  As I eased myself off the plaster table with my newly acquired Darth Vader boot, the prospect of putting one foot in front of the other seemed very daunting.  I do have some physio sessions ahead of me, and I don’t have to have injections anymore.  Also once I’m free of both and both my Bitch Sticks I will be able to drive again!

One of the big surprises once the cast came off was the amount of dry skin that was living under the plaster.  I’d spent a few days fearing Godzilla legs, but I will he honest now and say that it’s not the hair that’s the shocker.  The dry cracked skin is really something to behold.  It wasn’t apparent straight away, but I discovered over the next few hours what was happening to my skin. I’m using Palmers Cocoa Butter skin oil to relieve the dryness, and it’s doing a good job.

Mobility wise, its early days, but I’ve already been able to dispense with the boot!  And I can quite easily potter about the house, very slowly, with just one crutch.  I do still feel ‘safer’ with two crutches when outside the house though.  Today I actually went into a supermarket for the first time in 2 months!  I took things very slowly, and I lived to tell the tale, although I think I might pay for it later swelling wise.

I really feel that I’m going to come out the other side of this and get on with my life.  And I can’t tell you how happy that’s made me.


The Fear

Week 7

I’m so close to that ever important appointment where my cast comes off.  Or at least I hope I am.  Another x-ray may reveal I need more time in a cast….or they may decide that my foot needs sawing off period.  Sounds far-fetched I know, but 6 weeks of being out of action does allow silly thoughts to slip inside your head.  And this morning,  I seem to have woken up (after a rubbish night) full of fear.  I’ve flung open the blinds and the windows to let the sunlight and fresh air in, hoping it will clear my head.  It may be something to do with the fact that I hate Mondays anyway; it’s the day when everyone has gone back to school/college/work and I’m here alone for 8 hours or so after a weekend of hustle and bustle.  A big shout-out to those who live alone and are in this position.  You’re in my thoughts – a lot!

So I’m going to share my list of fears.  If I’m alone in these thoughts and you all think I’m a big scaredy cat then so be it, but I get the feeling that someone somewhere must have experienced these feelings at some point during their recovery.

  • I’m resentful of those that are helping me out and have taken over my old life.  That’s a big one for me to admit to.  I should be grateful – and I am, but I still feel jealous.
  • I watch people walk up and down my street and wish I’d been out and walked more (especially with my dog) while I had the chance.
  • I yearn to go out with a cup of tea this morning and sit in the sunshine on my decking.  But as it’s been raining it would be unsafe on crutches, and how the hell do I get the cup of tea outside?  Actually there is a simple answer to this; flask and backpack – but I’m feeling sorry for myself so bear with me please!
  • I’m worried that the first time I weight-bear my ankle with snap in two like a matchstick, or my talus will shift again (I had no surgery to pin it all together) and that I’ll be right back to square one!
  • I’m worried that I will always be in pain with a dodgy ankle forever and ever. Amen.
  • I’m worrying that when I go away on holiday in 4 months to a beautiful house we rent by the sea, that I’m not going to be able to go down the rather iffy, steep cliff path to get to the beach.  And if I do get down, that I won’t be able to get back up.  I’m currently picturing my husband having to fashion some sort of pulley system together to winch me up and down.
  • I’m worried that I won’t be able to enjoy the 80’s music festival that I’m going to for the weekend without being in pain.  Both my sister-in-law and I have paid a small fortune to Glamp there all weekend.
  • I’m worried this is all going to hold me back with my new job.
  • I’m worried I won’t have the strength required to get my disabled son in and out of the car.  This for some reason is the job that requires the most strength.  Anything else I can handle usually!

There is a saying, one that has held true for me for many years.  A hospice nurse was the first one to put it to me 20 years ago, when I was fretful how I would deal with my sons life-limiting condition (just as a side note, he’s now 21 with a totally different diagnosis and prognosis).  She told me these words, and I really need to hold onto those right now:

Don’t Try To Run Before You Can Walk.

Never has a saying rung truer than right now.  I really need to hold that close, get on with my recovery, and stop stressing about things that I actually very minimal – if any – control over right now.

Please know, that if you’re feeling the same….you’re not alone.


Seven Days

Week 6 – The end is in sight

This week has drifted past in another blur of having good days and having bad days.  It may be a lot to do with the fact that I can count the times I’ve been outside on 3 fingers since I had my accident.  In hindsight, the first thing I should’ve done is get a wheelchair on loan from the Red Cross.  It might have been difficult for me to get around on my own though, which was one of the things that stopped me.  But as least I might have been able to get outside into the garden safely and get a bit of fresh air.  Or perhaps been able to go shopping with a friend etc.  It sure would’ve made for some interesting blog posts too; me getting carried away in a gust of wind (I live on a hill), or ending up upside down by the wheelie bins in the garden.  I rule nothing out where accidents are concerned now believe me!  The longer being “holed up” goes on, the more reclusive I can feel myself becoming and that is no good at all.  I know that once I’m in a boot my life isn’t suddenly going to be as good as it was before.  I know that I’m still going to be pretty much semi mobile for a few weeks yet, but I will be one step further to normality….that’s what I keep having to tell myself.

I’ve been reading other people’s experiences via the internet and social media groups, and I suppose a lot depends on the kind of fracture you have, and whether you’ve had surgery. I think probably I need to stop reading and stop over analysing and just RECOVER!  Yes, actually that sounds like a plan!

Having said that I’ve really loved being able to talk to others online, and especially to be able to offer help or be around for a chat to anyone who’s just hobbling around on the fracture start line.  My hopes are that my blog will continue to hang around in cyber space and that maybe others will read this and think “Yep, she’s saying everything I feel and really don’t want to admit to!”, or that some link or tip I share will really help someone out.  Who knows eh?  Anyway, I’m nowhere near signing off and disappearing  back off the land of the two functioning leg person for a good while yet – so you are stuck with me!

Maybe the next entry will be from me – free of cast!  I have to be honest here and say that I cannot wait to shave my legs again – a quick peek down my cast has pretty much confirmed that I have morphed into a hairy beast of some description (possible a gibbon).  I may have to resist the temptation for take my ladyshave to the plaster room with me to de-fuzz the moment that the plaster is removed.

I will see you on the other side!





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.