Downtime

Week 3:  My moods are changing all the time.  Each week brings a change.

With any luck I am now just over half way through my time in plaster, but this week has seemed the longest yet.  I’ve felt quite reclusive.  I’ve not studied.  I’ve just basically holed myself up and watched films that I’ve always meant to watch, and I’ve read books that I’ve wanted to read and not had the time.  I’ve tried to get about, but the swelling starts within five minutes of being on my feet, so I really have resigned myself to rest.  Total rest.  I did have two days where I had to look after my eldest son – and that absolutely wore me out.

I seem to have come in for a bit of grief regarding me resting.  I think the thought seems to be that I should be up and about and doing much more than I am.  But this is my ankle, and my family, and if I don’t rest up then I’m going to end up with surgery – and then being right back to square one.  My normal life can be an exhausting one.  If you don’t walk my path, then you cannot possibly understand it.  And if I have any hope of returning to it without my son ending up in residential care, then I need to do as I’m told now.

This evening for the first time, I am wearing mascara, perfume and a pretty top (with my ever faithful track suit bottoms).  My hair is blow dried and I feel half decent for the first time in weeks.  The girls are coming round for takeaway and for us to make plans for later in the year.  I’m not doing too bad on the Sticks of Satan, and I can shower quite easily alone now, although I need help getting the cover for my cast on.  Taking things slowly seems to be the key for me.  I know I will get though this.  And then once I’m back on my feet I’m going to send my husband away on a holiday cos he actually really deserves it!  Well actually the family budget probably wouldn’t allow for it, but I’d like to try to do something.  I will have to get my thinking cap on.

I know that soon I’ll be out of plaster and into a boot.  I’m hoping that it’s on my next appointment, although I daren’t put too much hope on it.  I’m hoping that will also mean some partial weight-bearing?  And then hopefully after another six weeks I’ll be well and truly on the home straight to recovery.

relax

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Some kind of normality?

7am.  Husband is up and about.

Last night was the first night he actually shared a bed with me since the middle of last week.  I don’t know if it’s because right now he’s scared of kicking my leg in his sleep, or whether it’s because I’m a class A bitch to be around at the moment (I do have my nice moments though), or it may have been because he’s purely too tired by the time he’s finished meeting my barking demands and keeping everything else ticking over that he’s just fell asleep on the sofa downstairs.  Downstairs is the one part of the house that isn’t filled with my bossiness.  Maybe it’s become his own personal sanctuary.  Space to clear his head of the days events?

Or maybe he’s just being an arsehole.  I don’t know, and to be honest I haven’t really thought about it that much.  Trapped somewhere between the pure irritation and indignance of not being in control of my own life and responsibilities (How Dare life do this to me!), and at time big juicy bites of feeling sorry for myself, I’ve been purely selfish in my train of thought 99 per cent of the time.

The title of this blog is How to own a broken ankle.  You can take the title in two ways:

  1. How to own a broken ankle – and be a po-faced martyr, making everyone miserable in the process.
  2. How to OWN a broken ankle; be the boss of your own life even if you are hopping through it currently.  Hop through it with style, use the break to get on with your life in other ways, smile, find ways of coping. Take your painkillers like a good girl and GET ON WITH IT!

Currently I’m yet to reach stage 2.  I’ve found an amazing Facebook group filled with a few thousand folks that are in the same boat as me all in varying degrees.  Although I’m one of millions around the world currently in plaster, it still feels like I’m the only one.  I think that the only way to stop feeling this way is to get on with life.  And that has to start now.

9.43am.

I’m dressed, I’ve eaten and drank, I’ve taken meds.  I’m still upstairs.  I stood perched and unaided by my bedroom window looking out on the morning.  I’ve watched the lady across the road clean the inside of her windows, I’ve looked at the clouds and pondered the concept of chemtrails, and I’ve watched husband wheel our son into his car and take him off to college.  I’ve packed a bag that I will sling across my body containing the essentials I will need during the day – including my phone just in cast I get trapped in the lift…which is my biggest fear.   I’ve read another chapter of Apple Tree Yard (books are always better that anything on TV).  And here I am.  Still on the bed.  I think the excuse I’m using is the elbow crutches I am using are killing my left shoulder and therefore I should just stay put.  However, I’m determined to start living and resting in other parts of the house.  Anyone would think I’m contemplating boarding a plane whilst trying to deal with a fear of flying.  I’m just contemplating moving myself downstairs.  This is so ridiculous.

12.44pm.

I’ve been a busy girl.  I got downstairs in one piece to let the dog out….and then got one of my crutches caught round a chair leg whilst trying to close the door and took a tumble sideways again.  Luckily, I managed to avoid falling by hopping madly to the left…..and I stayed upright.  I swore at the chair, and demanded it’s removal.  I’ve been doing this a lot.  As well as the chair, I’ve demanded the removal of remote controls, bras on the floor (don’t ask), a trailing cable from an extension lead (this house is a health and safety nightmare it seems) and the dog for nearly tripping me over.

But time to put my proud hat on now.  Get ready for this:

  • I’ve washed up
  • I’ve cleaned the dogs bowls out and fed the dog
  • I’ve cleaned the kitchen sink
  • I’ve programmed the washing machine for later
  • I made myself a coffee and sat and drank it.

All this was achieved using the walking frame my Mum loaned me.  It has a seat, so I’m able to sit down and either pull myself around the kitchen or I can hop with it.  I think I may well not hop barefoot anymore though as it actually hurts.  I have some Skechers Go Walks in my wardrobe….I will fish those out as I think they may well help in a hopping situation.

By the end of this I was desperate to go back upstairs and lay down on the bed.  I’m in no hurry to go back down, but I’m getting kind of peckish, so I may nip back down , make myself a packed lunch and bring it back up.  Comfort is the call of order for the rest of the day I think.  But I still feel proud – and not so useless as I did when I started this post.

1.30pm.

I did it!  I made my packed lunch and brought it back up to bed.  Feel really sleepy now.

5pm.

Wow – where did the afternoon go?  Fell sound asleep, and now time to take my son to respite.  I seriously need to get out and about, so I’m going along for the ride.

8pm.

That didn’t go as planned.  Usual route was jammed with traffic.  Stuck for ages.  Ankle started to swell up inside cast.  While husband was checking son in to respite, I hobbled out of front seat and into back.  As soon as my foot was up, swelling went down.  I’m feeling knackered again.  This is bloody ridiculous.

9pm.

Pouring with rain, husband points out that my cast is going to get wet if I hobble round the back.  Getting up the front steps is out of the question.  His solution is to half carry, half drag me up the front steps.  Something makes a cracking noise…can’t tell if it’s my spine or his, and actually I’m beyond caring and so is he.  I know I will have to get to grips with the Sticks of Satan and slay the steps, but my shoulder is hurting so much it’s hard to see how I’m every going to master the ruddy things.

10.10pm

In bed, meds taken. Husband snoring.

I think I might take things a bit steadier tomorrow.  Like I should’ve done today.