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.

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Finding my way – but at a standstill

I’m starting to wonder if there is a mental process to all this.

Is there a line we all follow, the same sort of process as The Five Stages of Grief for example?  I know it’s a bit rich to compare the death of a loved one to a broken limb.  Death is permanent – A broken limb is temporary so really there should be no comparison whatsoever, but maybe the shock of the accident and the loss of mobility, and being able to do things alone does  cause grief.  Mourning for our usual life…not being able to get out and about, not being able to work, not being able to care for our families as we usually do.  Maybe an element of self-pity?  Actually I think the self-pity is caused by the guilt.  Guilt for being a burden, guilt for not being able to be productive.  This all sounds very deep I realise, but this weekend has been difficult.

When I first did my ankle in, I felt shock.  Mind numbing shock actually.  The first 48 hours passed in a blur.  There were visitors, and there were flowers and cards.  A few days later I got proactive; finished my college course, got some elearning for work done, caught up on important phone calls, made lists, got things done.  Then I decided that I would live as normal.  I would adapt to my circumstances!  I would be the Bitch of Broken Bones.  And then my ankle swelling got me a telling off from the fracture clinic.  And I finally had to come to terms with the fact that no I wouldn’t be adapting, and I really do have to rest.

So now, here I am.  I don’t want to be proactive anymore.  My laptop is sitting looking at me begging to get some things done.  But my mind keeps saying “Nope, today I’m just going to watch crappy TV and old films”.  I’ve heard from others that depression is common in this situation, but I really could do with avoiding that.  I think I’m more fed up that my life was just coming together for the first time in 21 years.  I was literally days away from starting, and then I fell down the stairs.  My job is being held for me, but I honestly don’t know when I’m going to be start!  In theory out of plaster in 4 weeks and then into a boot, but until I can drive everything is a non starter. Will I have full strength in my ankle?  Will this cause long-lasting effects?  Sounds pathetic doesn’t it.  I need to concentrate on just taking one day at a time.  Me stressing about things isn’t going to change a thing.

Here’s hoping tomorrow is an emotionally brighter day.

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