I have not been able to update this blog for a while because on 3rd April, I tripped in my study, breaking a metatarsal in my left foot, and, much more seriously, the tibia plateau in my right leg, which is classed as a serious accident. I spent a whole night in A&E in awful pain, after a nerve-tingling ambulance ride. A few days on the ward preceded an operation, and two further weeks recovering, before being transferred to a rehabilitation centre where the focus was on getting me mobile enough to be cared for at home by my husband. It’s been a dreadful misadventure and a shock for me, as I had never been in hospital before, other than to give birth and come home, and never had surgery before.
I came home just over a week ago, to a very different style of living. I cannot walk properly, and mobilise using a gutter frame so that I don’t have to put my right foot down, apart from balancing on the ball of my foot (toe-touch weight bearing), and sleeping downstairs in a borrowed hospital bed. We have also been loaned two wheeled commodes and a perching stool from the NHS, and a riser cushion and wheelchair from a friend who will need it back at some point. I am eight weeks post-operative, but my repair is not yet strong enough to take my weight, so another month living like this is in prospect. I am trying to find something to enjoy each day. Now I am home I can see my garden from the windows, though I find it hard to get outside as being wheeled backwards down a ramp is terrifying for me.
As anyone who has been through surgery and long illness knows (I didn’t), concentration can be difficult. However my senses were alert to everything that was happening to me, and once I got into the rehab unit I asked for my notebook and started writing a few poem drafts about my new experiences. Now I am home, I am starting to type them up, though I struggle a little to type. Hopefully this awful few months of my life will feed into my poetry. It’s pretty frustrating at the moment, just as covid restrictions end, I am confined to barracks. But life at home is better in so many ways as I can have visitors! I love company, but no visitors were allowed in hospital, and I could only have two hours with my husband, one on Monday and one on Friday. Now I can see friends, enjoy my husband’s cooking (though I must lose 3 stones if I can, to help my knees), and have plenty of fresh fruit, salad and really good cheese. I have all my own things round me, and can enjoy the downstairs of my house.
I have the hope of walking again, but also the worry I might need further surgery. Thinking positive is essential to getting me through this. I decided right at the start I would try to stay chirpy and on top of things, although that has been a challenge at times. I’ve also had to advocate for myself a lot to keep myself safe and prevent mistakes being made with my care, so being home is more comfortable in that respect too.