Saturday, 31 August 2013

Run, Hop, Skip, Jump: Reebok Freestyle Hi Tops

The title of the post indicates exactly what I plan to do when this god forsaken cast is off and these are (potentially) the supportive little numbers that will assist me. I've got a definite two weeks left off work and then who knows. At my next appointment there is the possibility I'll be fitted with a boot for my cast which will allow me to finally put my foot down which could mean a phased return to work. So in need of some suitable footwear and thinking ahead to a cast free yet physio heavy future I bought these trainers. They are so comfy and in my mind the perfect trainer for the 90s mom/ Kirstie Alley look that I seem to be favouring (I never in a million years considered that a scrunchie would again become my best friend). That said, what drama games I'll be able to participate in wearing a "moon" boot and a cast remains to be seen. Least I'll be down with the kids though... Right?! Right?!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Walking Back To Happiness

The title of my post is somewhat ironic as it is currently the one thing I can't do! I am not being self pitying again, I mean I literally can't walk.  2013 was a summer that promised sun, sea, sand and well you know how the rest goes. Instead it's been a summer of casts, crutches and confinement. Let me explain...

Six weeks ago I was at my local music festival T in the Park, a three day event which this year happened to fall on one of the country's hottest weekends. I was extremely happy. The sun was shining, the drink was flowing and I was jetting off to Ibiza the Monday after. However, lets just say an unfortunate incident involving a high speed rugby tackle and the subsequent cry of "pile up" which I was on the bottom of meant that when I was meant to be flying to the hedonistic white isle I was in surgery having my left foot operated on.
What everyone thought was a sprained ankle turned out to be something much more complicated called a Lisfranc Fracture. It is named after the French doctor who discovered the injury during the Napoleonic War after several soldiers fell off their horses with their foot/feet still in the stirrup (although many cases back then resulted in amputation!). Sadly my doctor wasn't French. Although a tall, handsome doctor name Jean would have been welcomed! I digress... To keep it simple all of your metatarsals (toe bones) connect to the middle of your foot; the point in your foot that bears all of your weight. My second and third metatarsals fractured and moved slightly to the left meaning I had to have surgery to insert plates and screws connecting them to my big toe and therefore realigning them. It is apparently quite a rare injury and far more serious than it actually sounds. Long-term it means a possible twelve to sixteen weeks in a cast, eight of which will be non-weight bearing i.e. I can't put my foot down at all, a second operation to remove the plates and screws and a lengthy course of physiotherapy with possible pain, discomfort and swelling for up to eighteen months and a high risk of developing arthritis. Is it wrong all I can think about is how long before I can wear high heels? This is not something I have asked my consultant, well at least not yet but it factors high on my list of shallow concerns.

So my epic summer has turned out to be not so epic. I've put off blogging despite having an abundance of free time to write and a sleep pattern (or lack of) that lends itself to the craft. What a waste of six weeks eh? To be fair for the first two weeks I was literally wasted on prescription drugs and found the task of putting on clothes taxing enough. However, four long weeks have passed since and I think the real reason I haven't blogged is that I have found myself scared to write stuff down because once I see it in black and white I have to acknowledge how I actually feel about the aforementioned "stuff" and sometimes it is easier to avoid how we feel than confront it.

I was pretty optimistic about it at first (the drugs!?) but once the realisation set in I cried a lot. No holiday, no freedom, no adventures. "You'll just have to do something later this year or next year to make up for it" cry the gaggle of advice givers. However, what they fail to realise is I'll be 28 next year. My summer of 27 is forever gone. Don't get me wrong my summer has not been a total washout. My family and friends, while being extremely supportive, have also tried their best to keep me entertained. I have even managed a trip to the Edinburgh festival in a wheelchair and a visit to the pub complete with crutches and if I'm being honest I think the vodka diet irn bru helped me rather than hindered me! Furthermore, being the fiercely independent chappess that I am, I moved back into my own flat and complete with tea-trolley, bath chair and a lesson learned about not climbing onto stools to get stuff out of the top of the wardrobe, I am doing pretty well.

At the Fringe. How sexy is my wheelchair?!
God I'm bored though! We all crave endless amounts of time off work but in reality how would you fill it especially if you were down to one leg?! I decided pretty early on that daytime TV would not become my companion, anyway after a few days Gino D'Acampo really started to grind my gears, so I made a long list of to-dos! However reading that book, painting those frames and writing that blog post have all taken a backseat to Candy Crush (hangs head in shame), pointless internet hours and Breaking Bad. Boredom is definitely life's greatest battle.

The last six weeks have afforded me a lot of thinking time and a lot of the time that thinking has been hard to handle. Usually we can escape our thoughts. Some people throw themselves at their work, other people throw themselves at drink. Most of the time we find some distraction to stop our brains going into self-analytical melt down but it seems I can't run from my thoughts. A slight feeling of cabin fever has ensued coupled with a dangerous lack of routine which has often left me lying awake all night and lying in bed all day only to be shaken into action by the prospect of a visitor. It is hard to motivate oneself for just oneself. So yup, what I am saying is that I am more than a bit lonely. It's more than that though, I feel caged. I can't just get up and leave and that feeling of dependence is one that jars with my psyche. However, like the song says: "everybody needs somebody" and maybe this last six weeks has finally proved that to me. No man is an island and despite having a big group of friends and an even smaller group I can call my best friends maybe it is time I took those words on board.

I met up with an old friend when I broke up with my ex two years ago. We hadn't seen each other in six years. He said I had changed, that there was something harder about me and I hate to say it is not a phrase that has been used solely by him. Hard, tough, cold maybe I'm just scared. I'd like to think the experience as a whole is having a positive effect. I have jokingly said that I plan on going off the rails when the cast comes off and have more than once thrown the phrase YOLO about. But it's true, you only live once. Every moment, every minute is important... even the ones spent angling a hairdryer down your cast to alleviate the itching!