Hi, I have never written a blog before, so please forgive me if you think it uninteresting. I'm writing for me as much for anyone else, therapy if you like. However, if it helps just one person or stops them making the same mistake then I will be very happy.
My story started in March 8 years ago after a skiing accident in Italy. It was a stupid accident actually not like all the exciting black run and race stuff that you hear about. I just got off a ski lift and that was that. I started to slip on the sheet ice and my binding came off one one boot but not the other and before I knew what was happening my right leg was almost turned behind my head with that ski still on. They called for the 'blood wagon' and got me down the mountain to a clinic very quickly and before you could say boo I was plastered up and they were taking my credit card details, all very efficient.
I remember getting back to the hotel everyone was very kind, digging out various pain killers for me to take. I wasn't too worried as we were due to fly back to the UK the next day. That night must easily been the longest of my life, I laid in that room from 4pm until 8am the next morning wanting a cup of tea, like I have never wanted one before. I don't really know why the owner wouldn't oblige because she was a really nice lady, just had some very odd rules. Also, getting in touch with the airline posed another problem, the plane we were booked on couldn't accommodate someone with there leg plastered straight out in front of them! We had to get a taxi to take us on a 5 hour journey to a different airport, he driver was completely mad and obviously wanted to be a racing driver, to day the journey was exciting is putting in mildly! and when we got there, yeap, that plane couldn't do it either! I remember hanging around that airport in a wheelchair wondering if we would every get out of there.
Well cutting a long story short they did manage to shoehorn me in a plane eventually, there I was with a plaster up to my groin on my right leg, sitting next to a young ski boarder plastered up to the groin on his left leg. We looked like a couple of book ends!
Anyhow, when I got back to the UK I went to the fracture
clinic, clutching my x-ray from the Italian Clinic the x-ray showed a break in the knee but the x-rays here didn't show it at all! I had been given a 'back slab' plaster which really feels very strange as there is only bandage holding it place and I was convinced it would just fall off. It was decided to remove that and apply a full plaster, which although very heavy felt more secure.
You don't think about the problems you would have in everyday life if you were suddenly unable to move around. Our house is on 3 floors, the bedroom and only toilet being on the 3rd floor, the stairs are only 2 and a half feet wide, with paneled sides and no banister rail, only a rope going up the side, the sort you would get on a boat. The only way up and down the stairs was to shuffle on my bottom and then heave myself upright using a chair when I got to the top, what would the health and safety people have to say about that I wonder?
If I were upstairs I would try and stay up there as long as possible and if downstairs I would do the same until driven either to use to loo or go to bed. To fill up the day I learnt how to get myself in and out of the bath. The first time was hysterical, I ordered a sort of bag to cover my leg so the plaster wouldn't get wet. I sat on the edge of the filled bath and put the bag on, securing in tightly at the top, sat down in the bath and laid back. The bag of course had air
in it, my leg shot up towards the ceiling with such force my bottom lost grip on the floor of the bath, which in turn shot my head backwards and under the water. Only being 5ft 2 I can completely lay flat in the bath. When I got over the shook of being completely submerged and struggling into an upright position I could see how silly I must have looked. I sat there laughing for about quarter of an hour before being able to get myself together. Honest, how stupid, you couldn't make it up could you?
After the alloted 6 weeks the plaster was removed and the leg felt good, I even went to a friends birthday party about 2 weeks later and danced away all evening quite happily.
Then I had to go to my follow up appointment at the hospital, the Consultant seemed happy and I was happy, then he told me to hop, I asked if he meant to hop on my newly recovered leg and he said yes. I was reluctant to say the least but he's a Consultant right? he must know what he's doing. Anyhow, I did hop, just the once, and I knew straight away that it just didn't feel right.
The weeks that followed were filled with pain, I was back on crutches
and no one seemed in the least concerned. I went to my GP
and asked for help, telling him about the hopping
request but he seemed to be more concerned that I would try and cause trouble, telling me to hop was a standard procedure. He didn't offer any other help or assistance apart from the normal, try hot and cold treatment. Has this ever worked for anyone? I have never found it useful, I think they tell you to do it because it occupies you, a bit like telling someone to boil water when a baby is being delivered, what happens to all that boiled water? I left feeling totally on my own. I've never had loads of friends but the few I had and my family were getting tied of me complaining and crying all the time. Also I was back at work and the sheer exhaustion of driving, parking, getting into a lift and through 3 sets of security doors, well you can imagine how depressing and depressed I was feeling. Why is it that if you have a desk job the doctor assumes you can work? there's no thought about how just getting washed and dressed can make you want to lie back down for another hour!
I paid for a course of Physio as the one in the hospital said because I was describing pain behind my knee she didn't think there was anything she could do. Also, she only had 15 minutes for each patient and that included collecting them from reception and taking them back! After several weeks there had been no improvement so he suggested I go back to the GP. I saw a different one this time and he referred me back to the hospital. That was about September of that same year and I waited until the December for an MRI
. The opinion was that I should have the knee washed out and that would correct the problem. The following March, one year after the accident I went into hospital for keyhole surgery
and they also removed a bursa
. After a couple of weeks my knee seemed back to normal and I was ready to put a horrid year behind me. I'm glad I didn't know what was coming.....