Learning to walk again

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I forgot I’d written this. Better late than never!

Disclaimer: I do not intend this post to be a ‘true’ representation of what it is like to be disabled. This is simply a snapshot of a short period in my life following an accident. I cannot begin to fathom what it is like to not be able to walk. Also, this is not the worst accident or most painful thing that has happened to someone. This is simply the worst thing that’s ever happened to ME. I do not wish to presume, make harsh judgements, or to offend anyone. Please let me know if anything here is not to your liking.

Tuesday 9th September
I had an accident a few weeks ago. It was a silly mistake. A lapse of judgement. Immediately afterwards, I was in a lot of pain andfound that I couldn’t bear weight on my left leg. I didn’t initially think that anything was really ‘wrong’ but had a panic attack, leading me to go into hospital with breathing issues. I was treated for my breathing and had no X-ray to have a look at the pain as at that point my leg was a ‘secondary’ issue. I don’t mean to be rude, but the student doctor was about 20, and I think he must have been on one of his first shifts in A&E. The problem was, as I’d come straight in from being in my PJ’s, they took them away and put me in a gown. My boyfriend was working and wasn’t there yet, and I wasn’t wearing any knickers! Also, (TMI!) I was on my period and was wearing a tampon. It was awkwardness all round and I’m not sure whose face was redder! He had a feel of my ankle, my upper thigh and diagnosed me with a strained groin. It’s probably my own fault for not making a bit more of a fuss. I was sent away after a dose of painkillers and some crutches, as I seriously, SERIOUSLY could NOT walk. I took the next day off work and assured them I’d be fine and I’d be back in the next day. As I was in bed, I asked my boyfriend for a glass of water and he left me to go to work. Remember, at this point we were still under the impression that I had a minor injury. What followed was unfortunately seven hours of lying prone in bed, unable to go to the toilet, to eat, or to even get myself a drink. I’d left my phone in the other room the previous night so was unable to call someone, too!

Thursday 11th September
The next day was worse. I’ve never, ever been in so much pain. I began vomiting from the pain, and was unable to take painkillers as I had an empty stomach. The best way to describe it is a white hot shoot of pain in my groin, down my leg and up my back but times like a million. Funnily enough, like I’ve heard about childbirth, I think I’ve blocked a lot of the pain out – I can describe it but not really recall it. By this point I was screaming in pain whenever I moved. I called 111 as at this point as my mum was going nuts, and we all realised that something just wasn’t right, and the service advised me to get to A&E within the hour. What a joke. Three hours later we turned up, after a lot of coaxing and pausing.  I would definitely win ‘slowest getting in and out of a taxi’ award. After two and a half hours of sitting on those awful metal seats at A&E, with pitying looks all round as I was in such pain, I was called. I was so thirsty and dehydrated from crying so much. The doctor who came to get me kindly got me a wheelchair but then tried to sort of lift me and sit me in it. I screamed and everyone was looking, cringe. In short, I got my X-ray and was very quickly diagnosed with a broken pelvis. It was a relief to know that something WAS wrong and I wasn’t just being a baby, and also to have some advice. I was sent home with some massively strong painkillers and my trusty crutches. Kurt kindly cooked at my request some plain pasta at 2am so I could take my painkillers and have a good night’s sleep.

Afterwards I was advised to rest, take painkillers, but at the same time, stay mobile.

Saturday 27th September
I went out for the first time today without my crutches. It was lovely, I felt so free. I went shopping, bought a few things. It’s nice to have a handbag, not a backpack. I went to a few places but went home quite soon (after about an hour) as I began to feel it. It’s only been a short while, but like the cliche, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. I did notice that people were walking a lot closer to me and often pushing past which made me nervous as I’m still fragile! I didn’t realise how much of a wide berth people gave me whilst on crutches! I was walking about with a massive grin. Here’s to a full recovery!

Recovered (1/12/14): I wont be running any marathons soon (like I would anyway!), but I barely feel the pain now. What an experience. Really opened my eyes to what I have to be thankful for.

Afterword I just want to say a huge thank you for all the messages of support. For all the lovely people at work who’ve brought me tea and carried things for me when I couldn’t do it myself. For my mum who’s made me laugh and called me to check I’m not ‘sprinting about’. And to Kurt who’s been there from the beginning. Bringing me countless drinks, washing my hair for me that second night, helping me in and out of the shower, putting up with my awkward sleeping positions, and grabbing things for me when I couldn’t carry them with my crutches. I love you all.

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