Panic, Fear & Tears

Today has been a dark day. Even though I tried my hardest to stay positive yesterday and fight the dread seeping in I just wasn’t strong enough.

Sleep was restless for me last night and the agitation from yesterday was ever increased. I had no desire to leave my bed and I certainly didn’t want to get dressed or face the world. I have never been more grateful for the children not being around this weekend as I hate them seeing me lose control and could feel that today was not going to be pretty.
James insisted that I should come downstairs and at least sit in the garden as the sun was shining and I need the Vitamin D! Begrudgingly I made my way down, knowing that he was right, however the closer to the bottom I was, the heavier my heart felt. Once outside not even the wonderful sunshine could brighten my feelings. I sat and cried tears of sheer frustration. I know I have come such a long way in six weeks, so why doesn’t that knowledge bring with it some peace of mind about the rest of this journey? Instead, I cannot help but feel each second of each day tick by painfully slowly. I feel so scared about how I am supposed to get through the remaining ten weeks. I am trying to just deal with one day at a time and not look that far ahead, but even still, on days like today I struggle with the thought of even the next few hours. I just want it to be over so desperately. This cage feels like a method of torture for something that I wasn’t able to avoid, even though I know it is actually working a miracle on my bones.

So no, today has not been good. I have not been able to get comfortable anywhere, anyhow, I have cried too many tears.
But as always my James has been there at my side as strong as ever. Calming me to keep the rising panic at bay, saying all of the right things at the right time, cuddles aplenty.
I try not to give in to the panic as it’s so hard to come back from when it has it’s claws sunk in deep.

James and I were supposed to be going out for dinner tonight but I just cannot bring myself to do it. The thought of having to leave the house and be surrounded by people terrifies me today. I need the protection of these walls, separating me from the world, and to feel safe despite the dread that is running through my body tonight.

Tonight I would happily sacrifice the sleep to just feel comfortable and at peace, maybe then tomorrow things will seem brighter. I hope so.

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The Bad Turns Good

The stairs are continuing to be successful. I had a wonderful sleep last night, without medication which I am so pleased about. Being in my own bed has helped immensely I think, just being in the ‘normal’ place for sleeping brings about a natural calmness. It was a relatively peaceful night too.

Unfortunately my peaceful night didn’t extend into today. I have been extremely fractious and unable to get into any comfortable position. I have wanted to attack James’ tool box and use his pliers to rip the hunk of metal off of my leg. It feels as though it is suffocating me. A few weeks ago these feelings would have undoubtedly turned into a panic attack, a manic frenzy to gain control. Yet today I was able to take control. I didn’t fall apart.

When I feel like this I get really angry and it makes me helplessly bring mack memories into my mind that I would rather forget. I want to go to her house and yell and scream at her. She should be the one to feel my wrath, not my family. She should be the one to hear of the fear I felt when she left me there, hurt, scared and alone. She should be the one to see my anger and upset now, hear of my sleepless nights, of the tears of frustration.
However that will not happen. I have to have faith in the powers that be that karma, and the legal system, will do what it needs to do.
In the mean time I will continue to lean on those holding me up.

But, despite today’s multitude of mental and physical frustrations I am still able to embrace a positive.
Today was the boys last day in their room at nursery, as of next week they move up to the 2-3 year olds. My little men are growing up so fast. So, I wanted to go with James to pick them up to thank their key worker and give a small gift. I managed to walk, with zimmerman, from the car, into nursery and back again. I am unsure of the exact distance but it is by far the furthest I have walked like this. The boys’ little faces just lit up when I walked into their room, oh god my heart melted and I fell in love with them all over again!

Now my Mum is back for the weekend, James is making pizza, I have a cold glass of Pinot Grigio and I am going to look forward to another peaceful night in my own bed.

Stairs 0 – Kerry 1 (but bittersweet)

The house is feeling less like a prison and more like a home again!

A wonderful friend came to visit today and I was able to have precious cuddles with her six week old beautiful baby who was born on the same day that I had my operation, a birth that was much later than expected. It would seem that May 18th was the day for getting things done.
The universe has a way of making things even. For every ying there is a yang.

Following a sleepless night and a busy lunch time of good food and lots of chatter I felt more than ready to have a nap. However I wasn’t going to forget my self set goal of reaching the top of my house. I so desperately wanted to be able to just sleep in the quiet sanctuary of my bedroom. So I positioned myself sitting on the stairs and one by one I heaved myself up! I could have cried with excitement and happiness. I was no longer bound to downstairs, I was free!
The triumph was bitter sweet though as my nap was not to be so back downstairs I travelled and am now in my new, comfortable position on the sofa. No longer a bed-ridden invalid but a fully abled member of this house.

Despite feeling so extremely proud that I have achieved yet another goal, I can’t help but still feel a void in the joy.

Today has been one of those days where I just needed my Mum.
I know it’s lack of sleep but I feel on the verge of tears, I haven’t cried in a while now so I am shocked to feel this way.
I seem to have a torrent of emotions running through me and it’s all a bit overwhelming,
Happiness that I am seeing a light at the end, guilt for what I am putting my family through, pride of what I have achieved, sadness for times lost, shame for complaining when I am aware of others going through so much worse, excitement at what I am going to make of my future.
How can you feel so many things at once.
How are you supposed to take control of so many feelings at once?
It makes me want to run away and hide from the world.

I really hope that I am blessed with sleep tonight and tomorrow I can feel some inner peace.

The Only Way Is Up

So it’s almost 4.30am and I’ve managed about an hours sleep.
The inability to succumb to the land of rest and peace doesn’t come from pain, nightmares or unease, it is just pure and simple insomnia. The doctor did prescribe me some medication with instructions to only take them for a week as they can be highly addictive. His opinion was my body just required some help in returning to a ‘normal’ sleeping routine. When I did take them I fell into a blissful sleep all night. Without them it would appear I don’t! I’m not so sure my body hasn’t remembered the art of sleeping despite the medicated kick start. However, I’m not going to worry, it’ll come back eventually I’m sure. I have adjusted my diet to try and help nature find the right path….. no more caffeine for this lady!

During the last six and a half weeks since my accident it has been all about setting myself goals and taking small steps everyday to get there. So far I have laughed in the face of these broken legs and achieved every one with, tears and occasionally pain, but most of all with a determination I didn’t know existed in me.
I can get to a standing position without help, I can walk confidently with my zimmerman, I am taking myself to the downstairs toilet (bye bye commode!) I can enjoy the sun in my conservatory and my children playing outside, I can sit in my garden.

I don’t like to be told I cannot do something if I know that there isn’t a good enough reason for me not to do it.
And so onto my next goal …………. Upstairs.

I want to be able to ‘go’ to bed, enjoy the boys splash in the bath, watch Charleigh practice her piano, remember the amazing views from our attic bedroom window. But most of all I want to be able to go and just be by myself if I so wish. And the ‘Monica’ in me wants my living room to resemble exactly that again and less like a bedroom. I am not sick, I am not an invalid, I do not need to be living in the downstairs of my home. I need some normality now to my every day life and I’ll be damned if these legs are going to stop me.
And I am going to do it. I am going to go upstairs (well, give it my best shot,with James’ help)
Please don’t be mistaken into thinking that I have lost my mind and am going to attempt to walk up the stairs (and two flights at that to get to my bedroom), no, I will use the unconventional way of taking oneself up the stairs backwards on my bottom!
The only obstacle that I will face is once at the top, how to get myself up from the floor.
But six weeks ago I didn’t believe that I would be able to walk with broken legs, yet here I am.
So I am positive that between myself and James we’ll do it!

And so the challenge is set. Upstairs, here I come.

My Beautiful Family

It’s as though the heavens are looking down on me and celebrating my progress.

The skies are blue and the sun is bright, all in time for me to finally be able-legged enough to walk down the steps into my garden. For two days now I have been able to sit outside and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and it brings such a natural happiness with it.
I have been able to enjoy the feel of the grass on my feet, the song of the birds and my gorgeous boys running around me filling the air with laughter.
Beautiful days!

Having been surrounded my family this weekend it has made me think a lot about how they have been affected. Sometimes I forget that my accident may have happened only to me physically, but it has had an affect on everyone.

My amazing Mum has travelled up every weekend without fail. Nothing is ever too much for her and I would be lost without her. I know how I feel if one of my children is hurt, I can’t even begin to imagine how it hurt her to see me in so much pain. She has been a tower of strength to both James and I and we will forever be grateful.
And James’ family have been incredible. They have helped us in so many ways, their generosity has blown us away and I feel so lucky to have them in my life. I am one of life’s lucky ladies that has a wonderful mother in law, she has been there for us all from the start and I know she always will be.

It has really hit home just how vulnerable children are and how the simplest of actions can have such an impact on them. But also that they adapt so quickly and things become their normal in the blink of an eye. My children, all three of them have made me so incredibly proud over the last six weeks.

Charleigh has such a wonderful inner strength and she has grown up before our eyes. She has adapted to the changes forced upon us with such maturity. Even though underneath it all she is still a ten year old, learning about life and the world around her with all the trials and tribulations that come with it, I can see what a beautiful, strong young woman she will become.

Henry, my ‘chunky monkey’ who is so eager to learn and is the bigger of the twins but is actually my most sensitive baby. Despite his full on personality and his compulsion to jump in to things head first, my accident had the biggest effect on him. He looked totally petrified and confused when he visited me in hospital and that was heart breaking. Once I came home it took him the longest to be comfortable enough to hug me again. He has so much love in him and adores those close to him, he doesn’t take it well when something isn’t right.

And Archie, my ‘little man’, takes everything in around him with such a soft approach, he has a beautiful nature but beneath his gentleness is a strong minded and very caring, strong little boy. He was very cautious of me in hospital, he knew that something wasn’t right but you could see him trying to work it out. Back home we talked lots about Mummy’s legs and his inquisitive mind took it all in. His hugs came first with Henry following his lead.

James is doing an amazing job of keeping us all together. I find it hard watching him have to do everything but he is taking it all on without a thought. He stays strong even when I am falling apart. He is truly my rock and I love him more than I thought I could ever love anyone.

I am so lucky to have been blessed with my family.

Six Weeks On

Six weeks ago today my world was turned upside down in seconds. It seems like yesterday but it also seems like a lifetime ago.
This time six weeks ago I was in A&E in pain and scared.
Today that has been replaced with excitement as after weeks of tears, frustration and anger I am finally able to walk to the toilet by myself!
And my wonderful children are back to the happy, carefree little people that I know them to be. Cuddles from my babies make everything else seem so insignificant. I love them, all three of them with all my heart.

Those small steps ………..

I am growing in confidence every day and with each new step I take I can feel myself getting stronger. Having been bed bound for what seems like forever, to be able to stand up and move around freely is so exciting! The pain in the right leg has eased a lot due to being able to use my left leg a little. I am now able to see how many people find it possible to walk with an Ilizarov frame without the need of zimmers or crutches. Obviously I am not there yet but one day I will be.
Finally I am beginning to see a small glimmer of light the end of this dark and long tunnel. And that light can only get bigger and brighter until eventually I will emerge into the sun taller and stronger than before.

Determined to do everything I can to heal as best as I can, I am taking all manner of herbs and vitamins. My mornings now begin with a green smoothie which contains foods such as lettuce and watercress! So far though I have been pleasantly surprised and they been have rather nice.
Healing bones is no easy task either ….. It’s exhausting! Some may think it’s lethargy from just sitting around, but I am going to tell you that you are very wrong. I feel physically exhausted most of the time. Sleeping at night is still hit and miss so that won’t be helping I know, but there are days where I could happily sleep all day. It can often feel as though every bone, broken and whole, in my body aches. I can sit here and feel as though I am not really here but watching myself and everything else going on around me from somewhere else.

Despite the new found freedom I still find life frustrating. Unless you have been in the situation where you depend on other people for everything you cannot begin to understand the feelings that it brings.
I cannot eat unless someone brings me the food. I cannot get dressed until someone brings me my clothes. I have to ask for anything and everything that I need or want. It is completely soul destroying. I cannot do anything for myself and that brings a deep sadness and frustration and I have a constant knot in my stomach. I know that people think it’s impatience but they couldn’t be more wrong. People around me find it amusing when I go off on a tangent asking for this to be moved, for that to go in the bin, the toys tided away, but it kills me to not be able to do something, anything. And it’s not the ‘Monica’ in me at all, it’s the sheer lack of ability. I’m not even sure I am able to get across in words entirely how it makes me feel. I wouldn’t wish this situation on anyone.
I keep telling myself that it won’t be forever and yes, there are people out there a lot worse off, but this is my reality and I’m not afraid or ashamed to admit that I am finding it hard to adjust, even if it is for a relatively small period of my life.
And whilst I’m moaning, I really hate being pushed around in a wheel chair. It’s not embarrassment or being worried what people will think – it bloody hurts my legs bouncing up and down the pavements and it can be quite scary! You see things from a very different perspective and you are aware of your damaged legs and put together it can make for a nerve wrecking experience. I won’t sad to say goodbye to my wheels.

I haven’t been upstairs for six weeks now in the house. I love our home, I have enjoyed making it warm, tidy and the loving place it is for our children. But over the last weeks I’ve had to sit back and watch it change around me and there has been nothing I could do about . I just feel totally heart broken.
I really, really miss tucking my children in at night, to watch them just for those few seconds totally at peace. Kissing them goodnight and whispering I love you’s.

So have I changed in six weeks? Can I see how far I have come?
Of course I can and I am extremely proud of the person that I am and of what I have achieved.
But at the same time, however sure I am that my future is a bright and wonderful one, I can still see the cracks that have been created. I am sure that they will heal in time and I’m trying not to let the sadness swallow me up, I just hope it doesn’t take a part of me forever.

Sunshine Day

Today the sun has been shining, inside and out, what a beautiful day!

Last night before bed, to try and help with my inability to sleep, I had a cup of hot milk with some grated nutmeg. I’m unsure whether it was that, the crisp clean sheets or sheer exhaustion that helped me to sleep, but sleep I did for around 5 hours. Even when I did wake up I was able to drift back again relatively easily. How amazing it was this morning to feel rested.

And the good feelings continued……

With the boys being so comfortable with my new position in the house, cuddles are a plenty and a different sense of normality is taking shape. This morning they were quite happy for me to take charge from my chair and get them dressed and ready to go to nursery. I am gradually finding my place back in the family mix and it feels wonderful and if can only go from strength to strength.

After seeing the boys off with a kiss and a smile James and I made our way to the hospital for my next check up. I was feeling a mixture of excitement, I wanted to see how the bones were healing, but also a little nervous, what if things weren’t fixing? Could I handle a knock back?
I need not have worried, my bones are working a small miracle.
The X-rays showed the extent of the damage that was done to my legs but also the magic that is going on within.

The left leg, with it’s metal screws and plate, has healed so far just as it should. This means I have been able to exchange the cast for a Samsonite boot. It’s big, bulky, black and hot …… but it brings me the ability to bein weight bearing! I can now partial weight bear, enough to move around and balance. In the next two weeks I should be able to begin full weight bearing. In just one short month my left leg is halfway to recovery. Well done bones!

Good ole Nicholas is fulfilling his responsibilities too. Even though there is no sign yet of healing to the bones, it wasn’t expected at this stage. However everything is looking good (well as good as a leg with multiple fractures and pins holding it together can look) and my surgeon is happy.
The tibia is broken in various places, there is a clean break at the top and multiple breaks (where the car ran over it) further down. If the bottom fractures heal before the top I might need another operation to insert more pins and tighten the frame to squeeze the bones together. This doesn’t concern me in the slightest. I have come this far, I can deal with that.
I have total faith in my surgeon that he will do whatever necessary to fix my legs and I will do my part and stay strong.

Pulling up to the house I was excited, I had butterflies, my heart raced a little too fast, would I be able to walk? Was I expecting too much?

James wheeled me into the house and up from the wheelchair and onto the zimmer I went and I walked, actually walked!!!
Both feet on the ground, one step at a time, one foot in front of the other.
I made it roughly five feet and promptly burst into tears. I have never felt so many emotions at once, relief, happiness, excitement, nervousness …. I felt free and independent for the first time in five weeks. I wasn’t reliant on anyone, just me and my frame. In the flick of a switch the world no longer seems likes a scary place.
I can walk!! It’s going to take some practice, I need to learn how to walk properly again, at the moment each step is slow and precise, it isn’t natural yet, but I can do it! YES!!!!!!!

Looking at the x-rays is very surreal. It’s an indescribable feeling to look at the broken bones and accept that they are mine. They bring back memories of the accident, the horror and the pain, but they also tell and wonderful, beautiful story.
It’s an ongoing story of stength, courage and faith, as yet I don’t know how the story will end, but I am excited and ready to find out.

I have a new fire burning in me, I feel alive!

Always Believe

Don’t ever think that something is not possible.
With a little faith, some trust in your own abilities and some sheer bloody mindedness ANYTHING is possible!!

Two weeks ago I was sure that I wouldn’t be mobile with these broken legs. I would have laughed at you if you would have told me that I would be walking around my house.

But today I did just that.

Last night I had yet another awful night’s sleep, I managed about three hours. So this morning as the family woke up around me and our day began I felt angry, tired, sad and very deflated. I wanted a hole to open up and swallow me.
But as I sat in bed looking out of the window watching birds flying in and out of a nest in my neighbours porch and realised that I had a choice.i could sit there and wallow or I could spread my wings and fly.

Ok so i haven’t found the ability to grow wings, but I did haul my arse out of bed, put my clothes on and, with the zimmerman, walked from my grumpy old bed to the sunshine and warmth of my conservatory.

It wasn’t painless, these legs still have a lot of healing to do, but I felt as free as those birds.
I was moving forward, confidently, with a purpose, on my own.
I could watch the boys run around being busy in the garden, James build his new greenhouse, I was finally back in the family mix and my heart felt warm and full.

And I even managed to walk back to use the toilet, a real one with a door and a flush!!
Amazing!

I know I have a long way to go but I honestly feel now as though I could face and conquer anything.
I’m excited about being mobile and thinking about where these legs will take me, what new things I will see and how beautiful the world actually is.
I couldn’t have got to this point without the truly fantastic friends and family that have swept me up with love and support (and occasionally a stern talking to!!).

I feel like a very lucky lady today.

A Little Deep …….

So, after 48 hours of tears and despair and asking, numerous times and in may different ways, why did this have to happen? …… I have finally realised that actually, I have known the answers all along.
I have had conversations with two amazing people today.
They have shared stories, spoken words that have touched my heart, allowed me to see their hearts, opened my eyes and helped me face the future with a new outlook.

Maybe, just maybe, I was looking at this all wrong. I was so sure that this had happened to me to teach me, to send me on the path that was meant for me. But what if actually this happened to simply stop the path I was on and to open up my future? What if my future was all laid out for me and I was just following the story I had actually set myself? What if, because of this accident and the changes that is has forced already, my future is now a blank canvas for me to make my own?
How amazing an opportunity is that?

My future is now completely my own for me to grasp with both hands.

Five weeks ago I was a stay at home Mum and Wife. My days were filled with looking after the house and the children. I felt stuck, wound up and bored with monotony of life. My husband worked long hours to support us, leaving the house before the cock crowed and returning when the babies were dreaming. Our lives were tired and worlds apart.
I prayed that he would be at home and that we could grow together.

That is just one prayer that has been answered.

He is at home and when I look back at the last five weeks I have seen the relationship between my amazing husband and our children grow and blossom into something truly beautiful. I feel closer to him now than I ever thought possible. The relationship I have with my children is now enveloped in more love I thought possible.
We, as a family, are spending time together that we would never have had, we are experiencing things together that are making us a stronger force in this world.

Yes it hurts, my days seem dark, but underneath all of that there is something beautiful appearing.
I will still cry, I will still feel helpless and this recovery will still hurt.
But my bones are mending and creating new legs to walk on.

For every ying there is a yang.
Little did I know that as I struggle to find reason, my yang has actually been waking up already seeing the spectacular opportunity that I have been given, excited about what my future could hold.
Today, the forces collided and my eyes were able to focus on a new beginning.

I still believe that there is a reason for everything, but perhaps the reason is to just start again.

Your prayers will be answered, even through the pain and tears it may bring, the answer is there!

A little deep? Maybe? But a positive outlook? Absolutely!

My legs are killing me tonight, I am as uncomfortable as I could possibly imagine, I am pissed off to hell, but I’m going to have a beer and think about what adventures my new legs will take us on ……..

And So It Goes On …… Me & The Converse

I’m afraid of sounding like a broken record, however the whole point of this blog was to help me and to be a place for me to ‘get it all out’. So continue to ramble I shall ……….

After admitting the fact that I wasn’t alright and feeling as though I am not coping, I let the flood gates open and I cried all of the tears I have been holding back. My fear came true, once I started I couldn’t stop. I cried, I screamed, I moaned ……. totally out of control.
Do I feel better? Honestly? No, not really, but I suppose they are better out than in.
After a day and night of crying I just feel exhausted.
At one point this morning the crying turned to panic as I struggled to catch my breath resulting in a panic attack. I became a shaking hysterical mess with James shouting at me to control my breathing and calm down. I honestly don’t know how he is putting up with me.

I had to get a grip though as I needed to face the big wide world for a Physio session. The movement in my ankles continues to be good and I am successfully transferring from sitting to standing (with the zimmer) well. I managed six steps before I had to give in to the pain. It still feels amazing to be upright and moving! At my last session my goal was just that, to be able to get myself up and moving without help. I reached that goal with flying colours. My new goal, in which I have three weeks to accomplish, is to be able to walk, still with my zimmer, to one end of the room and back, without assistance. In my world, outside of the Physio room, it means that in theory I will be able to take myself to my downstairs toilet (and regain a little of my dignity in the process). It’s a challenge that I accept.

And tonight, I finally managed to get my foot into my Converse! The swelling has finally gone down so I can be rid of spectacularly ugly black shoe.

All of todays events I know are positive, they show that I am making progress. I fully understand that. So why do they not make me feel any happier? I don’t feel positive.
I don’t want to be trying to walk, I just want to be ale to walk.
I don’t want to have to try and sleep, I just want to be able to curl up, forget about my worries and sleep soundly.
I don’t want to have this urge to cry all of the time bubbling away inside of me.

I can’t break down in front my children, I refuse.
I can’t cry in front of my friends, I’m just not that person.

I hate this, I really really hate it. The frame is working a miracle on my bones and for that I am grateful. However, I can’t help but ask, at what price? My bones might be fixing but I feel like I’m breaking.