A&E, Police and Life In A Chair

This week my right leg has become increasingly sore and with it I have been feeling very poorly and run down. After a sleepless night on Tuesday I noticed that one of my pin sites wasn’t looking very healthy so I called my GP. As they aren’t experts in Fixators he had to call the Trauma Unit who advised that I go to the hospital to have it checked out. Apparently depending on of there is an infection and the severity of it depends on how it is treated. When we got to A&E we noticed that my surgeon was the on call Trauma doctor so we told the triage nurse who, despite asking me what the problem was, didn’t listen to a word I said and totally dismissed us. After a four hour wait to have blood tests and X-rays and then another two hours for the results someone finally decided to tell my surgeon that I was there! He couldn’t understand why they had waited so long to tell him but said that the blood tests and X-rays all looked fine and I just needed a course of antibiotics for the infection. After leaving home at 1pm we got back at almost 10pm.
To say I was exhausted is an understatement. Every bit of me ached and my leg was excruciating after being prodded, pulled and moved from one place to another. It was also extremely swollen after being sat around for so long.

The statistics show that one in ten people with an external Fixator will get an infection. It’s understandable really as you have a constant open wound where each pin enters your leg. I thought I was going to be a lucky one as I have managed 11 weeks without any problems. But alas is was not meant to be.
Having an infection is more painful that the broken bones, it is horrific. And it’s not just the pain in the leg, it affects all you, increased tiredness, sickness. Emotionally it’s torture. I am battling every day and this adds to it. Everything is harder and takes a little bit more from you.
Even as I am sitting here, not moving it hurts. My leg feels like it is on fire, burning me from the inside. It feels so heavy walking is a effort. When I put weight through it the pain spreads and it turns my stomach. At any moment it feels as though my leg will explode.
My antibiotics have been added to the huge list of tablets that I consume daily. What’s another pill to swallow?

Our police officer came to the house today to write my victim impact statement. This is my chance to tell her how this has affected me and it’s something that I think about all the time. But when it came to it I found it really difficult to put it into words. Because of the legal case we can’t talk about the actually collision, just the affect because of it.
I don’t hate her yet I am so angry. I’m so desperately upset and confused as to how she could just leave me there on the floor. How do you put into words to explain to someone that they haven’t just broken your bones but they have broken a bit of you?
We spoke about the affect it’s had on the children and on James. It breaks my heart to explain that the boys look at me in a different way. The whole aspect of our relationship has changed and at the moment I am not able to fix it.
How has it affected James, us? Apart from having to have unpaid leave/sabbatical from work, the stress and pressure of not only being thrown into the role of house husband, full time Dad but also a carer. How do you explain that it’s sole destroying to watch someone take over your life because you simply can’t do it anymore?
Do you talk about the endless hours of hugging and crying? The arguments because I just get so frustrated and cannot express it?
It has bought us closer together but I also think it’s driving a wedge too. The frustration is just building up in me and I can’t explain it to anyone. If I try it would appear that it just comes out wrong and I end up unintenionally offending.
How can you talk when you cannot find the words?

Living life at home being sat in a chair for the majority of the time isn’t as much fun as you may think. It’s strange that for so long I was desperate for close contact with my children but now I feel as though I am coldly rejecting them. The boys want to sit on my lap constantly but I simply cannot take it. Not only does it put pressure on my leg and pull the pin sites but I feel incredibly trapped. How ridiculous does that sound? If I won’t let them sit on me they will stand next to the chair and cry and there is nothing that I can do. I cannot change their focus and sit on the floor and play with them, I cannot stand up and cuddle them. The whole sitation is totally out of my control and I feel totally inadequate. All I can do is add yet another request to my ever growing list and frustrate those around me even more.
I don’t think anyone understands how I feel, this world I find myself in is a difficult and lonely place.
The constant battle to find the balance between resting and doing as much as I can so that I am not such a burden is hard. A burden is how I am feeling more and more.

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Feeling A Little Lost

Some days it feels as though I can actually feel the world spinning. My head is whirling at a million miles per hour and I cannot make sense of anything. I wish that I could run away and be completely alone and forget all about everything. To not have to be reliant for just one day.
The sight of my crutches is burning a hole of anger in me, I hate the pain of walking without them.
And at the moment the pain is bad. The tightening of the cage brings such a sickening sensation of moving bones that any hope I have of trying forget the situation I am in is impossible, and believe me, I try and forget as much as I can.
Each time it’s tightened its as though another piece of my small ability to cope is crushed.
Right now every time I move my leg it hurts, real pain. There is a constant ache in the ankle. The pins driving through the middle of my bones are pinching and pulling. The screws invading my shins are burning and throbbing.
I don’t know how to cope with another five weeks of this. I am falling apart at the seams.
I wish they’d cut my leg off.

I don’t want to talk to anyone. I hate talking about the accident, about her, what she may or may not say or do in court. The same questions are asked but there is never any answers.
I never knew it was possible to feel so lost.
This whole thing has taken over my entire life and I feel out of control.

Something has changed inside of me, I’ve lost some of the fight that I used to have. Things that wouldn’t have bothered me before now fill me with dread. Not just the groups of people that I mentioned in my last blog, but just dealing with things. We have some problems with our car that we bought just before the accident, there needs to be some discussions with the guy we bought it from. The fight would never have bothered me, but now I just can’t face it. I need to call our police officer to ask about a victim impact statement but for some reason I can’t face doing it. When the boys are crying and having a tantrum my insides churn and I can’t deal with it.
I wish that I didn’t have to deal with anything or have to talk to anyone. Then nothing more could go wrong.

Counselling starts in two weeks. Will it fix me? Will I ever be the same person I was before?

Busy Time

We’ve had a busy week for the Hyatt household!

Last Sunday I had a bad day. I didn’t sleep very well the night before which never helps and I was very upset all day. I had a ball of anxiety rumbling in my tummy and with it came a river of tears. They flowed unashamedly all day, not worrying about who saw or who heard the cries.
I don’t know why I have days like this. I do know that on good days I still carry a certain amount of fear with me so perhaps it all builds up and then inevitably erupts when I cannot hold it in any longer.
Whatever the reason may be, I know that it wont last forever, I will get better.

I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I am due to begin counselling in the next few weeks. I knew I wasn’t right so there is relief in the knowledge that how I am feeling and the constant ups and downs are normal and there is help available. There is nervousness about it and having to face my problems but I am also looking forward to finally dealing with all of the emotions rolling around inside and being able to really move on.
Despite becoming more and more mobile I am feeling more anxious about going out. I feel very nervous if we need to go somewhere and the thought of being amongst large groups petrifies me. I can’t work out why, I don’t know what I think is going to happen but I just can’t do it.

We did however take a last minute trip to The Wirral in the week to see James’ Grandad. James’ Mum came with us which helped with my nerves as I knew there would be someone else there (and as it turned out was a huge blessing) Luckily we stay at his Aunt’s house which is located on the beach front, it’s beautiful and we always love it it when we go. The children had a fantastic time playing on the sand and Grandad Henry definitely enjoying seeing them. Children are without a doubt therapeutic.
I found it hard to not be in the middle of the fun, instead I sat on the beach in my chair watching from afar. This is when I get angry and what the accident has taken away from me.
But unfortunately poor Charleigh had an accident which resulted in a dash to A&E. James took her crabbing and she fell from the rocks into the sea and cutting her leg badly on the way down. Karin and I took her as James was soaking wet from rescuing her! She was ever so brave though and luckily it happened at the the end of our trip and she will make a full recovery 🙂

Yesterday I had Physio for the first time since having the boot removed. Despite doing so well walking around, O didn’t realise how much I still couldn’t do until I was asked to try. It was a huge reminder that I still have a long way to go! I have lots of exercises to do three times a day to get my ankle working again as it should.
It’s very easy to get so focused on having casts, boots and cages removed that it’s easy to forget that the journey doesn’t end there, in some sense it only just starts.

This weekend we are back at my Mum’s for a family Christening. I love being here, I always feel so much calmer when I’m with her. I’ve said it before but it’s true, no matter how old you are you always want your Mum. And my Mum is amazing.
We are missing a night out tonight to London because I just cannot face it mentally. It really angers me that I cannot just pull myself together enough to just do it. James is so patient with me and my to-ing and fro-ing. As always he is my rock, pulling me up when I am down and holding me when I am up.

Looking Forward

I have been so happy with the results from Monday and the pictures of my bones starting to heal. It has been a huge confidence boost and I have been up and walking all over the house! I am quite confident now without my crutches although I will still take one with me if I go out anywhere. The stairs are no problem either, I can get up and down without the need to bump down on my bum!
I am finally beginning to feel some sense of achievement and the small light at the end of the long tunnel is starting to shine a little.
The remainder of my journey doesn’t seem as daunting as it has done up until now. I still have some daemons to fight emotionally, however physically I am so much stronger.

A very good friend took me out for a few hours today and some quality girl time was had. It was the first time I have ventured out without the wheelchair, I was slightly nervous and unsure of how much my legs could take, but it was something that I needed to do. (we did have it in the boot just in case!) Being out and about walking instead of being in the wheelchair felt so strange. You adapt to new things remarkably quickly and things soon become a comfort blanket. I felt very vulnerable with only my crutches for support. The world seemed like a much bigger place.
We began by getting our nails done which was fabulous. I feel automatically happier having nice nails! Then the rather excitable Chinese nail man informed us that you aren’t allowed to park on a yellow line so we made a mad dash back to the car to move it. Panic over we had lunch and a good gossip.
I was exhausted by the time I was delivered back home, I am hoping that the walking around and using some energy will help me sleep tonight. I so long for a full, undisturbed nights sleep.

James and I have argued a lot this week which has been sad considering the good news.
There is no fault to be given, we are both to blame. We each carry our frustrations that have inevitably taken its toll. The life we are leading at the moment has been thrown at us and for a while you get swept up in the momentum, it’s only when the storm calms a little that you really get a chance to feel anything.
We are strong though and it will take more than this to break us! James is my rock and I couldn’t have got through this without him, he has been truly amazing.
Everyone is allowed a time to be angry and pissed off, the last few days has been ours.

We are away at my Mum’s this weekend and I really cannot wait. I am in serious need of some Mummy time, she is the best!

Today has been a good day and it ends on a high.
Tonight, for the first time in nine weeks, I was able to walk into the bedrooms of my children, tuck them in and whisper my goodnights. I was able to steal a few precious moments of wonder, watching my gorgeous little people in the land of dreams, peaceful and beautiful.

Feeling Claustrophobic

Before the accident I used to have Wednesday’s to myself when the boys were at nursery. I didn’t do anything exciting with my day, I normally caught up on housework, Phoenix things or any other odd jobs that were just easier to do without the boys.

Since the accident I haven’t had more than an hour to myself and it is starting to make me feel very claustrophobic.

Every time I need or want something I have to ask for it. Yes I am getting more mobile but it is still impossible for me to fetch my own food or drink. It’s tricky trying to carry something around whilst needing to use crutches.
I cannot shower or wash my hair without someone’s help (and having to drive to someone’s else’s house first).
If the boys are having a meltdown or need a cuddle I can’t pick them up but at the same time I cannot walk away either. If they chose to have a tantrum next to my chair there isn’t a lot I can do about it. I am totally stuck.
I’m having vitamins and drinks and nutrients given to me numerous times during the day and I know they are for the better, they are helping me, but I just feel totally out of control of everything. What if just for one day I don’t want to pouring things down my throat?
My life doesn’t feel my own anymore. Everyone else seems to know what’s best for me, I feel like I’ve lost the right to say no, I seem to have lost my voice.

I cannot even sleep when I’m tired unless I take a tablet, and that didn’t even work as I lay there awake until 4am. When I did finally fall asleep I was woken by a daughter getting told off for not getting ready to for school. The lack of sleep brings with it a headache that appears to have set in for the day.

I’m feeling suffocated by it all and just want to run away.

So writing this I am sat in bed at almost 1pm. I don’t want to go downstairs so I’m not, I just can’t be bothered if I am honest. I am quite comfortable and happy in bed so why should I go downstairs? Because it’s apparently better for me? Well today I am going to decide what’s best for me and to begin with it’s staying right here watching old episodes of The OC.

Cleaning, Friends & Ouch!

The day started with tears, has ended with pain but the middle bit was alright!

When I bum shuffled down the first set of stairs this morning I was greeted with two cheeky smiles on the landing. My gorgeous little boys! Henry was eager to show me something very funny in his eyes, him wearing my Ugg boots. However, before I had a chance to tell him to move away from the stairs he was attempting to put them, lost balance and toppled head first down them and all I could do was watch and yell for James. I promptly burst into tears, totally mortified that there was nothing I could do, yet again, to comfort my son. He wasn’t hurt, just shocked, and I think I was more upset than him.

So, after eating breakfast amongst the madness that is our house in the mornings I did what I do to relieve stress …… I cleaned!
I got myself up on my crutches and I cleaned my kitchen sides and sink, emptied and re-filled the dishwasher, swept the kitchen floor and hung some washing up to dry. Boy, it felt so good to be doing just normal things! I never thought I’d see the day when I got actually excited by menial household jobs!

We have a few plans here and there for this week which I like. However much I hate going out, especially if it means being around people, I know I must do it. I can’t be a hermit and the longer you avoid something the worse it becomes. I hate wishing time away but I really want July to be over with. When we finally reach August I will be able to say that next month, I will be Nicholas free. I don’t care about the cast or boot that I might have afterwards, anything but the cage.

The house has been filled with laughter and fun today. We had an extra toddler running around as we were looking after a friends little boy. It is so uplifting to hear the giggles of small children and see them interact with each other and they are such good friends it was really beautiful watching them play.
The friend in question has been an absolute tower of strength to not only me but James as well. Nothing is ever too much trouble and she is always there with a cuddle and a smile. She is one of life’s good people and I feel very lucky to be able to call her a friend. Love you x

It has taken a while for my boys to become comfortable with me and my legs. Now they quite happily clamber onto my lap, play with the metal rings on my cage, tread on my toes if I’m stood up. It is hard to find the right balance between them being happy and natural with me yet aware that I do still have bad legs (something Archie could do well to remember when he’s launching a fire engine at me for me to save!) I am always very cautious to tell them to back off in case I push them away. But a lesson learnt tonight as Henry was sat on my lap and promptly fell onto my left leg …… ouch!! It was elevated in front of me and luckily I had the boot on but the pain! How I didn’t release a torrent of foul language is beyond me.
Needless to say I am now reaping the benefits of painkillers washed down with a cold beer!

Random Ramble

Well it’s lucky that I haven’t been counting on the weather to cheer me up! It certainly does nothing for my motivation to get up and about when it’s grey and miserable outside. I am really feeling the cold too, I sit under a blanket most of the time because I’m so chilly. Perhaps it’s due to my diminished level of activity. Whatever the reason, it’s not pleasant.

I dragged my bum out of bed today despite an awful nights sleep and straightened my hair and shaved my legs (I live a really exciting life!). I was hoping it would give me a feeling of well being, instead I just got annoyed that my left leg is looking really horrible and there are bits on the right that I cannot get to!
My left leg has lost all of it’s muscle and looks really thin and spindly with a large lump on the left hand side where the metal plate is. I am hoping that once I can start using the leg properly the muscle will come back and it won’t be as obvious as it is now. I find the mental reminder than it’s there hard enough without the cosmetic reminder. The right side of my left ankle that has been pinned looks odd and feels very different too. I suppose I just need to get used to the changes?
My right leg is just awkward because I have to keep it dry because of the risk of infection in the pin sites so I cover it with a bin bag when I shower. To wash and shave it I use a bowl of hot water and it’s vey frustrating. I’m never happy with the results, it never feels clean enough and I cannot shave it enough. Overall it’s not a very satisfying task.

One thing that this whole episode has shown me is how amazing some of my friends are. Despite the fact that some of them are going through so much themselves, they are still there for me. I don’t feel like a particularly good friend in return at the moment, I am so wrapped up in my own personal hell that I don’t feel I have anything to give anyone else. That just sounds so damn selfish though and I hate the sound of myself!

James is off out tonight with friends for some beers. I’d love to go as well, to socialise and just be normal for a night. But I just cannot bare the looks and the questions that all inevitably come when you walk into a room with two broken legs. I am so over talking about the accident, I feel like I have talked it to death, nothing I say ever makes it an easier pill to swallow. Every time I talk about it, I just get angry and upset, and today I feel that way anyway without adding to the cause.
In any case, James deserves some time off from being house husband and wife carer!
My babysitter (aka my mother in law!) is coming over for a girls night in 🙂

Goodbye Zimmerman

So the last few days have been a real struggle.

After feeling upbeat for so long I really thought I was finally coming out of the other side. Then like suddenly it feels like I am being pulled backwards and there is nothing I can do to stop it. Last Friday I just felt totally deflated and empty and the feelings just escalated. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, to see anyone, I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I cried constantly and my heart felt as though it was trying to escape. The knot of anxiety returned to my stomach and I couldn’t see anyway out.
I have been taking sleeping tablets to sleep at night otherwise I sit and watch the sun come up. They were running out so I went to my GP on Tuesday to ask for some more even though I was certain he wouldn’t oblige as he is already worried about dependency.  However, after a mini meltdown he agreed to give this emotional train wreck another two weeks worth of a different one along with some literature on self help for insomnia. He also suggested that I might like some counselling to try and come to terms with everything. I have to say I wholeheartedly agree and have made the first steps to get that started. My friends and family are brilliant at listening to me but I don’t think that I am really dealing with the accident and the position that it has left me in.
I am trying my hardest to be strong but I believe it’s coming at a price. I put on a brave face because I don’t want to just sit here and fall apart. But everyday I am dying inside with anger and frustration and it’s eating me up.
I still believe that something good will come out of this journey, my future is bright and exciting, but for the here and now I need some help.
I am not angry at her, I let that go., however I can’t get over the fact that I was actually run over and I have broken bones. Despite being excited when I first saw them, I am finding it increasingly difficult to look at my x-rays now.  They fill me with panic. The recovery was always going to be painful and long and I really am trying to deal with just one day at a time but it is becoming more and more difficult as they days appear to be getting longer and harder.
It’s mentally torturing living with an Ilizarov and I wasn’t prepared for that.
I wish that they had cut my leg off – anything but this cage. I hate it that much.
Now I understand that this sounds extreme and ridiculous, this is one of the reasons that I am going to get help as I know that my thoughts are not me, but something inside that needs to be fixed.
I am so exhausted from trying and crying, I need to heal emotionally as well as physically.

Despite my negative emotions, physically I am moving forward in every sense. Since having the cast replaced with the boot I have been moving around with my zimmerman and it’s been great, I have grown fond of it. When the cast was removed from the left I was told I could ‘partial weight bare’ on it. But what is partial? I haven’t been sure and thought I had probably put too much weight on it but I haven’t done anything that has caused me any pain or discomfort. The physio told me that it’s around 40lbs (3 stone) ….. much less than I have been using (according to the scales I am using about double that!) So I need to let off a bit until my next hospital appointment when hopefully I’ll be full weight with the boot.
Today my lovely physio changed the frame for crutches – WOW,  it’s a whole new world! The freedom you feel automatically from not having the frame surrounding you is amazing. I can see how I will be even more mobile with them but they are going to take some getting used to. In theory I can use them to get me up and down the stairs, I managed the couple that were in the physio room but with the knowledge that he was behind to catch me! Think I might stick to my bum at home for the time being, build up slowly! I feel like I have totally forgotten how to walk, evidently I no longer bend my knees despite the fact that there is nothing wrong with them. So with every new step I take you can hear me ‘bend the knee’, it’s quite comical really.

It’s been eight weeks this Saturday since my accident. Seven weeks this Friday since the operation. It just madness.

As said by someone wonderful
“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping”

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.

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.