I’m a Runner

As the time draws nearer to the anniversary of that day the same feelings return to the pit of my stomach. It’s peculiar as I don’t so much think about the actual accident itself, the memories that shadow my thoughts now are of the days after. The look on friends and families faces when they came to visit, the fear in my sons’ eyes, the inability to scoop them up and cuddle them and promise that it would all be ok. Will the memories ever fade? Will I ever get to a point that the day will pass and I won’t remember? The boys have no recollection of the aftermath of Mummy living in the front room or of Nicholas (the cage), Charleigh’s memories have become faded with time, for these facts I am grateful as their minds are so young and pure and I don’t want them filled with bad, only the good.

I sometimes think that only I will ever remember the true moments from that time. Perhaps a little part of me will always be filled with it, but I will learn to keep that door closed.

I am determined to use this frustrated energy though and put it to good and not let is turn into a wasted emotion. I think we are all capable of directing our emotions onto a path of our own choosing. Our destiny is ours to make of what we will.

It is true that that time is a healer and despite the door to the dark side being slightly ajar at present, I can see the positives that have come out of something awful and I will try and focus on those.

The main positive being my desire to run. My training is well under way for the half marathon madness that I signed up for! I am stronger, physically and mentally, than I ever thought possible. I am learning to push myself to limits I once only ever thought would be out of reach.
These legs, despite the lumps, bumps and metal, are doing me proud.
James and I took part in the London Winter 10km run last weekend as part of my training plan. Surrounded by the beautiful sights of London down at South Bank, polar bears offering hugs (I kid you not) and the cold, cold air, we set off. I wanted to complete it in 55 minutes – a target that meant I had to push myself harder than ever before. At 5km the cold was hurting, at 7km I wasn’t even convinced I would finish the course and a 9km I knew I wouldn’t stop. With the encouragement of James next to me, my amazing trainer’s (the actual person, not my footwear!) voice in my head ‘think results’ and with a deep determination I didn’t even realise I had,  I completed it in 54:40.
I shed tears of absolute happiness at the end and traveled home on a cloud of delight (with a well-earned Costa Coffee in hand!). I do have a confession though, at the end of the 10km a realisation hit me that when it came to the half marathon I would in theory have to run that again. To say I was a little struck by fear would be an accurate description. How on earth am I ever going to run 13 miles? Although this time last year I wouldn’t have even been able to run 5km let alone 10km so things can only get better. I won’t use the work ‘easier’ as there is nothing easy about this. My legs are not what they were, there is weakness and metal that aggravates – but they are the only ones I have so I can either give in to ache, or fight and work against in the desire to succeed. (medical disclaimer : I am not doing anything that will cause me injury, if at any point there was pain other than that caused by hard work I wouldn’t push it, I am being sensible)

So happy! x

So happy! x

Well earned sit down :)

Well earned sit down 🙂

Told you ;)

Told you 😉

I am lucky to have had people come into my life because of this journey, some of whom I wouldn’t have got through some very dark days without. The internet gets bad press but without it I wouldn’t have found support in strangers when I most needed to connect with someone who knew exactly what I was going through. I know I have mentioned it in a previous blog but I would have been lost without the people I talked to who had the Ilizarov frame at the same time as me. From the USA, South Africa, UK – you helped me when I felt alone, angry, fearful, sad …. I am looking forward to meeting up with (some of) the Ilizarov Forum crew this weekend – you guys all rock!

Sometimes I forget that that there are actually people out there reading this. This is just my little therapeutic bubble, so I am still a little shocked when I get a response from someone other than friends or family. I received a lovely email recently from a lady who is on her own journey and facing battles that I only know too well.

To think that my words and my journey may help someone just a little is truly overwhelming.

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3 Miles …. Done!

Twenty three weeks after breaking both of my legs I have walked over three miles and raised £300 for the Trauma unit that treated me. To say I feel proud of myself doesn’t even begin to explain it!
I am aware that I was never in danger of not walking again with the fractures I sustained, my legs were safe but the fears of how mobile I would actually be ran through me like ice. Living with an Ilizarov gives you independence whilst your fractures heal, however it’s a false sense of security. You develop a way of living and a certain mobility that just isn’t normal but it becomes your every day life so quickly. When the frame is removed, the security you spent so long building up is ripped away in an instant. My walking isn’t natural, every step is made purposefully and with care. I cannot risk twisting an ankle or losing my footing. I can’t bend my ankles like I could before.
Three miles isn’t far, but for me it may have been a walk to the moon.

It was a beautiful day and together with James, Rachel, Trevor and all of our gorgeous children we walked the three miles (plus a bit extra) around the grounds of Blenheim Palace. The beautiful countryside, amazing Autumn colours and the company of fantastic friends made it so much easier. The crutches were made redundant and a halfway pit stop and hot chocolate were enough to keep my legs going. The air was full of laughter and sunshine, the wind carried our smiles.
I am now sat with my legs elevated as the walk has taken it’s toll, they are swollen and painful but I would do it again in a heartbeat, the feeling of complete freedom was overwhelming.
And to know that I raised some money for a unit that helped me makes my heart smile.
You can still donate at https://www.justgiving.com/thewonkywalkers

I am back at the hospital tomorrow for my first post-Nicholas check up. I can’t lie and say that I’m not anxious as I am. The wounds on the outside have healed well but it’s the inside that fills me with uncertainty. I have been pleasantly surprised that I am relatively pain free day to day when I am up on my legs but there is a deep throb and occasional shooting pain that rips through my bones. I rub my leg often to feel for any changes. I’m not sure what I expect, to feel a bone suddenly pop out? My mind plays tricks on my I am sure as I talk myself into thinking I have bumps where there shouldn’t be. Tomorrow and the power of xray will tell all there is to know.
I am more concerned about the numbness in my big toe. On the night of the accident my toe was excruciating if touched (the doctor who wiggled it retreated quickly as I screamed the ward awake). Xrays to my foot and toes showed they had escaped any fractures and after the operation the toe became numb and has remained that way. Unfortunately the numbness doesn’t prevent me from feeling the shooting pains of fire rip through my toe and foot. The numbess is starting to spread to the side of my foot which can’t be good. Nerve damage? Most likely. Fixable? Who knows.

If you fear something, the more you think about it the worse it becomes. The mind is such a wonderful amazing thing, but it can also be your worst enemy. Sometimes you need to just stop thinking and just do. That’s how I faced my fear of driving again, I jumped in and drove the three miles home from my mother in laws house. It was petrifying and exciting all at once. I have never been a confident driver and it will take time to build up the confidence that I did have, but at least I have made a start!

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
― Robert Frost