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.

Health & Happiness

I haven’t blogged for a while but I’ve been thinking about the last 29 months quite a lot lately, so it feels like the right time to put down my thoughts.
For various reasons the accident has come up in conversation a lot lately, with old friends reminiscing, with new friends inquiring, with family being supportive of my new adventures. Whenever I do talk about it, it always amazes me how clearly I still remember that day. I always assumed that my memories would lessen and become obscured but that isn’t the case. Certain moments in time still have the ability to create a knot of fear in my stomach, but with much less panic than they would have caused a year ago. The key is to not let the fear take over. Stay in control and be strong.
Time is most definitely a healer, but I think that you need to give it a little helping hand along the way.

When I was recovering I often wondered if I would be the same person again.
Would I have the same outlook on life?
Would my confidence be overshadowed by sadness and fear?
Would the panic deep in me ever be calm?

Traumatic events have the ability to drown you in grief but everyone has the ability to either sink or swim. I was lucky that I had amazing friends and family surrounding me, keeping me afloat during the dark days. However something did change in me, I became aware that life is for living, and living it to the full became my aim.

During the early days of recovery when I had trouble thinking past the next hour let alone the next day, week, month, year, and all I could think was ‘why me?’ – someone told me to focus on the positives of the things that I could control rather than the things that I couldn’t. They asked me to think about what adventures my new healed legs would take me on? They told me that I had an amazing opportunity to do something amazing.

Whilst immobile I took comfort in wine and cake, cake and wine  ……. and inevitably my weight ballooned.
In March this year I needed to go jeans shopping – most girls nightmare – and for me it truly was. I came home empty handed and vowed to lose weight.
I started by looking at my diet and changed my entire outlook on food, what I was eating and why. I soon learnt that my relationship with food in general was unhealthy, not just what I was consuming but why. As soon as I made some simple changes I regained my energy and found an inner willpower to want to be healthier because I actually felt better for it.
With my new found energy and determination I found my feet and started to run. As I said in my April blog, 5km and I became friends! The more I ran the more my confidence grew and the faster I wanted to be and I soon became competitive with myself. Soon 5km became 6km, then 7km …..
One May afternoon sat at home with my herbal tea and my iPad, I suddenly found myself signing up for the Blenheim 10km. Was I mad? Apparently not. Would I be able? Apparently so.
My little legs took me the whole 10km on Sunday 5th October in 1:03:28
At the finish line was my amazing husband, who wrapped is arms round me tightly as I cried.
In 29 months I made the transition from broken and faithless to determined and able. The emotions running through me came out like a waterfall. I cried with relief, with happiness and I felt that finally I was letting go of all of my anger.
How could I continue to be angry? I may have once been physically broken but inside, then and there, I was alive and kicking and giving life a huge high five. That is the most amazing feeling and without the events that made me look at myself in a different light to get to that moment I wouldn’t have been there.

Anything in life is possible. There are positives to be found in everything, sometimes you just need to look through the darkness to find the light.

So I am thankful for the curve ball that life threw me 29 months ago because today it has made me a better, happier and healther person.

(and as for the inner competitiveness in me – it signed me up for a half marathon in six months time …. eeeek!)

More Surgery …. and an angry rant

As I write this the sun is blazing and I have just enjoyed a fabulous afternoon with my gorgeous boys at he farm. I should be feeling content and happy, but alas I’m not. I am sat here with a knot in my stomach, trying to contain the rage and desperately trying not to cry …. again.

The plate in my left leg is continuing to niggle me, I can feel it there reminding me of it’s presence and still regularly swelling up just for good measure. Surgery for the removal has been set for 30th May. In all honesty I am not worried about the surgery itself, it’s very straight forward, one night stay in hospital and I should be up and walking relatively quickly. At least once it’s out it’s out! Just got to hope that the screws stay where they are don’t try escaping!

The gym has been amazing for getting my legs back to a good level of ability. In the past week I have finally been able to advance from speed walking to jogging – a huge achievement! It is an odd feeling if I am honest, my right leg protests to begin with with threats of giving way but once it realises that it wont win the fight it gives up and lets me carry on. I can manage two miles so far and hopefully that will continue to increase. Now, if I could stop eating so much cake (and the person who keeps buying said cake knows who she is!) then possibly this new found love for the gym may have a positive effect on my slightly larger waist line.

And so the reasons for the angst I am feeling.
It would appear that the law is an ass. Perhaps if I was a multi-millionaire footballer and someone happens to say something nasty to me in a newspaper then my multi-millionaire solicitor may not have much trouble in securing me a few extra million to add to my bulging bank balance.
However, little old me (sat here typing away on my three year old laptop in my modest little family home in Oxfordshire, whilst my husband is working a ‘proper job’  to support us) is having a somewhat troublesome time trying to secure compensation for the accident that broke my bones.
Let me explain as that view maybe a little one sided 😉
After the accident James took a sabbatical from work so that he could look after me and the children. During this time he wasn’t paid and so we borrowed money from family. This money paid the mortgage, the bills, fed us etc. On top of this we claimed Employment & Support Allowance – a benefit that is designed for people who cannot work due to an accident/ill health – exactly our position. We were awarded £100 per week.
Obviously the legal side of things has been and gone (remember the £90 fine and 6 points – yes, that legal ‘justice’) so all that is left is my civil case.
So apparently (according my very own solicitor) James should never have taken a sabbatical and forgone his salary as we cannot claim for his full loss of earnings. We should have put the boys into full time nursery (for which we could have claimed the full costs back) and I should have had a carer to look after me (for which we could have claimed the full costs minus 10%).
It would seem that the fact that my daughter witnessed me getting run over, the boys having to come to terms with Mummy not being walk, having a scary cage attached to one leg and being bed bound in the living room for some 7 weeks isn’t relevant. Life should have just continued with the addition of the boys finding themselves in nursery 8am-6pm Monday -Friday (not forgetting the fact that we couldn’t have actually transported them there as James is out of the house 6am-7pm) How silly of us to put the emotional needs of myself and our children first.
The benefit that we claimed will need to be paid back to the government by the defendant and so will be deducted from any money I am to receive (this I do understand as otherwise I will have been compensated twice).
However, the whole this is just leaving me drained, angry, upset, tired …. this list of emotions could go on and on.

I have been fighting for a year and it’s still not over. I may not be worried about the upcoming surgery … but it’s still another thing that I have to do. It’s still not over.

And on top of the physical hurdles to face we are facing not even being compensated financially what we feel we deserve.

We are not greedy people. I am not asking for millions of pounds so we can live a lavish lifestyle.
I do not however think I am selfish for wanting to be compensated (after all, I didn’t receive justice in court) for the trauma, physically and emotionally, that me and my family went through. I may have have the broken bones but I can assure you that I was not the only one affected by this. WHY should we end up in debt after this?? That is the way this is heading.
And do you know what is making me furious to the point of screaming …. she is totally unaware. She is out there living her life with no consequence what so ever.

My daughter is still nervous in car parks.
I have video of Archie screaming in terror when I was learning to walk with my zimmer frame.
I have the memories of my boys not wanting to  approach me, let alone cuddle me when I was bed bound for almost two weeks.

I may be a small fish in a big pond but to me, this was a tsunami and it’s still coming.
I’m all out of breath though so keep myself afloat.

 

 

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

The Final Night With Nicholas (and the fear)

So we are down to just one sleep. One last night with Nicholas.
The last week has really dragged and I have felt every second tick by painfully slowly.
We’ve had three birthdays to celebrate, Charleigh’s 11th, my Mum’s 50th and my 31st. I really tried hard to get into the spirit and for the most part I did enjoy myself, shared many laughs with my family and friends, lunches, dinners and nights out. There were moments of despair, crying to my Mum on her birthday that I looked awful, had nothing to wear and just felt exhausted from trying. I hated myself at that moment, I don’t like laying my feelings on other people.

It has felt as though this moment would never come, actually knowing that Nicholas is going to be removed. I have been so excited filling my mind with the things that I will finally be able to do again. Enjoy a bath, wear my jeans, feel the bed sheets around my leg as I curl up to sleep. I want to be able to sit crossed legged on the floor with my boys and once again be a part of their make believe world.
There will also be a point where I need to drive. It’s a funny thing, I wasn’t injured because of my driving ability or anyone that I often get into a car with. However, cars and driving in general fill me with fear. I hate it. I didn’t realise just how much until I started the therapy for my PTSD. The questions asked have a clever way of bringing the thoughts out that you didn’t realise were there, just hovering on the surface. On every journey I go on be it short or long I wonder if we will be involved in an accident. I hate roundabouts, the uncertainty of the drivers. Driving through a town with pedestrians, the unpredictability of what they might do. It’s become apparent that it wasn’t just my bones that were broken, something in my subconscious has been shaken and I need to straighten it out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the thousands of people that must go through accidents every day, the majority presumably a lot worse than mine. How do they cope? Do they have the same fears as me? Is it normal to feel so desperate afterwards? I do feel incredibly ridiculous sometimes when I look at myself and how this whole thing has affected me. I don’t feel strong at all, I feel like a weak duckling struggling to stay afloat.

The early excitement of being cage free has slowly been replaced with with trepidation. The five pins I am quite prepared for after having one removed with no pain relief. I am confident that with gas and air taking me to another place I can get through that with dignity. However, I have two screws imbedded in my bone, they are not going to come out happily. I am dreading the removal of these. It isn’t going to pretty, the removal or my coping.
I am anxious about walking on my leg, actually putting weight through my newly mended bones. What if I can’t do it? I’m not naive to believe that the cage will come off and I will walk out of the hospital on air. I don’t expect it to be pain free but I am nervous about how much pain I can take.
I got through a lot during the aftermath of the accident, having my broken bones straightened twice, the spasms, feeling my bones moving.
So surely I can do this?

If I could remove the fear that is enveloping me perhaps I could feel a little bit more optimistic at my own capabilities.

2 Sleeps Down …… 12 To Go!!

It’s coming off on October 1st!!!!
The X-rays on Monday showed that the bones are doing really well and new bone growth is there! Two more weeks or loosening it to keep the slack there and we ‘should’ be good to say goodbye to Nicholas 😀
Despite my obvious excitement it is not a given so I am trying not to build my hopes up. Butnlets be honest, I have been waiting almost four and a half months to get a date for removal, it’s only natural to hold a little belief that things go as planned.
I will still need another X-ray to make sure that the bones look nicely repaired and the new bone growth has continued and then my surgeon needs to make sure that I can put weight through my leg.
I have long bolts that run down between the rings and it’s these that take the weight. He will remove the ones either side of where the fractures were and that’s where the true test will be. Very nervous about this as it will have been 19 weeks since I walked on the leg without support.
I know my surgeon wouldn’t take the frame off before he believed I was ready but in the back of my mind I have the burning question, ‘what if my bones break?’
What if I can’t walk on it?
I have lived with this for so long it is going to be extremely nerve wracking to be allowed to walk without it.

Once we get over the hurdles of weight bearing and walking we need to actually remove the two screws and five pins holding my leg together.
After having one pin removed in clinic I said there was no way I was going to let my surgeon near me with wire cutters again whilst awake.
Well …… I’m going to give it a go :/ I am SO desperate to have the cage removed and knowing that on October 1st it will more than likely be ready I cannot walk out of that hospital to sit and wait for an appointment for day surgery to have a general anaesthetic. He has said I can have gas and air and there are ‘other things’ I can have for the pain (handful of Valium?!).
I can do this! I will be cage free!! Just five pins am two screws between me and freedom ……..

I’ve decided that surgeons are all a little bit crazy. Whilst at the hospital on Monday waiting for my surgeon to stroll in (and he very much just strolls around in a leisurely way) another, rather larger than life, surgeon walks past in scrubs and leather shoes with tassels on. He looks at my leg, smiles and produces a sound that can only be described as an ‘ooooooop’ and then walks off. A few minutes later he walks back and has another peek only this time he stopped to have a proper look and enquires as to the reason for the Ilizarov. Apparently, according to him, my leg looks extremely healthy for one being encased in one of these contraptions. He then congratulates my surgeon with a smile and ‘Good job Bob!’
Nice to know I suppose!

A little note to anyone who might read this who has an Ilizarov ….. If trying to catch a toddler who obviously needs the toilet, don’t catch your frame on the door frame because it REALLY hurts and will probably make you cry ………

The Night Before ….. Again

So I’m back to the ‘night before the next check up’ and feeling as anxious as hell as always.
Although this time it’s mixed with trepidation. I honestly feel as though I have come to the end of the road with Nicholas, it’s no more a love hate, it’s quite simply hate. My bones may or may not have finished fixing but I cannot live any longer with this contraption attached to me.
I just to work out how to ask my surgeon as nicely and politely as possible to remove the damn thing!

I haven’t had a pain free day since May 12th and I’ve never felt so out of control of my life as I do right. I need to gain a little control back of my life.
I’m not being melodramatic, just honest with my feelings.
Obviously I don’t want to make things worse for myself but at the same time I need to ask myself at what cost do these fully heeled bones need to come at?
I’m in constant pain, I can’t sleep, I’m plagued with anxiousness and worry and it’s all just too suffocating.

Yesterday was Charleigh’s 11th birthday and we had a family day out to Chessington. I had umm-ed and arr-ed all week about whether I should go or not and in the end I did. It was heart warming to see her so excited. It’s the first time in a long time that I remember seeing her so happy (and my treasure hunt for her to find the One Direction concert tickets was a huge success!!).
However it’s come at a price for my legs. The swelling is unbelievably uncomfortable and I’ve given up on the pain meds, they’re not even touching it tonight. I’m not holding out for a peaceful night ahead.
The weekend was spent at my Mum’s as we have family visiting from New Zealand. My three cousins are the same age as Charleigh give or take a year or two and they all get on fantastically. It’s been busy and noisy to say the least! My Mum’s house won’t be my quiet haven for the next four weeks that’s for sure (Rach, you’d better stock up on tea bags, tuna, cheese and donuts!).

Sometimes in life certain happenings make you realise what kind of person you are or person you’d like to be. I would like to think that I’ve grown up into a good person. I’m a loving, caring Mum, my children are happy and polite and mean everything to me and I hope my parents think I’m a good daughter!
Being an only child from separated parents, both of whom met other people (and one remarrying), I have extended family coming out of my ears. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, even four of my grandparents are still alive and very much kicking. I have family in abundance and have always been surrounded by them.
I’m sure that every family has it’s fair share of problems and arguments. I just always seem to be at fault in mine. I feel like the black sheep and, no matter how many years I gain,am always left feeling like a naughty schoolgirl. I’m too out spoken and will let it be known if something has upset me and I will always stand by what I believe in. Stobborn? Probably a little. Maybe some think I should ‘respect my elders’, I actually think respect is something that is earnt and being a specific age in life does not give you the right to be spiteful and cruel. I wont be quiet just because others think I should, especially if it involves the feelings of my children. Nobody has the right to upset my children with their thoughts.
I always speak out for the ones I love and always will, it’s the way I’ve been built.
But just once it would be nice for someone to speak up for me. Just the once.
Being an only child can be a very lonely existence.

Slightly off the beaten track there tonight. Nothing like being too upset to think about the constant throb and burn that is my right leg ………

Hope For Tomorrow

So tomorrow I am back at the hospital and to say I am dreading it is an understatement. Perhaps the underlying worry is the cause of my inability to sleep. I am lucky to get two hours sleep before the remainder of the night is spent watching the sky turn from dark to light. My mornings are spent dozing resulting in feeling entirely wiped out and almost jet lagged. Unfortunately the world doesn’t slow down for sleep deprivation and I struggle to keep up.
It isn’t just me that this has an impact on, James and the children suffer. They feel the end of my short temper and the boys just don’t understand. Why isn’t Mummy coming down to play? Why can’t we go and wake Mummy up?
Tomorrow I just want to know that the rest of the bones are fixing. If they are still broken I don’t know how I will deal with that. Every day is becoming harder to get through, I am so tired mentally from trying to be happy but at the moment I feel I am failing. I need to know that the end is actually in sight, rather than it it appearing and then moving further away.
Will I get a date for removal? I really hope so.

The Paralympics have been keeping me entertained. Totally amazing. Some of the things that these athletes achieve is totally brilliant. I will be Ilizarov free yet these people live their lives with their disabilities with such strength and courage, it really does put my my worries to shame!

On Saturday I went to town with Mum as she had a hairdressers appointment and I had a few bits and bobs to do. It was the first time that I have walked around town by myself. I found myself walking much slower than I normally would and the stares and comments seemed all the more obvious. Did I just notice them more as I was on my own? Or are people quicker to comment if you don’t have the support of someone else? I don’t think I’ll be taking to town on my own again soon.

Since being treated at the Trauma Unit I have wanted to give something back. Last time I was at the JR I saw a leaflet for ‘It’s Not Just A Walk In The Park’. It’s a 3 mile sponsored walk to raise vital funds for the Oxford University Hospitals – and best of all you can specify which department you would like your sponsorship money to go. This seems like a very apt challenge, so along with James and my wonderful friend Rachel, together we are the ‘Wonky Walkers’ and we will be participating on 21st October.
Please sponsor us!
http://my.artezglobal.com/TeamPage.aspx?teamID=52001&langPref=en-CA&Referrer=direct%2fnone

A Little Bit Longer

I’ve been trying to write this blog since yesterday but haven’t been able to. I have felt a lot of things on this journey so far but yesterday was the first time that I felt disappointment mixed with despair. I haven’t been sure how to write about it.

I had my check up at the hospital and this time instead of an X-ray I had a CT scan so that my surgeon could get an in-depth look at my bones. It was a mixture of good and not so good. (I don’t like to use the word ‘bad’ as this whole situation is bad). The fractures in the lower part of the leg have healed well and fused together. Unfortunately the fractures near the top haven’t. In order for bones to heal you need the outer layer to fuse thus creating a strong structure for the inside to heal. My bones are still broken. This means that I will have have Nicholas for at least another four weeks, two weeks longer than first thought.
For the past few weeks James has been tightening the cage 1mm per week to squeeze the bones together to try and encourage fusion. As this hasn’t had the desired affect and the bones aren’t in line we are now stretching the bones back out. Yesterday we had to loosen by 3mm and for the next seven days, four times a day we have to loosen by a quarter each time (so 1mm in total per day). The feeling is horrendous when the cage is adjusted. Once again I can feel my bones moving and am having to consume copious amounts of pain killers.
If in the weeks to come the bones still don’t heal the frame will be removed and replaced with a non weight bearing cast to allow the bones to settle. I will then have an operation to pin the fractures together.

I feel I have taken a huge step backwards and am having real trouble getting my head around it and my ability to see the positives has taken a knock. I tried so incredibly hard yesterday to hold it together and even though I succeeded in not falling apart and kept the tears at bay, the disappointment simply buried itself just below the surface and I just became irritable and unbearable.
Maybe there is something to said for just letting your emotions out.

I have been so focused on getting through 16 weeks and to be told it’s going to be longer now is very hard to accept. Living with an Ilizarov doesn’t get easier as time passes by. The weight of carrying it around gets harder, the frustration grows and the desperation becomes unbearable. I am getting less eager to go out in public with it on show. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed or worried, however the looks of pity, the whispered comments and the probing questions, it never ends.

So today I woke up with a heavy heart, I am so tired.
I know I need to keep fighting for a while longer, I just need to work out how.

I Might Be Mad, But I Don’t Want To Die

The cage and I have had a busy week since having the aggravating pin unceremoniously removed.

Even though it was just one pin it really seemed to help get me up and start feeling positive again. I’ve have waked around more this week than any other since the accident.
James and I went shopping in Oxford, we took the children to Millets Farm with Rachel and Theo. The weather has been perfect and it was magical to see the children running around and being so incredibly happy. I felt like a real part of the family again and am feeling less of a burden with each passing day.

Friday saw my first counselling session. I was anxious going there as I didn’t know what to expect. The building inside was eerily quiet, neutral colours in the decor, lots of closed doors and it was impeccably clean and tidy, almost to the point of being sanitary. None of these factors helped with putting me at ease.
However when my therapist introduced herself and we began the session I felt immediately at ease. She has a very calming nature and I found it very easy to talk to her. The back wall of her office houses a huge window that overlooks the idilyic Oxfordshire countryside. Quite often between questions and her taking furious notes I found myself mesmerised by it and just watching the trees.
The session basically entailed looking back over the questionnaires I had had to complete prior to the meeting and going into more depth in certain areas. I find it very hard to talk about my inner most feelings and the in depth memories of the accident, but she managed to draw everything out of me with such ease. She concluded by telling me that I do indeed have PTSD and am borderline depressed. How lovely!
At least I will get the right treatment and I know that this isn’t forever, I will get better.
One section of questions they have to cover are all based around suicide and do I feel as though I would be better off dead? I can quite categorically say that no, I don’t feel this way. However, I still stumbled when she asked the question ‘So, why don’t you want to kill yourself?’ …….. you’d think it was a pretty easy question to answer but my mind went totally blank. After what felt like an eternity I mumbled something along the lines of ‘Because I don’t want to be dead, I love my family’.
She didn’t call for a straight jacket so I must have passed as acceptably sane, enough to be sent back into society to wait for my next appointment.

Ending a busy week with another weekend at Mummy’s and a night out in Windsor has taken the last little bit of energy from me. It’s a good feeling though to be actually tired. Not lethargic or just a bit sleepy, but real physical tiredness. My left ankle is aching something rotten having not been used properly for weeks. The Physio exercises are excellent but they don’t beat real walking and use of the joint.
Hospital tomorrow for a CT scan to see how these bones are really doing. Hopefully mine and Nicholas’ relationship is coming to an end. I can’t say I will miss it but it certainly isn’t the end of this journey. It is purely the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next.

Some of my closest friends are going through their own personal hell at the moment. Divorce, miscarriage and birthing premature babies, I want to be as good a friend to them as they have been to me during my time of need. Without each and every one of them I would have been lost. As I come out of my dark place, it feels as though it will be my turn to take their hand and help them.

I’m a true believer that you get out of life what you put in. I have been dealt an ugly hand that could have swallowed me up. But I am determined to use it to make me a stronger and a better person.