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.

One Down …… Five (and two bolts) to go!

Last night I sat and watched as James had to struggle to get two little monkeys to bed (them falling asleep for an hour at 5pm on the way home from Mum’s was not a good idea!) and then tidy the house. It was complete agony every time I moved and I tried for so long to keep it together but inevitably I lost the battle and crumbled. James held me tight as I sobbed myself into exhaustion. As I predicted very little sleep was accomplished last night. Too many emotions running through me to relax enough despite being so incredibly tired. The inability to find a position that wasn’t painful.

Some days I am just too tired to fight.

We went to the hospital today to get the offending pins looked at. After looking at them my surgeon went off to look at my xrays and was weighing up the possibility of removing the frame. The bones have healed well but they need some extra support for another couple of weeks. The frame could be replaced with a cast however the frame provides better results in the long run. Instead he made the decision to just remove the pin causing me grief.
Up until now I was adamant that I would have a general anaesthetic to have the frame removed. After today I even more adamant!
Even though I have 12 pin sites, there are only six pins as they go straight into the leg and bone and out the other side. So, to remove a pin the doctor starts off by uncurling both ends of the pin from the metal ring and then loosens the bolts holding it tight and in place. Then using wire cutters he cuts one end so there is less length to pull through the leg. And finally he swiftly pulls the pin out.
I have never experienced anything so horrific and it is not something I am willing to go through again. I am happy to go to sleep and have it gone when I wake up.
When we got home I couldn’t even walk from the car to the house as it was just too sore. I tried to stand which resulted in screaming and tears so James carried me in. Painkillers are now doing their job and another course of antibiotics will kill off anything attacking me inside.

(a huge thank you to Rachel for being one of the best friends I could ask for. We are lucky to have you in our lives, always there to help without a second thought and a hug just when I need it. Love you xx)

Pain is a strange thing. I haven’t had a pain free day since May 12th. Obviously there have been different degrees but it has always been there. Sometimes I wonder if it actually lessens or if I am getting better at dealing with it. The human body is truly amazing.
Living with an Ilizarov has been the most painful experience of my life and the memories will never leave me. Not just carrying the physical weight around every day or the scars it will leave, but the pain, fear and anguish it brings.
It really is ingenious invention and I am in awe of how it has allowed my body to repair itself so perfectly. Using someone else’s words, but summing it up perfectly, it is ‘hideously wonderful’

Despite the horror of the pin removal today it has given me a sense of relief that finally I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I know that I am on the home straight. Although it has also been a big reminder that when the frame is removed, it isn’t the end, it is simply then start of the next chapter.

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.

Stairs? No Problem!

Since yesterday and being up and about more at home it has given me a new found energy.

I have wanted to get up today and move around and just being able to have freedom in my home again is wonderful.
I am probably putting too much weight on my left leg but it doesn’t hurt so I’m not too worried. My ankle on the right leg is a bit sore tonight and throbbing but it’s not unbearable. Again, I’m not worried as a certain amount of pain from Nicholas is expected.

Last night I even managed to WALK up one flight of stairs! With broken legs that is just amazing. I didn’t manage it quite as the Physio taught me but I did it and I am so proud of myself.
I started up on my bum as normal and decided to stand up on the first landing to go and tuck the children in and turn out lights. When faced with the flight of stairs up to our room I decided to give it a go. I have a habit of over-thinking things sometimes so doing something like this on the spare of the moment is a good thing. If I had thought about it too much I would have convinced myself I couldn’t do it.
It was brilliant and has given me real hope and reignited the fire in my belly.

I am back at the hospital on Monday where I hope that I will be allowed to fully weight bare (or is it bear?!) on my left leg and then I will only need one crutch. That is a huge step as it wasn’t so long ago I could barely move with a zimmer frame. Despite drowning in some dark days recently, today I feel like I have finally come up for breath.
Is it my new found freedom? The relief of finally admitting that I need help and am going to get it? Some peaceful nights sleep?
Who knows, but whatever the answer it’s working!

James and I are going out for lunch tomorrow with another totally amazing friend that we are very lucky to have in our lives. She has been there every day since the accident with words of advice and encouragement, an absolute angel.
For the first time in a long time I am actually looking forward to going out.
I wonder if the sun will shine in the sky? It will definitely be shining for me no matter what.