The hospital visit was biter sweet. The remaining fractures are finally starting to heal which is great news. It just means that Nicholas and I will be friends for a whole longer. They can’t say how long, how long is a piece of string? The only thing that can dictate the time remaining are the bones themselves. If they carry on repairing then eventually Nicholas will be removed and I will be on my very merry way. If they stop responding then depending on how they have fixed I may or may not need an operation. Only time will tell.
It’s this that I find the hardest – the simply not knowing. The tunnel I am travelling down is never ending and just drowns me with anxiety as to what will appear around the next corner.
However, after a few dark days and a spout of insomnia keeping me awake for over 30 hours I have my happy feet on again. They’ve taken me to family and friends who have shown me just how much I have to be thankful for (and to the fridge for a few much needed cold beers!)
Life is ever evolving, nothing stays the same forever. We grow from children into adults, we create new families of our own. Sometimes things can happen that can disrupt the normality of the lives that we have created for ourselves and this can have a huge impact on the way in which you look at things. I definitely don’t look at my life in the same way that I did before. I have come to realise how much love I have and, how subsequently, how much love I also have to give.
I have been so angry and fed up with the limitations that have been unwillingly set upon me but I really want to stop mourning what I can no longer do and starting recognising the things that I am able to do. I can still enjoy and love my gorgeous children, I can still be a loving wife and I can still be a good friend.
Looking back over the past 16 weeks I wished at times I had been a better patient for James. I wish I could be more laid back and not let things get to me so much. But I am just the worst person that this sort of trauma could happen to. I’m not good at sitting around not doing anything and watching everyone else do things (and more often than not quite the way I would do them, what can I say, it’s the Monica in me 😉 ). I am constantly battling with the inner person wanting to scream out.
But I am really going to try and focus on the good things in my life. (and with the help of the lovely sleeping tablets from the GP actually enjoy some real sleep!)
My counselling starts this week so hopefully I’ll be able to fight off the daemons attacking my thoughts and dreams.
As Professor Hawkins said ‘Look up at the stars and not your feet’
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
Since last week it’s been a struggle to get my head around the not so good news. As instructed James has adjusted the cage four times a day, anti clockwise to loosen the frame and stretch the broken bones out. Once again when I walk the bones feel broken. My leg is painful to touch in that area and a bulge has appeared. I now have a week to wait for the next X-rays and the next plan. I have no pre-conceptions on what my surgeon will see or say. I am not guessing at any dates and it’s impossible to give an exact time frame. I have already become a victim of my own naivety in thinking that the initial 16 weeks was a certain. At the time I needed to believe that after 16 weeks the nightmare would be over, without that dream it would have been a harder road to travel. But the result has been disappointment and a huge knock to my optimism.
Over the weekend I achieved very little sleep, insomnia well and truly invaded my body. It has been increasingly hard to get comfortable as the pain has been slowly increasing. By Monday I was zombie like, I went to bed at 10pm and woke up the next morning at 11.30! I can’t go on like this though so am going to ask my GP for some sleeping tablets just for when I have these episodes of insomnia.
Despite the lack of sleep and growing annoyance at my leg being encased in metal, I have tried to get out and make the most of the sunshine we’ve had. We had a lovely day at Cotswold Wildlife Park, the boys were so cute! I am really enjoying them at the moment, their personalities are really starting to shine. I also braved Witney on Bank Holiday Sunday evening which was brilliant. Gin, good friends and good fun! I have however got yet another maxi dress with a hole in it thanks to the bolts on the frame. I feel a shopping trip coming on when I am frame free!
The boys aren’t sleeping particularly well at the moment, well Henry mainly. He wakes up every night screaming and it takes a while to settle him. He is my sensitive little soul and he doesn’t like change. I think he feels very vulnerable as everything around him, where he should feel secure, keeps changing. First I was bed bound downstairs, then I was bum shuffling upstairs, now I am walking around. Even though I am more mobile I still can’t do as much as I could before and I don’t think he understands that. He is in need of extra cuddles and reassurance. it’s taking its toll on James with broken sleep and a toddler out of sorts. I wish I could take it all away.
I still find it hard to see when friends and family tell me how much I am doing as I feel I am actually doing very little. They have watched as I have progressed to some form of normality and mobility and often tell me how amazing it is that I have come so far.
But the truth is all I try and do is get through one day at a time. I simply do the best I can. Some days my best is simply to not cry. Some days it’s to just endure the pain and discomfort.
I don’t know if my pain levels are any better or whether they have become such a way of life I don’t notice them.
Right now, my best is to just smile and try and get through the remainder of this journey somehow.
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.