Eight Weeks On

I haven’t blogged for a while and it hasn’t been through lack of desire but a lack of time. Eight weeks on post Nicholas and I think we are back to normal, whatever normal is!

James is back at work and I’m back to running around like a headless chicken trying to make sure that the kids are happy, fed and healthy. By the time the children are in bed and James and I have caught up on each others day my eyes fail me and my bed calls. The weeks are rolling by in a beautiful, happy haze though. I love my family more than I ever thought I could.
Children are remarkable creatures. Their ability to adapt to a given situation is amazing. I am so proud of them and how they coped with everything that was thrown at us.

When I look back on the last six months it feels almost like a dream. Did that actually happen to me and did we actually get through it? It’s a very surreal feeling. At the time it was a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from and what’s left now are the lingering memories. My ability to cope with these memories is improving all the time. The panic is no longer taking over and I can talk about the accident and the aftermath without the fear enveloping me. Time is a great healer and I believe that without help I would have probably worked it out for myself, but the therapy is undoubtedly helping me to process my memories and look at them differently. I did also see my GP and have started on a small dose of antidepressants. I don’t think that there is any shame in this, if you have a headache you take a paracetamol, I need a little help with my emotions and I’m just doing what I need to.
Sometimes the hardest thing is admitting you need help and one thing that this journey has taught me is that you need never suffer in silence.

My leg still resembles that of an elephant. I try to rest it as much as possible but with life it can be tricky. I need to speak to my consultant about the numbness as if anything, it’s getting worse :/ There wont be a lot that can be done but it would be nice to know what the cause is. I was looking at the scars last night that the pins have left on my leg and in all honesty I don’t know how I feel about them. They are still very red and very obvious and despite not being a particularly vain person I can’t say that they will never bother me. The question is do I do something about it? My solicitor has said that if I so wish I could ‘get them done’ (I presume it would be laser surgery?!). It’s hard when it’s winter and they’re covered up anyway but come the summer (the little bit that we occasionally get) will I feel differently?

As I write this I am sat in the cafe in the Children’s Hospital at the JR with a large Latte whilst my little man Archie is having an operation on his winkle. I’m as anxious as anything waiting for my phone to ring to tell me he’s in recovery and I can go and get him.

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The Removal! Good Bye Nicholas

So with a glowing fear in my belly I went to the JR on Monday. Hopefully I would be leaving a little bit lighter and a lot happier. But until the frame was actually gone I somehow couldn’t bring myself to actually believe it would happen.

As planned I had an X-ray and then my surgeon removed the three bolts that we have been adjusting. This removed any weight support that the frame was giving me and so allowing me to put weight through my leg and testing out my newly mended bones. James and I went to the Cafe for a cuppa (and a sneaky Belgium Bun). Sitting there my mind was racing and the suspense but built up like a sky scraper. Would my leg be able to take it? Would it suddenly bend in an abnormal way?
With all these thoughts racing through my mind James and I wandered nervously around the hospital until 1pm finally arrived and we made our way back to outpatients to hear my fate.

The lack of pain in the fracture sight gave us a huge thumbs up, Nicholas was going!

I was shown a bed in the plaster room whilst my surgeon went ‘to find some toys’ ….aka a wire cutter and clamp type contraption used to pull out the pins. I was very aware that yet again I found myself in the middle of the children’s clinic. I has to control myself and not say anything inappropriate. I was given the entonox (gas and air) and away I went. Unfortunately my other world wasn’t far enough from my reality and the removal of Nicholas was horrific.
They start by removing the clamps on top of the two screws and then cutting each wire at both sides to enable them to remove the frame itself. With each cut of the wires the ‘twang’ was felt through my leg inside my bones, not a feeling I wish to ever experience again.
With the wires cut he went about removing each one, simply pulling it out. Each wire takes seconds but it could have been hours. As each pin was removed the emotions built up and up inside me. The fear, the relief, the pain, the exhaustion, the anger. How can one person feel so many things at once?
But now came the time that I had been dreading the most. The two screws needed to be unscrewed from my leg. Laying there whilst he removed them, breathing the gas and air, holding onto James for dear life brought it all back to me. Laying on the car park floor in pain and being so incredibly scared. I have no idea why those images and feelings came back to me. Maybe to show how far I have actually come.
Once the screws were free four and a half months of emotion escaped. I sobbed and the tears flowed. I was finally free, I couldn’t believe I had done it. It was very hard to take it all in.
James and I celebrated that night with fabulously cooked steak and champagne.

That was two days ago and looking back it all seems to surreal. I can finally wear my jeans again, I’m not cold for the first time in a long time. I can feel the smooth coolness of my bed sheets wrapped around my leg at night. I keep stroking my leg like a lost pet! My ankle is quite sore as it had three of the pins directly through it so it will take a while to get over the trauma.
I still have a way to go but I am on the home straight.

The ugly reminder of my frame is still there in the wounds left by the pins and screws. They will fade with time and hopefully with them they will take the dark memories of my journey so far.

Halfway Milestone

As of tomorrow I can finally say that I am halfway through my journey with Nicholas.
Eight weeks since the operation. I guess most people think that the time has flown by, but for me is has been painfully slow. I have heard each second of every day tick by.
This is unless the bones didn’t listen and are healing in the wrong order, in which case the timescale may change. I have a whole list of questions to ask my surgeon when we are back at the JR on Monday, and this time I will ask them instead of getting over excited by the xrays and totally losing all common sense and leaving with more questions than I started with.
This is the first time I have been a little nervous about a hospital visit as this time there are answers that I want to hear instead of just needing any answer.

The halfway milestone has been acknowledged a couple of days early in the form of a letter from the police. The first hearing at court has been set for 8th August.
Seeing the letter and reading in black and white that she is actually going to have to face what she has done bought with it a mix of emotions.
There is definitely a part of me that is excited, not in a bitchy, revengeful way, but as someone who has never had to deal with the law, the whole process is new and I am intrigued to see how it will play out.
I am also undoubtedly nervous about seeing her in person and hearing her talk. I have only ever seen her from afar, when she kindly looked back at me broken in the road, I have never heard her voice and I have no idea how I will react.
Will I be angry, upset, scared?
It makes me nervous not knowing how I am going to feel. Maybe I will feel all of the above.
I am scared about how she will react to me being there. As it is only a hearing there is no legal need for me to be there, but I need to be. There is no way I could sit at home wondering. I have to be there.
On the 8th she will just be making her plea, guilty or not guilty. The charges are failing to stop at an accident, failing to report an accident, and driving with undue care and attention. I am keeping an open mind as to what will happen as the truth is we just don’t know. She will take advice of her solicitor (assuming she actually has one) and whatever happens will happen. Of course I am desperately wanting her to plead guilty as that is what she is.
But I am in no doubt that she views the accident very differently to me.
We will see.
One of my biggest daemons at the moment is the fact that she has no idea how her actions (or lack of them depending on how you look at it) have affected me and my family. I am going to speak to the officer in charge of the case today and ask about the possibility of writing a Victim Impact Statement. Is it written by me to be read out in court explaining how the accident has affected me. I don’t want to do it because I hate her or want to hurt her with my words, I am not vindictive, I don’t want an apology or remorse, it’s gone way past that. I need to do it for my own healing process, I have to know she has heard how I feel.

So, 27 days and counting …….