Two Years (almost)

Almost at that two year mark …… two weeks to go.
I feel as anxious as I did this time last year which is peculiar. Why should I still be feeling this way? Time ticks on and life flies by but I feel as though there is this small part of me stuck.
I was in Sainsburys at the weekend doing my weekly shop (ironically I bought fajita ingredients and was coming home to watch Britains Got Talent) and over the speaker came a customer announcement for a customer of a particular vehicle to make their way to the customer service. It made me stop in my tracks and a panic filled my bones. Lightening doesn’t strike twice right? As I left the store shortly after this and due to a lack of blue flashing lights anywhere near by I put it down to something else other than the unthinkable.

My personal legal case is still ongoing against her and  I saw the surgeon in December so that he could put together a final prognosis.
In short I have a 25% of requiring further surgery to remove the metalwork, and the symptoms I currently have (continuous aching in my lower right leg and left ankle, occasional swelling of both) are likely to be permanent.
So all in all it could be assumed that that is extremely positive and I am lucky to not be at high risk or osteoarthritis.
Except I have an inability at  present to see the positive. I may sound melodramatic to some, even selfish as I have been told – after all I have my legs and they work, I don’t have a life threatening illness, I am fit and healthy – but 24 months ago there was nothing wrong with me and had it not been for the carelessness of another person my legs wouldn’t ache (sometimes to the point of sleepless nights and through tears), they wouldn’t swell and they wouldn’t be permanently scarred. So yes, maybe I am lucky to some but this is my own personal daemon and I won’t apologise for my feelings.
If I could be rid of the anger and hatred I would as it’s exhausting sometimes.
Perhaps when the legal case is over I can finally draw a line under the whole chapter. At the moment there is still that feeling of unfinished business.

But I know I have a choice. I can either let the emotions fill my every being and dictate how I should live, or I can be triumphant and live life regardless.
So of all things to bein again I have started running! I’m no Mo Farrah but 5km and I are becoming friends.

Speedy I’m not but determined I am.

 

It’s All About The Shoes.

11 days short of 17 months later and I did the ‘never thought I’d do it again’ ……
I squeezed my swollen feet, balanced on my not so strong ankles and I actually did it. I wore heels.
Not dainty little kitten heels, no, real, proper, high to the clouds make me 6 feet tall heels. It was my birthday celebrations at Ascot and I simply wanted to feel glamorous. Over the past year I have been to numerous weddings, christenings and other joyous celebrations, always with pristine hair and makeup (well, as pristine as I can make it), pretty nails, shiny hair, but always flat shoes. Even at five months pregnant with twins I was in heels. I don’t even need them for my height, being 5ft 6 I’m plenty tall enough. However I enjoy wearing heels. They make me feel feminine and when in a posh frock I need heels. I suppose the age old saying ‘ you always want what you cannot have’ rings true. Perhaps if I wasn’t such a fan of feet numbing shoes, and believe me, my toes were numb, then it wouldn’t have bothered me as much. But totter down the road, over then grass and across the concourse I did and I loved every second of it. I didn’t care that I could no longer feel my toes, my ankles were swollen and I could feel muscles working in my thighs and my calves that I didn’t know I had, I felt totally and utterly womanly.
Six hours I lasted until I gave in and returned my sorry feet to the boring flats, but even so it wasn’t the fault of my inability to wear my beloved heels, it was all down to standing on a hill. That’s my excuse anyway and one that I will stick to.
When I first had my accident and I found myself awake in the early hours one morning trying to come to terms with the metal contraption attached my my leg, and with the internet at my fingertips on my new iPad, I felt the need to try and connect with people who knew the same fear that I was feeling, who would actually understand. I turned to the fountain of all worldly knowledge. Google.  After finding some rather peculiar things I came across a forum, a fixator forum just for people like me. In my first post I poured my heart out and anxiously waited for someone, anyone to reply.
And from across the globe in came a reply,
From behind my screen my world suddenly opened up to a group of people I now consider friends. I may not have met all of these people in the flesh, but we have bared our souls to each other, shared our deepest fears and cried together.
As it is now we are all frame free, but we still face fears and daemons that only we understand. I am very  lucky to be surrounded by friends and family in my life as I sit here on my sofa, but I also feel extremely lucky to have friends at my very fingertips whenever I need them.
The great thing about friendship is it’s not always about holding out your hand or the time you have been together, it’s the spiritual inspiration that that person gives you. The fact that they give you the ability to believe in yourself, to give you the strength to face your fears.

Time Ticks On

I’ve been sat here for ten minutes looking at the screen but it appears my brain had run out of words! So this blog may be a bit bitty and all over the place as I’m just going to write it as it comes.

Things have been good, I started back at the gym after a lazy break! Truth is I just never got back into the swing after our holiday and then the sun appeared so I was spending gym time in the garden! It was going really well (my return to the gym that is, not garden time, although it was rather enjoyable) I found that I was actually able to run again without any pain. I felt so amazing when I ran 4km, I was happy all the way through, right to my bones. I’m lucky that my best friend is a Personal Trainer so she helps making sure I do all of the correct stretches before and after my marathon sessions. But then, like a lightening bolt, disaster struck. My right leg became swollen and really quite painful. It now hurts to walk let alone run so once again I’m in the garden and not the gym. I know I need to call my surgeon for advice or a check up. But what can he say? Don’t over do it, take it easy, rest your legs. But I’m so fed up of resting my legs (as much as I can in-between being a housewife and full time Mum to three darlings who are on summer holidays!) I am so desperate to just be able to do normal things without a constant fear in the back of my head that I’m going to do some damage.
Maybe I just need to get over it and accept that pain is the way of life now.
I haven’t built up the courage yet to make that call.

It’s been 10 months since I had the Ilizarov removed.
Time is a peculiar thing. You can’t stop it, you can’t fast forward it, it just keeps ticking by regardless. So even though the last ten months have felt like I’ve been zooming through life on a rocket, I’ve actually been cage-less for double the time I had it attached. And time with Ole Nicholas couldn’t have been any slower without actually stopping.

Sometimes I wonder if the accident changed me as a person. Physically obviously it did, and its still taking to time realise that. I need to remember that it’s not about what I can’t do, but what I can do and how well I can do it.
But mentally, emotionally? Do I think differently? Behave differently? Am I the same person?
In all honesty I just don’t know. Certain aspects of my life are hard at the moment and I don’t know if the way I am dealing with them is how I would have before. Sometimes I wish I could pause time for a little while just to be able to stop and think and rather than make choices because I have to then and there, and actually think about what I really want.

The Oxford Mail called me this week. It would seem its been a year since the court case. My memory had stayed shut to that particular event. Being made to think about made me realise that I can remember everything about that day, possibly with more clarity than the accident itself. The weather, the drive there, even what music I listened too whilst waiting. But what sticks most in my mind is the sound of him cheering at the verdict. In that single moment I realised what despair actually feels like.

People go through so much worse than I have and move on, so I’m not sure why I have the need to think about things so much. I’m not a hoarder with physical items in my life, yet with my thoughts and memories, I can’t seem to let them go.

A Year Comes And Goes

I have been trying to write this post for a while now but the right words have been hard to come by. 

Sunday 12th May saw the one year anniversary of the day my life took an unexpected turn down a rather long and often scary road. But travel on the road I did and through the tears, the pain, the anger and the frustration I got to the end. I would never have been able to do it without the love and support (and now and then a few stern words!) of my friends and family. I’ve said it in previous posts but it is so true. It is amazing how something horrific can bring people closer together.

It’s quite amazing that is has been a year. 

Getting this blog finished today I have been watching the opening day of Wimbledon. It’s hard to believe that this time last year I was watching from my bed, unable to walk with two broken legs. 
The actually anniversary was a bizarre day. Leading up to it I was more anxious about how it would make me feel than actually being anxious about it. Does that even make sense? I’m not sure if I was expecting to break down and cry, sit in a trance, scream with anger. As it happens I did none of those things. I tried to keep myself busy but I was taken over by the need to clock watch and mentally recall events of the same time a year previous. When I got to my Mum’s to pick the children up, when I got to Sainsbury’s, when I was run over, when I got to the hospital and so forth. However, shockingly, I didn’t really feel anything. It was all very surreal, like reliving a dream and wondering if what you are recalling is actually reality.
The memories are still very real in my head, there is no escaping them, but they aren’t painful anymore. Gradually they are becoming my past and not the life that I am living every day. 

The physical reminders however have been a little harder. 
As well as May being the one year anniversary it was also the time for us to finally embark on our family holiday to Egypt along with our friends. (For those that know me, you would have been witness to the countdown for approximately 5 months!)
It was a holiday that we very much needed and definitely deserved. Summer clothes were packed, the sun lotion was ready, the passports and tickets all in order. So why was I apprehensive about two weeks that I had been looking forward to for over five months?
The reason would be the scars on my legs. 
I’m not a vain person, my body is not a temple. It is a portrait of having carried and given birth to three children (two at the same time I may add). However the scars on my legs caused me to feel nervous of my appearance. And in all honesty I feel ashamed to even feel that way about them as in all honesty they aren’t huge or garish, but to me that’s all you can see. 
It would seem that I needed have worried. Out I went in my bikini showing the world my motherly lumps and bumps and it turns out that not one person was interested in me or my legs! The holiday was the best ever!

As for the further surgery to my left leg, I cancelled it. I have decided that for now I have faced as much of the hospital as I can bear and mentally I am in a good place. My surgeon has agreed that I can book it when when I feel it is needed and I am ready.

For now I am enjoying my legs and the adventures that they are taking me on with my beautiful family.

Maybe it is true after all …. time is a healer. 

 

 

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.

 

 

Feeling Normal

Things are pretty ok at the moment I think!

My counselling continues and that along with my happy medication I seem to on an even keel plodding along nicely. Maybe it’s a false euphoria, I always w dee if the tablets are actually just hiding the daemons but you know what? I feel happy and content and normal for the first time in a long time. So for now I am going to enjoy it.

Christmas has been a family fuelled roller coaster! I am so lucky to have married into such a warm and loving family, the Hyatt clan coupled with my family make me a very lucky girl indeed. For Christmas we stayed in our home and catered for everyone with James cooking a feast and the children being entertained by Uncles, Aunts and Grandparents. The house was bursting with laughter and joy, the magic of Christmas really did happen.

My legs continue to ache, often waking me up, but I am learning slowly to live with it. The most difficult thing for me is still the numbness and shooting pains in my big toe and foot. I saw a surgeon two weeks ago as part of my civil action (ironically he was the surgeon on call who saw me when I was bought into A&E) and he says that it is undoubtedly nerve damage caused by the Ilizarov pins that were in my ankle. He also said that it will take 18-24 months to know if there will be any long term damage. It’s always a waiting game, never seeming to get a final answer. It does nothing for the impatient soul that lives within me.
I have been discharged from the physio department now and have a huge list of exercises to be getting in with, including walking backwards on the treadmill. I caused no end of amusement to my friends tonight over a curry when I asked how you programme a treadmill to go backwards …… how was I to know that I am just supposed to turn around?

On a day to day basis I can say that the memories of the accident no longer haunt me, in fact I don’t even believe that I think about it every day. When I do recall the events that unfolded that day and beyond I am able to reflect on how I came through it and so making it easier to remember without being panicked and scared. The mind is an amazing tool but sometimes you just need to take control of it.

If someone had asked me a month ago if I would be feeling so upbeat and happy I would have shot them down. Just goes to show that with some love, positive thinking and courage anything is possible!
In two days we will be celebrating the end of 2012. What a fantastic year it has been for so many reasons, the Olympics, the Jubilee, the Tour de France ….. but quite frankly I will be glad to see the back of it and start 2013 with a smile and a fresh beginning.

Cleaning, Friends & Ouch!

The day started with tears, has ended with pain but the middle bit was alright!

When I bum shuffled down the first set of stairs this morning I was greeted with two cheeky smiles on the landing. My gorgeous little boys! Henry was eager to show me something very funny in his eyes, him wearing my Ugg boots. However, before I had a chance to tell him to move away from the stairs he was attempting to put them, lost balance and toppled head first down them and all I could do was watch and yell for James. I promptly burst into tears, totally mortified that there was nothing I could do, yet again, to comfort my son. He wasn’t hurt, just shocked, and I think I was more upset than him.

So, after eating breakfast amongst the madness that is our house in the mornings I did what I do to relieve stress …… I cleaned!
I got myself up on my crutches and I cleaned my kitchen sides and sink, emptied and re-filled the dishwasher, swept the kitchen floor and hung some washing up to dry. Boy, it felt so good to be doing just normal things! I never thought I’d see the day when I got actually excited by menial household jobs!

We have a few plans here and there for this week which I like. However much I hate going out, especially if it means being around people, I know I must do it. I can’t be a hermit and the longer you avoid something the worse it becomes. I hate wishing time away but I really want July to be over with. When we finally reach August I will be able to say that next month, I will be Nicholas free. I don’t care about the cast or boot that I might have afterwards, anything but the cage.

The house has been filled with laughter and fun today. We had an extra toddler running around as we were looking after a friends little boy. It is so uplifting to hear the giggles of small children and see them interact with each other and they are such good friends it was really beautiful watching them play.
The friend in question has been an absolute tower of strength to not only me but James as well. Nothing is ever too much trouble and she is always there with a cuddle and a smile. She is one of life’s good people and I feel very lucky to be able to call her a friend. Love you x

It has taken a while for my boys to become comfortable with me and my legs. Now they quite happily clamber onto my lap, play with the metal rings on my cage, tread on my toes if I’m stood up. It is hard to find the right balance between them being happy and natural with me yet aware that I do still have bad legs (something Archie could do well to remember when he’s launching a fire engine at me for me to save!) I am always very cautious to tell them to back off in case I push them away. But a lesson learnt tonight as Henry was sat on my lap and promptly fell onto my left leg …… ouch!! It was elevated in front of me and luckily I had the boot on but the pain! How I didn’t release a torrent of foul language is beyond me.
Needless to say I am now reaping the benefits of painkillers washed down with a cold beer!

Random Ramble

Well it’s lucky that I haven’t been counting on the weather to cheer me up! It certainly does nothing for my motivation to get up and about when it’s grey and miserable outside. I am really feeling the cold too, I sit under a blanket most of the time because I’m so chilly. Perhaps it’s due to my diminished level of activity. Whatever the reason, it’s not pleasant.

I dragged my bum out of bed today despite an awful nights sleep and straightened my hair and shaved my legs (I live a really exciting life!). I was hoping it would give me a feeling of well being, instead I just got annoyed that my left leg is looking really horrible and there are bits on the right that I cannot get to!
My left leg has lost all of it’s muscle and looks really thin and spindly with a large lump on the left hand side where the metal plate is. I am hoping that once I can start using the leg properly the muscle will come back and it won’t be as obvious as it is now. I find the mental reminder than it’s there hard enough without the cosmetic reminder. The right side of my left ankle that has been pinned looks odd and feels very different too. I suppose I just need to get used to the changes?
My right leg is just awkward because I have to keep it dry because of the risk of infection in the pin sites so I cover it with a bin bag when I shower. To wash and shave it I use a bowl of hot water and it’s vey frustrating. I’m never happy with the results, it never feels clean enough and I cannot shave it enough. Overall it’s not a very satisfying task.

One thing that this whole episode has shown me is how amazing some of my friends are. Despite the fact that some of them are going through so much themselves, they are still there for me. I don’t feel like a particularly good friend in return at the moment, I am so wrapped up in my own personal hell that I don’t feel I have anything to give anyone else. That just sounds so damn selfish though and I hate the sound of myself!

James is off out tonight with friends for some beers. I’d love to go as well, to socialise and just be normal for a night. But I just cannot bare the looks and the questions that all inevitably come when you walk into a room with two broken legs. I am so over talking about the accident, I feel like I have talked it to death, nothing I say ever makes it an easier pill to swallow. Every time I talk about it, I just get angry and upset, and today I feel that way anyway without adding to the cause.
In any case, James deserves some time off from being house husband and wife carer!
My babysitter (aka my mother in law!) is coming over for a girls night in 🙂