I’m now 3 weeks post-crash and quite a bit has changed in the Rand household.
It’s probably easiest to start with the medical update:
I’ve been back to the hospital and had the big, cumbersome, post-surgery cast removed along with the staples from both wounds. My surgeon is quite happy with his handy work and thinks the scars will be very neat. I’ve now got a shiny, new, fiberglass cast on and the x-rays are looking good. Although, apparently living in Scotland means you need to fill out a 4-page form to get copies of your own x-rays! I will pull my finger out and do this, as they are definitely worth seeing, it’s a bit of a cracker! (No pun intended, ok maybe a wee bit).
This cast was due to be on for 6 weeks, but apparently I’m doing so well, they’re happy to take it off in 4! Yay, well done me! And finally, the best news, from a non-medical point of view: my consultant has given me the ok to go on holiday in half term…bring on the sunshine!
I’m trying to ease back a bit on the painkillers; they had me on pretty strong stuff at the beginning. Getting a happy medium is proving to be quite tricky, so sometimes I’m still in quite a lot of pain. Other times, and I’m not sure if it’s just psychosomatic, but I’m sure I can actually feel my bones. This feeling is not so much a pain, but an ache and very, very weird. I’m also pretty sure that I can feel the plate/metal work and that really isn’t a nice feeling. I get the odd shooting pain and tingly, twitchy feelings, but I guess that’s just everything knitting back together.
Life? Well, life’s not quite as straightforward.
I try to fill my days with as much mental stimulation as possible, without ‘overdoing it’. (Jeremy Kyle is quite an eye-opener).
Using all the lovely magazines people have brought me, I’ve completely redesigned my house, including knocking our kitchen through to create a kitchen dinner. I’ve chosen at least 4 new kitchen layouts in various colours. I’ve created a ‘mood board’ for our ‘new’ living room and I’ve nearly bankrupted us with my new on-line shopping habit. I’m currently using all the willpower I possess trying not to look at shiny new bikes! You really do NEED a hardtail for winter, right?
But, coffee with the girls… coffee with the girls is my new favourite thing. My friends are just amazing and are genuinely keeping me sane; between them, they seem to have every day covered. I do sometimes torment myself by joining the Friday biking girls for their post ride coffee. Hearing about their ride is bittersweet, but it’s so lovely to see them buzzing from the ride and it’s always good to be part of the post ride banter. They also have absolute faith in me and there’s always chat of rehab rides and how I’ll be back out with them soon.
If you see me out and about, I’m fine. I enjoy getting out and being in the company of others, and that brings out my positive, cheery self. That’s not forced or difficult as I’m generally an optimistic, upbeat person. But, if you decide drop in on me, be prepared for anything. I may be my usual self, desperate to show you my most recent kitchen design or I might just break down in floods of tears. The latter has happened to a few friends now, as frustration really begins to take hold.
The morning can be the worst part of the day; everyone has left the house and I’m left to my own devices and almost anything can get to me… It may be that I’m having a bit of a bad start with the pain, I may just be feeling sorry for myself, or I may be fuming with the frustration of missing a step with my crutch and having to put my foot down to catch myself. (Ouch!) I might have managed to make it downstairs for a shower to realise I’ve left my towel upstairs, or I might have showered successfully only to discover that I’ve forgotten to pack my f*@#ing knickers in my clothes bag, or I may have chosen to wear leggings on only to find out that they’re not stretchy enough to fit over my cast… leaving me to either force them on, or perform some sort contortionists move to get them back off again, all in the confines of my tiny shower room.
None of these things are particularly upsetting in themselves or of any major significance really (and I can write about them today with my tongue firmly in my cheek), but when it hurts or gets the better of my sense of humour, I find myself sobbing thinking “Why can’t I do this?! I’m a grown adult!” Argh!
(An apt reminder to myself as my helmet continues to protect my head!)
However, on my better days my eyes are firmly on the prize. The boot will be on in 4 weeks and I will be hands free again! I’ll be able to just stand up and walk away without faffing with crutches; I’ll be able to carry a cup of coffee without a lid on it. Oooooh, Rock and Roll!
I’ve been chatting to a physio friend of mine about how soon I can get on my turbo trainer and get myself moving again. Despite declining some very enthusiastic offerings of super gluing a cleat to my cast and just going for it now (not my physio friend’s advice) I should be able to use the turbo pretty quickly once my cast is off. This is absolute music to my ears! There is already a visible difference in the size of my thighs and it’s only been 3 weeks. That’s scary!
I feel like I’ve been quite negative today so I’ll leave you with an anecdote that is utterly humiliating for me but might raise a smile from you (either that or you’ll be cringing along with me).
I was at a ball at the weekend. It was a last minute decision to go, but my leg was feeling quite good, I’d found something to wear that covered my cast and I felt quite nice in, so I decided that getting ‘glammed up’ was just what I needed. Anyway, after the meal, I spotted Ruaridh Cunningham and with a glass or two of wine in me, I thought it might be quite witty to ask him for some mountain bike lessons and have a joke about my leg. He was very sweet and chatty then said “Oh, would you like me to sign your cast?” Unfortunately my mouth was working faster than my brain and I replied “Eh, no, not really!”… brain catches up!… “Erm, well erm, I’ve not …got a pen” … “Oh, oh I’ve got lipstick… Eh, no, no, that might be a bit weird…”
With every ounce of my body screaming LEAVE, for God sake walk away, I smile, fumble with my crutches and take a couple of half hearted hops before realising that I need to ‘crab’ myself sideways to get in between the chairs (which is a manoeuvre I’ve not yet mastered) and I’ll need someone to carry my glass of wine back to my table for me for me. (The option of a subtle, classy exit, well and truly blown) Thankfully at that point his lovely, lovely girlfriend, Jane came back from the dance floor and helped with my not so elegant retreat. Slick Rand!
(Yes, I think I do, quite literally, have my claws in him!)
BUT…Much to my dismay it didn’t end there! After regaling this story to my friend, she made it her mission to find a pen, find Ruaridh again and ‘make up’ for my earlier faux pas. Thank God he has such a good sense of humour and bless him, he was willing to engage in conversation with us again and also wrote a lovely message on my cast. Ah!