If I ever get out of here … *

The adage about always wear a clean pair of knickers before you go out is well worth following. It was one my grandmother was fond of repeating, ‘in case you get run over’. I doubt my knickers would have been the first thing on my mind but who knows.

Work or walk?

I was happily working away on the computer – rather than allowing myself to be distracted by interesting blogs – when Little Rat came to see me. All dogs have their own way of asking to go out. Some go to the door. Some bark or whine. Some run up and down or dance around. Others put their head or paw on your knee. If I’m in the sitting room, Snowy goes to the door. If I’m on the computer he walks in to see me and gives me a purposeful look.

‘I’ll take him if you like,’ said Partner. ‘You carry on working.’

‘It’s OK, you do enough. I’ll take him. It will give me a break.’

It was 1 May and bank hol, and Partner was having a well-deserved day off from the construction site.

I took Snowy up to one of his favourite playgrounds, the top of a nearby disused military bastion dating from the 19th century. It’s quite dangerous with wide deep gutterings running across the roof and lots of pipes and tubes to trip over. One side has no parapet to speak of and is a sheer drop to the yard below. The other side has a high parapet but the gun openings have no protection to stop you falling the 100ft to the car park below. Snowy has no fear of heights and often jumps up to look down. I walk in the middle of the bastion well away from the edges and carefully pick my way over the gutters, tubes and pipes.

Snowy was sniffing something. I called him, looked back and he came charging up to join me. I turned ahead again to plot a safe route and he barrelled into me from behind. I was on my back on the floor before I knew it. The pain was already shooting up my left leg. This was not good. I looked at my left foot. This was worse. It was not straight. It was skewed nastily to the left. Too much so.

Great. I’m stuck on a disused bastion where no-one goes (hence taking the dog there) on a bank holiday. Without a mobile of course. Dog now running around like an idiot trying to help.

I crawled to a curtain and sat on a step. I tried to stand and quickly sat down before I passed out. No limping home for me. How long before Partner came to look for me. Nightfall? It was around 1pm at this point.

‘HELP,’ I yelled. Repeatedly. Eventually a young couple walked past far below me on the other side of the road. They looked up, saw me, and decided to ignore the mad woman waving at them and shouting for help. Clearly thought I’d been on the vodka. If I had I might have fallen better.

There is a bar on the ground floor of the bastion that opens selective hours so I continued to yell for help hoping it was open for bank hol. Sometimes I switched into Spanish: ‘¡Ayúdeme!’ Some people walked past and didn’t even look up.

No idea how long I had been yelling for, but suddenly a couple appeared up the dodgy steps. Snowy ran to check them out so I had to reassure them he wasn’t a bitey dog. The man immediately rang for an ambulance and then gave me his mobile to ring Partner. His wife explained they had heard my calls for help, but didn’t realise where the sounds were coming from. They thought perhaps it was a married couple having an argument. (??) It was only when they heard me calling in Spanish that they decided to investigate – en route to the bar below. ‘HELP!’ may be shorter and easier but ‘¡AYUDEME!’ is clearly more successful. I’d even got to the point of thinking about adding ‘Au secours!’ to my multi-lingual appeal for help just before they turned up.

Partner appeared and caught Snowy. The ambulance service came and took ages to strap me up and stretcher me down the dodgy steps.

Readers who have been with Roughseas/Itchyfeet and Pippadogblog for some years will be aware that I am not fond of hospitals and that previous tumbles – with Pippadogblog seven years ago damaging fingers, hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, and the sprain to the same left foot last year – have all been dealt with successfully using time and rest at home.

But even I couldn’t see this one being fixed with time and rest, much as I would have liked that.

Minor injuries

At the hospital, I was rushed through to a nice little room and a smiley nurse came to take details and say how bad my ankle/foot/leg looked.

Did I want painkillers? No. (This was to be a recurrent theme)

Doctor will be along soon. In the UK that would have meant some time tonight. In Gib it meant soon.

Off I went to X ray mega fast. And back to MI.

Cheerful doctor and same cheerful nurse told me what a nasty break I had. (That will teach me for wanting a ‘break’ from work – it was a little too literal.)

For those of you who, like me, appreciate the techy info, I had a bi-malleolar fracture and a dislocation. In other words I’d broken both bones on either side of the ankle and it was also out of joint. Not a good one for self-healing. It would need an op the following day and in the meantime they would try and straighten it up and plaster it.

Cannula and drips were stuck in and I lay there like meat on a slab. Nurse kept saying how brave I was rather as you would to a six-year-old. She said she would have been screaming in agony. I thought she was over-egging it but Partner reckoned she was serious. They brought in a strange machine and told me to breathe into it if I had too much pain while I was getting plastered. I didn’t bother.

Admission

There was no home sweet home for me that night. They found me a bed and Partner went off to bring some overnight goodies. He also took what was left of my jeans, destined to become shorts with one leg now cut off well above the knee.

On the way to the ward I saw a neighbour.

‘Hola’ I says. Or maybe ‘Buenas tardes’.

‘What happened?’

‘I fell.’

‘Was it the dog?’ (Jewish people are not fond of dogs)

‘The little one,’ I replied and then off I was whizzed on my trolley.

I was homed in a nice large empty room by the window. Quiz. Which hospital in Europe has beautiful views of the Rock, the Straits, and Morocco?

Levanter over the Rock, early morning
Levanter over the Rock, early morning

In the evening I watched the sun set over Morocco and in the morning I watched dawn come over the Rock. Very nice.

I was happily established in my room. I’d got a commode wheelchair thing to zap to the toilet in fine Davros-style, I’d managed to get three books from a staff nurse, and even asked for vegan food. Not that I received anything as I was being starved for a possible op the next day.

The surgeon wandered in on Friday morning with the sidekick I’d seen in minor injuries the day before. If the swelling had gone down enough there was a chance I could be operated on that day or maybe Saturday. The surgeon cut open the plaster and took one look. He sighed dramatically. It wasn’t the swelling that was the problem – it was the fracture blister that had popped up overnight. We had to wait for that to go down so I was put back for surgery until Tuesday. In a way I was glad. I wasn’t psyched up for an op. He apologised for keeping me in over the weekend. Hey, room service for meals, lying in bed reading in a private room to all intents and purposes, who was I to complain?

My illusions were shattered. As soon as I was no longer an imminent case for surgery, I was moved from my exclusive accommodation to a smaller room occupied by two older women, ie older than me. Still I got another window bed, so I settled in to wait for Tuesday.

By Saturday morning the blister was even bigger. My surgeon came around again and said we would have another look on Monday. We might need to put off surgery until Thursday, or possibly even the following Tuesday. He took Sunday off, but another doctor came to admire the artwork on my leg. The blister was now resembling mutating jellyfish, spawning more of them around my lower leg and into the incision zones, thereby increasing the risk of infection both during and after the op.

Fracture blisters
Fracture blisters

‘I can’t see me having surgery Tuesday, can you?’

‘No. But it’s not my decision.’

My surgeon arrived Monday am and agreed Tuesday was a non-starter. Thursday didn’t look too hopeful either. Put back to the following Tuesday ie a glorious 12 days after admission. Bed blocking par excellence.

I’d already lost track of time. I felt as though I had been in for ever and yet it was only four days. I was in limbo. I couldn’t get outside, I couldn’t walk, couldn’t use crutches or a frame because when I fell I’d also damaged my right ankle and left wrist and they couldn’t weight bear.

My only contact with the outside world was the evening visit from Partner, ‘phone calls from a neighbour and a few emails from a couple of friends who knew what had happened. Otherwise, I spent my time eating, reading and sleeping in my strange bubble of a world.

Flowers from neighbours - Partner is not a flower man
Flowers from neighbours – Partner is not a flower man

Television

Each bed has a private TV. I didn’t want the intrusion. The TV mechanic who comes around regularly to check them was most disappointed to find out I didn’t want to kill time watching TV.

‘It’s good for you.’

‘Why?’

Long pause.

‘Well, first it’s one hour less in the day, and then two …’

Time is far too precious to kill, and watching inane TV does not strike me as a good use of time when I could be reading, writing, eating, sleeping, or even thinking.

But by the second Saturday I was a bit sick of listening to next door’s Telecinco so I put something on to distract me from noisy Spanish chat shows where everyone talks at once. More about my thoughts on TV on Clouds as this is the dramatic hospitalisation post.

Food

This was better than I expected. OK vegans are grateful for anything. Lunch and tea/supper included a veg soup, a carb-based main course, and sometimes a salad, incl EVOO and wine vinegar. Fruit for dessert apart from when they provided jelly ??!! which I left. Breakfast was terrible toast or cereal. I would have considered cereal but they refused to buy soya milk for me. I saved a piece of fruit for brekkies and accepted a weak black tea.

Limbo ….

And so the days passed.

Sleep, read, eat. Drive the Davros chair to the toilet. Get offered paracetamol four times a day for the pain I didn’t have. Blood pressure, temp, pulse etc checked three times a day. Blood tests. An ECG. When my temp approached 38 I was force fed paracetamol. Apparently it lowers the temp. I didn’t bother taking it one night. My extremely scientific control experiment proved that my temp dropped overnight without paracetamol.

The Davros chair, propelled by right foot
The Davros chair, propelled by right foot

The Tuesday of the initially proposed op came and went and was marked only as the first day without a visit from a consultant and my companion in the bed opposite went home. Not a good day.

Wednesday saw another visit from my surgeon. We agreed the following Tuesday was looking likely. ‘Not this Thursday’, I said.

‘Do you want Thursday?’ I do hope he was joking as the malevolent huge jellyfish were still happily mutating.

I glared and said ‘Tuesday.’

‘Tuesday it is.’ And off he skipped.

He came again on Thursday and Friday. He seemed to think the jellyfish family looked better. They looked the same to me. No-one came on Saturday. It was another peaceful uneventful weekend in limbo. I didn’t expect to see anyone on Sunday but one of the other doctors came to gaze at the jellyfish. It had shrunk. Suddenly the swelling had gone down and so had the blister. Amazing. Tuesday looked like a cert. I decided to make the most of my pre-op bliss and worry about the op on Tuesday and not before.

Deflated jellyfish
Deflated jellyfish

Everyone else ie all the nurses and auxiliaries seemed quite excited for me on Monday. I suppose someone else’s op is more interesting than them lying in bed for 12 days with fracture blisters, although had I charged for the amount of staff who had looked at them, and called their mates to look, I would have been onto a nice little earner.

On the night-time tablet run on the Monday before the op, not only was I offered the inevitable paracetamol, I was asked if I wanted sleeping pills.

Why?

Well, the operation tomorrow …

I rolled my eyes, turned over, and went to sleep. Tomorrow would bring what it would. I didn’t want to ruin a last night of pain-free sleep with pills. There was little point worrying about something I couldn’t change. The conveyor belt was on the move.

Evening sun over the harbours
Evening sun over the harbours

If you missed the link to the Clouds post about some views from a hospital bed, here it is again.
* Title inspired by that awful Paul McCartney and Wings from Band on the Run. And did I ever need a pint a day.

157 comments on “If I ever get out of here … *

    • That blister, and his siblings, were nasty.

      E111 does work. We’re in the Gib system anyway which is similar to UK ie based on contributions. I piggy back off A. Nobody asked for my health card and I guess technically it was A&E anyway. On the other hand Gib is quite computerised so someone could easily have keyed in my details to check I was registered.

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        • I’ve not heard that. At our local Spanish hospital medics went on record as saying they would treat A&E patients with or without E111s. This was a few years ago. All hospitals around here, Gib included, will throw *some* people out once patients are stabilised. I suspect it is status/residence dependent. I had to push to get discharged and I could easily have been there now.

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  1. It’s always the little ones! Poor non-bitey Snowy! He tried to help the silly human on the ground (Molly get upset if I do sit ups – which I have to do nightly – so why won’t she get used to it?)
    That is a nasty sort of break! (Have to admit never actually seen a fracture blister…odd like a jelly fish…so that’s why they have to wait before operating) At least you do know about hospitals and stuff – that’s important. Glad to hear you were cared for so quickly once you got rescued.
    (They will now want you for one of those accident alert pendants they have here…you can honestly scream “I’ve fallen and can’t get up!”)
    Books and some food – such a view. Those TV’s are annoying – (your Spanish talk shows sound like the Mexican Game shows you can watch here)
    After a day or two, you do feel time is suspended. (Such a nice view…here there would be parking lots or buildings.)
    Do hope you get sprung out of there …but will Snow and Pippa want to be entertainers rather than service dogs? (Good to live in small place – less hobbling around…sunny spot in garden with book and pint….several pints…I’ll have one in your name…after walking the dog)Headed over to Clouds. Hang in there (like you have a choice) Will be back to check on you!

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    • Yes, who would have thought little Snowy could be so powerful?

      Sit-ups? That’s impressive.

      Despite all my breaks, sprains, fractures in the past, I’ve never seen a fracture blister before. Quite dramatic I suppose. Kept all the staff fascinated so I was quite the novelty.

      For some reason I was videoed when rescued. I was too brain-dead and in pain to ask what it was for. Training maybe?

      Pippa is resting in the warmer weather. Snowy is being, well Snowy. He makes it clear when I need to make space on the sofa for him. I am sofa bound for the next weeks as all I can do is hop on the least worst leg – no weight-bearing.

      I’m still reading, eating and sleeping, only difference at home is no views but I do have internet. It’s all a state of mind really. Just have to make what you can out of the situation and not fret about things you have no control over.

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      • Glad you are home. It just feels better. Been laughing at Clouds: the staff, the TV shows – will comment over there today…when I have more than 30 uninterrupted seconds. Ditto with your last line. Paw waves to the pups!

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        • Yes, it is good to be home. I’d spent so long working on the managerial side in the health service, being a patient was bound to be fascinating from a professional point of view!

          The flying Podenco is off out with A to use up some if that non-stop energy.
          Pippa sends a nose rub to Molly from under his table den.

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      • You were videoed when rescued? Must keep an eye open for the new Channel 5 blockbuster programme that’s a replacement for Benidorm ER…:P

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        • Unless it was a training vid it will only be on GBCTV. Phew! I don’t mind looking shite on vid for training ambulance crew. I do mind being part of a blockbuster. I may yet write to check.

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  2. Oi Vey! That’s a nasty break! You never felt pain? I have a pretty high threshold for pain, myself, but I think I might have been open to some sort of relief.

    San Miguel at home would definitely be better than paracetamol, though. Are you still hobbling around in the plaster? How’s your wrist and right ankle?

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    • Oi Vey indeed. Even the consultant said it was nasty.

      Apart from when I tried to stand on it (ha!) so long as it was in the same position, no it wasn’t particularly painful. But that could be me. I think they may have whacked some tramodol in via the cannula when they were setting the ankle but I think I was in too much shock for any pain to register!

      The San Mig is definitely better and I have two weeks of sobriety to catch up on.

      I’m not hobbling. I wish I was. I’m hopping on the right ankle for the next six weeks. Minimum. Left wrist is not good. I’m actually hopping more at home than in hospital as there is someone with me at home to make sure I don’t fall. I didn’t feel like calling for a nurse so I could practise hopping all the time. But the brace I’ve got for the wrist isn’t strong enough. I’m off to out patients this week but I doubt the surgeon will be interested in anything apart from his work.

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  3. Oh, my goodness sweet friend, what an ordeal you have been through. I am so happy someone finally came to your rescue. That was a very nasty blister and it sure came up and grew quickly. How brave you are going through all that with no pain medication. I do hope you are a whole lot better by now and will be all healed up very soon. Big hugs!!

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    • Thanks Mags. They were def a pair of good Samaritans. I must organise myself to write a thank you letter to the local paper in case they read it.

      I wasn’t brave. It just wasn’t that painful. I haven’t written the post-op sequel yet…

      It will take time. No quick fixes. Thanks for the hugs, much appreciated right now.

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  4. “If we ever get out of here” was a line in Paul McCartney’s ‘Band on the Run’ and was allegedly inspired by a comment by George Harrison in a post break up Beatles meeting! I guess you knew that already!

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    • I’ve got Band on the Run. I see you didn’t read all the post as usual as I did credit him right at the end. Not heard the GH anecdote though. Band on the Run is one of the few songs I know the words for. I think it’s a good song, and a great LP.

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  5. Oh blimey, you certainly don’t do things by half, do you? Wondered where you’d got to as I recently had a rant about the lack of care by my local GP. Was expecting a comment or two from Gib. Bit worried, actually. Hope you’re feeling more like your old self – we’ve missed you !

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    • It was a bit thorough wasn’t it? Too much so. I shall try and back read in my sofa-ridden days and will no doubt come out with such intellectual and critically incisive comments such as most GPs are crap.

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      • Poor you. Take all the sympathy you can get – go on, you might enjoy it :) it’s the boredom factor that’s a killer – and I totally agree about TV – what ever happened to decent edgy BBC drama. Remember Edna the Inebriated Woman? Or anything by Mike Leigh for a little light relief? GBH or Boys From the Blackstuff? What about Tutti Frutti? You can tell how I spent many an evening through the 80’s, can’t you.

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        • I’m an only child. We’re good at occupying ourselves.

          I don’t know all those but GBH? Brilliant. Robert Lindsay (foxy, Wolfie) was superb in that. Thatcher clearly provoked good drama!

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          • Ah yes, Tooting Popular Front – who could forget that. Or anything with Julie Waters in. She lives near us. Seen her once in Waitrose, obviously.

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          • I did like TPF. I mentioned it on comments elsewhere. My father and I would sit there in hysterics while my mother disapproved. Except sometimes she forgot herself and laughed.

            Walters never did much for me. Humour is very difficult though. We all like different styles.

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  6. When you started the piece and mentioned about taking snowy for a walk, I was like, you’ve got to be joking, then it dawned on me you were writing about what happened before your accident. (bit on the slow side sometimes) Wondered where you were going to with the knickers, but that should have been my clue…Duh!

    That must have been a bit scary or a least worrisome being stranded like that. Sounds like snowy did all he could to rally someone around. Ayudame! is definitely better than help!…It gives you more time to stress the importance of what you’re saying and for your voice to get stronger and louder as you say it. Help, just falls flat. You’ve got to love the Spanish language!

    I’m so glad you’re back and posting! Bet little snowy is happy to have you back too! :) I didn’t know you were an avid Dr. Who fan…really had me chuckling about the Davros chair. That blister (Jellyfish) looks gruesome. You must have been happy when it popped, will have been as sore as hell though…nasty.

    Right, off to read your bit on Clouds now. :D

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    • You were one of the few who knew I was in hospital. To everyone else it is just a tale in chron order. Anyway I did mention May 1 and today is May 20!

      I thought the knickers adage was strange – until you suddenly end up in hospital when you haven’t planned it :D

      Snowy was trying to help, bless. Even if he had caused the problem. Good point about ayúdeme. Hadn’t thought of that. Yes help is quite flat.

      I did like Dr Who. And the Daleks. So evil. I got quite fond of my Davros chair :)

      Blister didn’t hurt. Well not that I noticed, but me and pain rarely meet. I don’t know whether it popped or not, but more on that in part dos.

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      • The knickers adage certainly makes sense…I guess it’s different for us guys…we really don’t give a f***. I think sometimes, it must be easier being a guy for so many reasons. We don’t have some of the worries of women. Btw, I’m being supportive here not anything else, but you’re smart enough to realize that.

        Bless him! You can never hold an animal at fault. They are totally without malice.

        I love Dr Who…I still have three box-sets unopened…I’ll get to them at one point…I really should get the oldies as well. Davros…definitely the best villain. You know what really scared me? When, in the new ones the daleks began to fly…it was like…OMG! What is it about Dr. Who that keeps us at the edge of our seats?

        I’m glad it didn’t hurt. You had enough to contend with.

        Btw…love the views!…won’t find that in England.

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        • Of course. The knickers one actually does say a lot doesn’t it?

          Said animal sitting on sofa arm looking like an Egyptian tomb dog!

          I loved the Daleks in a frightened sort of way. Isn’t there a current series again? Not sure the new ones are as good but still, good it keeps going.

          I said I don’t think it hurt. I try and block pain out.

          Have to say nice views actually do contribute to a good state of mind.

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          • Yes :D

            Lmao…Aragorn does that…even though he’s a cat…actually, Egyptians did worship cats. (He wrecked my music room last night…mic in the floor, headphones in the floor, little ship in the floor…then he looks at me like, they moved themselves! …and I can’t get mad at him…little bastard!)

            Yeah, I’ve got them all except the last series. Pat’ll get me those for Christmas. ;)

            Good thing too. You’re a strong woman, Roughseas.

            If you’re mind is like mine, it doesn’t take much…remember Miedo and the railroad track from HRI window? lol

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          • Snowy often looks quite feline. He has that catfish trick of waving a front paw around imperiously. Most odd. He stretched like a cat too.

            Pat spoils you!

            Not really. Occasionally practical/pragmatic.

            Yes. Of course. I liked the flight of fantasy. Trouble is, if I go down that (rail) road track – we call them railway tracks in the UK ;) – I fall asleep before I have finished daydreaming.

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          • :)

            :D

            Yes, but I do her also…all the Twilights, Once Upon A Times, Jane Austin collection…to name a few. :D

            You’re right…railway track it is…I’ll have to change it all again when I do A Brit In America…I have to use American Grammar and Spelling. :D

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          • Austin, would that be the car. Or the author Austen? Who, just for inf, I dislike. Americans are obsessed by her.

            Oops I hadn’t finished. Anyway, I am expecting BiA to be full of railroads etc it would only be right. Even if I will cringe at it :D

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          • Clever… Anyway, same difference. What do I know? I’m not into her stuff. Sounds like the car to me. :D

            :D

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  7. Oh that injury looks bad and painful, but your story makes it rather humorous, I bet it wasnt at the time though. Those commodes are emblazoned on my mind, especially when the timing was wrong, or the nurse took a little longer to get it. And trying to rush with all sorts of tubes and wires attached to me, quite awkward.. I read your Clouds but I forgot to say I hope you are on the mend.. take care Kj all the best… ;)

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    • Hey, might as well entertain people if I can. In the early days I actually couldn’t believe it. The last similar op I’d had was 37 years ago in my teens. I kept expecting to wake from my nightmare.

      I never used a commode as with the chair I could zap to the toilet and back nicely. Timing of nurse visits to people who did need help is another story again.

      Thanks Gerry. It will take time so I will be patient. Or a patient?

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  8. I had to read all that just so to correct about Paul McCartney? It’s Sir Paul..

    You are braver than I Gunga Din. No painkillers? What are you….a robot.
    Sheesh!
    I suppose a cheesy get well soon and cyber flowers is in order. ;)

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    • Pop stars earn shed loads of money, I see no reason to award them titles too. Anyway he wasn’t knighted when they released BotR.

      Pain is transient. Or at least it is for something like this. There are people who live with permanent pain so I think I’m pretty minor in the scheme of things. Or maybe I’ve just had a lot if these sort of injuries. Two in nine months to the same ankle?

      If you can only manage cheesy grudging wishes and flowers, I think I’ll pass on those, thanks all the same ;)

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        • Nobody else has said that. I don’t see why they should be cheesy. If they are, then best not to send cheesy wishes and cyber flores.

          Quick search gives various meanings: tacky, cheap, tawdry, unpleasant, blatantly inauthentic, – which one did you have in mind!

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          • Oh…we are going down this route again are we….
            The simply get well soon and accept my best wishes.
            Meanwhile, it’s time for elevenses down here so I shall go and have a coffee……and a cheese sandwich.

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          • :D

            See you could have said that in the first place.

            Ah yes we are on the same time zone are we not? (More or less)

            I on the other hand must resort to some liquid painkiller as my forthcoming refreshment.

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          • No bread (I’ve yet to pluck up the energy to embark on the process given I am half leg less), so no sarnies. I think we have cheese in, but that’s really for him as I do my best to avoid it.

            I have no idea what my chef is concocting for lunch today. I shall await with anticipation on my sick-sofa.

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  9. I think you are going to be extremely successful in this new career as a horror story writer. The suspense of the site, the attack, and then the monsters taking you prisoner … all highly effective. Lose the views, though. They take too much of the tension away.

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  10. Oh my goodness … what a terrible thing to happen! And it could have been even worse! What a horrible time it must have been, waiting … before that couple heard you! Those were really nasty fractures! I’ve never broken anything, so I couldn’t even imagine! Get well soon!

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    • True. It could have been far worse. I did tell myself that when I was annoyed about two broken bones in the same ankle. I could have fallen on my face and smashed my head open. Or as Partner said this morning I could have broken both legs.

      I wrote a post a few years ago on Clouds about childhood illnesses, accidents, and ops. I was amazed by the amount of people who had managed to avoid hospital all their life. I seemed to be in and out of the revolving hospital door throughout my youth.

      Thanks. Soon will be relative though.

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  11. I’d noted your online absence and hoped you were sojourning in Spain, but oh wow… something so simple are doing a kindness to Partner, walking Snowy, and then uh oh. Thank goodness the helpful couple came along. The view from the first room, and a modicum of R&R were slightly appealing but the other, especially the fracture blister – I’ve never heard or seen this before – well, how awful for you. I’ll comment on the Clouds post separately but your hospital stay seemed quite civilised if extended but at least you are home now. I like the sound of San Miguel as pain relief, and I agree, a glass of wine for the G.O. & I often suffices rather than painkillers. Lastly, the flowers from the neighbours are beautiful, but more important were the visits from Partner. (We are currenlty internet-less at home so my online presence will be hit and miss for a few days – best case scenario)

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    • I wish I’d been in Spain too. Although the Rat could well have knocked me over there too. When we homed Snowy we agreed he wd be my responsibility to walk. So just ‘cos A was off work didn’t mean I shouldn’t walk Rat.

      Despite the number of fractures I’ve had, fracture blisters were a new one on me.

      Hospital was as civilised as it can be. Very quirky and typically Gibbo.

      The best alcoholic painkiller tends to be spirits but I stopped drinking those years ago. Had someone handed me a fine malt whisky from Isla I would have downed it thankfully and asked for a refill.

      Alcohol is often about relaxing as much as anything else, for me anyway. So having a beer at home with my boys is a way of creating some quasi-normality.

      I did like the flowers. As for Partner’s visits, he found it disruptive to his day and invariably only stayed half an hour. We probably talked more on the ‘phone during the day – visiting was 6-8pm.

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  12. What a nightmare indeed! I am sure it was just as traumatic for Snowy to see you hurt like that. Around here you just scream : ‘Rape, Rape, help!’ and everyone comes running. Not sure if they want to help or join in but it works. LOL!

    Luckily Simba is a slow mover like me – we both have the same muscle aches and pains most of the times, especially when it’s so cold and it’s been years since I did any climbing. The most climbing I do are on the stairs. Simba I have to help up the stairs. :)

    That injury looks way better than before (blister) and it looks like you were taken great care of. Not something you will find here in our hospitals for sure. I prefer going the no-painkiller approach as well. Less side-effects.

    Take care and know I am thinking of you hon. :D ♥ Hugs ♥

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    • Hi Sonel. Yup it did feel like a nightmare. I had to shake my head a few times as I honestly couldn’t believe it was really happening. I do not believe that rape story, but it did make us both laugh this morning.

      Our older dog is slower. Because of the weather change right now his arthritis has flared up too. But still, see a cat and old age and illness get forgotten. Snowy is the opposite. He’s still less than a year old and a bundle of energy. There is a high rate of abandoning Podencos in Spain :( they get used for hunting for two years, and then chucked out or killed. They are a great dog, but they are hyper.

      The nursing care was good. I’m waiting to see how successful the op is before I pass judgement on the surgery.

      Given the proven links to liver damage with paracetamol I really don’t think it should be dished out with such abandon. My drugs chart had an unbroken list of Rs (for refused) next to the paracetamol section.

      Thank you very much. I think I should have taken care three weeks ago!

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      • hehehehe! You shouldn’t believe it. Just wanted to give you a laugh. I still can’t believe that there were people who heard you and didn’t want to help, but I am very grateful for the couple who did. :D

        Oh, I bet! The wife of the vet I used to work for, had 2 greyhounds and they were just as hyper. What a pity that they’re treated like that. They are awesome dogs for sure.

        I am sure the op was successful and one of these days you can go around kickin Ark’s ass again. LOL!

        I totally agree with you there. If it can be poisonous to cats, it can be to us as well. I bet you were the first patient ever to refuse painkillers. :D

        Oh well, like I always say : Shit happens and life goes on. You just get well soon. :D ♥ Hugs ♥

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        • I’ll believe anything about SA it sounds a country of such amazing contrasts. One day we’ll get there. I don’t think the non-helpers realised I needed help! Just thought I was crazy. Or as Vicky suggested, overly paranoid thinking I had a gang of 50+ year old potential muggers with me.

          Yes, they are similar to greyhounds. In fact there are rescue groups in Spain that work with both galgos (greyhounds) and Podencos. Pods are descended from North African greyhounds. But after trying to shred my blanket and Partner’s shoe, he’s now lying peaceably on the sofa.

          I’m gently practising with Ark already. Doesn’t do to lose one’s touch.

          I’ve just been reading about animals and NSAIDs like paracetamol and ibuprofen. Some vets will give paracetamol to dogs (cats lack an essential enzyme to process it) but why bother when there are other safer less toxic drugs.

          Indeed shit does happen, and as Reb said, it could have been worse.

          Like

          • It surely is. The ANC won the election again. Now I am just waiting for all those that voted for them to start complaining again. Some people are just born stupid.

            Whahahahah! 50+ year old potential muggers sounds like fun. I will just call you weird. When you get to 50 you’re not crazy anymore. Just more weird. LOL

            hehehe, he sounds like quite a character and spoiled as well. I don’t blame you. It’s fun spoiling them. They are just like little kids. :D

            Good for you on the ‘gently practicing’ with Ark. I think he missed that loving touch of yours.

            I totally agree there and what some of them also doesn’t tell you is that paracetamol can make dogs constipated and it can also cause liver damage. Paracetamol is also lethal to snakes. Makes you wonder why doctors are so quick to prescribe meds that can be lethal to animals.

            I agree with Reb and I am just glad it isn’t worse. Next time break a plate or glass please. LOL!

            Like

          • I do remember reading something pre-election about the ANC, can’t remember which SA blog it was though as I read quite a few. Not sure whether it is time zone factor or mutually cranky factor.

            When I read my first degree (ancient and med history and archaeology) there were neat definitions for the varying different degrees. Forgotten all the others, just that people doing my degree were eccentric.

            We’ve never taken a pup so young, so apart from four or five weeks with his foster mum who found him in a rubbish bin at a few days old, we’re all he’s known. He’s well behaved when he’s not knocking me over, and his chewy stage will go. (She says :D)

            I know, I suspect my soft gentle approach is so appreciated by some of the boys :).

            Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, NSAIDs are a class one for causing liver damage. And they don’t mix too well with alcohol. So it’s out with the painkillers and in with the beers.

            I’m looking to no more next times. It was 37 years since the last op, so if it’s the same again that would put me at 90+ when I doubt I will still be kicking anyone’s arse.

            Like

          • Yeah, we’re stuck again with the ANC. Let’s see what they will do the next 5 years. :P

            Being eccentric is fine and well, when you’re talented and intelligent like you are, there’s nothing crazy about it. Just be weird, okay? LOL!

            Shame, that must have been so terrible for him. I am so glad you and partner found him even when he knocks you over. The chewy stage will go. :D

            Absolutely. I think they totally adore you and that soft, gentle approach, :D

            I agree and prefer beer to meds for sure, although it goes to the hips. But that’s okay. LOL!

            hahahaha. You go girl! Have fun! :D

            Like

          • I don’t know enough about SA politics to comment but seems people are racked off with ANC. BUT that’s politics the world over.

            Eccentric suits. I’ve never been conventional and I’m too old to start now.

            So many abandoned dogs. Can’t home them all. But what we can, we do.

            I am so nice. Typical cancer. Hard shell, soft as whatever really!

            Beer doesn’t go anywhere with me. Weight has never been a problem, with which, one before bedtime so I need to hop to the fridge.

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          • Me neither but I just know they suck, but it’s like you say – it’s all over. Most politicians are just huge liars.

            LOL! Cool then, eccentric lady. :D

            Oh, I know the feeling. I used to volunteer at pet shelters but cried too much when I had to leave and wanted to take them all with me, so hubby stopped it. Pfffftt!

            You lucky eccentric fish! Beer goes to my hips and thighs. You stay there. I’ll go fetch that beer for you. :D

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          • We’ve got an election for European MPs today. We’ve had four leaflets and you might as well stick a pin on the ballot sheet as make an informed vote.

            That’s one thing I couldn’t do for exactly that reason.

            I rarely refuse a beer but I have to go to out patients this morning so it will have to wait until this afternoon when I escape.

            Like

          • Awwww no! I’ll come and break their toes if they hurt you again. :twisted: Glad to hear you’re back safe and sound. Enjoy the beer and lunch. :D

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          • Ouch! Well, you just telll them if they hurt you and I hear you yelling, I am going to come flying in like Superwoman and they will have problems! :lol:

            The beer o’clock sounds like a great comfort. :D

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          • I’m going to dose myself with tramadol before I go and hope it has worn off by beer o’clock! Seeing as the two aren’t compatible. Otherwise, I’ll suffer the pain and think about my ice-cold beer :)

            Like

          • Take an extra one with and a beer. That should work. hahahah. I don’t like the suffering part. Now I want a beer! LOL!

            Know I am thinking of you and when you feel any pain, just scream at them : “Hey, Sonel said if you hurt me, she is going to come and break all your toes!”

            Like

          • Tramadol (opiate-based) is another one that shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol. Apparently it intensifies the effects. Sounds like a good thing to me.

            💊 + 🍻 = 😊

            Like

  13. i also had noticed your absence online, and had even been thinking about sending you an email since it had been ever so long, and suddenly, here is this post. i am so sorry K, that cannot have been fun, as hilariously as you tell the tale. and no pain medication. wow. but what a view!
     
    just the other day i heard that most accidents people have are a result of their pets, bless them. there really does seem to be something to that.
     
    so here’s hoping you mend well and quickly without complications! i am sure your pups are missing you lots. do take care. Timmy sends purrs & here’s sending you hugs. xx

    Like

    • While I was trying to get on with other things so had scaled down the blogging a bit, I hadn’t planned for such a long gap! It wasn’t fun. Did it read humourously? As ever, I didn’t intend it to, just wrote what happened. There wasn’t much pain, or not that I noticed, hence no need for meds.

      The pet/accident factor is interesting. I think I’ve read about people stepping on cats, although I thought most Xs were due to people falling from heights in the home especially standing on furniture rather than using ladders. Snowy and Pippa are the first of our dogs to floor me. The other three were more respectful. Or maybe I was younger…

      I hope so too, although my track record for post-op recovery is not straight-forward. However, having had a peri-op problem with the blisters, I’m hoping to avoid post-op setbacks. I can but wait and see. Snowy seems to think it fine I am back home and sofa-ridden. He plays bound around all over me, preferably on the dodgy leg. Thank goodness the plaster is solid.

      Thanks to you and Timmy :)

      Like

  14. What a total nightmare you’ve had. Those fracture blisters are scary, I think I’d have panicked if I’d seen them on my leg.
    I can’t believe your cries for help were ignored by the young couple, I wonder if they thought you were trying to con them and had accomplices waiting to pounce and mug them.
    Well done to the couple that did come to your aid.
    Lovely flowers from your neighbour, T doesn’t do flowers either, in fact I think I’d be lucky if I got a hospital visit from him, he doesn’t do hospitals either.

    Like

    • Wish it had been a nightmare and that I had woken up with two intact legs. Not much I could do about the scary jellyfish except a) hope they would stop growing and mutating and b) eventually go down. I’d begun to think they were going to take over my whole leg though!

      I hadn’t thought of the mugging scenario. That’s sad. They could have shouted at me from the road in that case though.

      The Good Samaritans were very nice.

      I liked the flowers and quite a few staff commented on them. I certainly didn’t expect A to bring flowers, I was lucky to get visits most days, however brief they were. Plus, he had to get there and back, sometimes called at Morries, and then rush back to see what Shredders had destroyed (currently attacking my blanket which is on me, little pest).

      Like

  15. I was wondering how you watch Doctor Who…

    I had drummed into me the importance of clean pants, but now it seems to be automatic. Maybe it is an age thing. So few people think, oh, they’ll do, and if you turn them inside out you get another week!

    I am horrified to read of the accident and the wait, and wish you speedy recovery.

    Like

    • Hiya Clare. Sadly there was no Dr Who on TV to watch from my Davros chair. Nor can I find anything on my bright shiny new iPad via BBC player. Ah well.

      The knickers thing just flitted through my mind while the ambulance team was sorting me out. In fact it was irrelevant as no-one ever went near anything apart from my ankle.

      Thanks Clare. It’s still a waiting game but it’s good to be home.

      Like

  16. Oh my, how horrible. I had realized I hadn’t seen a post by you in weeks, but I figured you were on holiday. I had no idea you were going through this. That blisters looks nasty and painful. You poor thing. And I can’t believe it took you so long to get help and that some people just turned their backs. Wow! Glad you are getting better.

    Like

    • Um, yes not too good. A bit longer than my normal non-posts. I usually put up a not here for a while thing if I plan to be off for weeks.

      The nurse in cas was surprised people walked past. Signs of the times. :(

      Like

  17. I’d noticed your absence but was hoping it was just due to an extended stay on the other side of the border. I am very sorry to hear about this. You didn’t really indicate that the extended wait was causing you an extreme amount of stress–in fact you seem to be taking it rather stoically. I will say that if it were me the endless days of waiting would be extremely stressful. With that in mind, I offer by best wishes that what’s to come will be better. I have not yet read part 2 but will do so now.

    Like

    • If only. Stoicism? Brit upper lip? Can’t change some things so need to accept them. Back to my fave MBA options:

      Change the situation
      Change yourself
      Leave the situation
      Accept the situation

      Only one option in this case.

      Thanks for your good wishes. Always appreciated.

      Like

  18. How dreadful for you. These accidents happen in just a split second, like when I slipped and broke my femur. Such a nightmare! I hope “Little Rat” has apologised to you. That bastion sounds like a place fraught with danger. I’m so sorry you had to go through so much pain and anguish, and hope you’re much better now. At least your hospital room has a stunning view. That song title really brought back some good memories for me.

    Like

  19. What an adventure. Glad Snowy stayed put while you didn’t have the ability to chase after him if he’d bolted. And happy that even in the midst of a crisis, you were lucid enough to think of your readers, and realized that we’d want photographs of affected foot.

    Like

  20. I think the flowers from the neighbours was really nice…they look so beautiful as well. Another thing not allowed in hospitals here….too many bloody do-gooders spoiling it for everyone else! You have lovely neighbours. :)

    Like

    • Are you serious? No flowers? What’s the excuse for that? Hay fever? Creepy crawlies on plants? Some people don’t want to look at flowers?

      My neighbours are nice. One of my blessings in life has always been good neighbours.

      In fact at outpatients today – DO NOT ASK – Arturo came to look for me as I was waiting for my appt.

      Like

      • Some D***head got the idea that they make others ill, carry germs…whatever excuse they could come up with…honestly, seriously…not allowed! Banned…just like Conkers. F***ing health and safety…I swear, it’s all about control, not the welfare or benefit of patients. Pisses me off to no end.

        Nice!

        Like

        • Well I thought of all that. Ridiculous.

          It’s not technically H&S as in H&SAWA.

          It’s more about avoiding legal claims. Anyway, you want to go to hospital, come to Gib, and I’ll bring you flowers.

          Like

          • Exactly. Funny enough…I got a hospital appt. today. Wasn’t expecting it so I’m a bit concerned…just had my bloods done for thyroid and cholesterol last week, today I get an appt letter for the diabetes and endocrinology dept at HR…I’m calling drs tomorrow to find out what it’s all about.

            Like

          • I can’t say I like tests. I don’t want to know what’s wrong with me.

            I had super active thyroid and tachycardia according to some tests in hospital. So what?

            I hope it is nothing serious. Diabetes type 2?

            Like

          • No idea. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 2-3 years ago. Now I have to have tests every 6 months. I usually just have a follow up with the doc.

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          • I don’t understand thyroid things. I had no interest in it in hospital, and no-one has mentioned it since. Nor had they better. Or they had better not.

            I read something about iodine deficiency. Thought Americans threw salt over everything?

            Like

          • True…good news. Rang Drs…the appointment is a follow up from last year…cholesterol thingy…nothing important as I’m back on track with that. Phew! :D

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          • That’s good :)

            I would still avoid them. Looking for problems I don’t want to know about. If I ever get out of the clutches of the hospital I aim to never darken their doors again.

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  21. Commiserations! :) Look at all that sympathy you got, not to mention fabulous flowers. I’ll not stick around for part two as I’m on the squeamish side. The smelling salts would have been out for me. Hope the recovery is swifter than the medical process.

    Like

    • Hell I’m not after sympathy. I do like flowers though :)

      I’m squeamish too. Part 2 was fine. Part 3 will be bad but luckily I forgot to take photos of the blood sodden plaster and vile staples. Maybe next week?

      Long slow and poss painful recovery. Quien sabe?

      Like

  22. Oh my goodness that looks nasty. I remember being in hospital and the consultant, on finding out I was a writer, said ‘oh well, you can use the experience in your next book’. Not! :) SD

    Like

    • Thanks Tish. I thought I’d had all my youthful accidents and was all grown up now. Seems not.

      Can’t remember where the recommend came from :D ’twas on someone’s blog. It’s more than a day ago so lost in the mists.

      Like

      • You have my sympathy I know how frustrating it is. When I first broke my leg at Christmas I was told 6-8 weeks in a full leg cast. Four and one half months later I got to a short leg plaster which I don’t know how long I will have to wear. Can you put any weight on your leg? I can only touch my toes, but no weight bearing. Tired of crutches ad wheelchairs.

        Like

        • No weight bearing at all. Having problems with aids as I managed to damage other ankle and left wrist en route to the floor. Ankle, used for hopping, is easing up, but left wrist is still poorly and painful. Can’t use crutches because of that, and frame use is limited.

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          • Short. Back slab. My latest techy term.

            Too high up the knee joint and caught the little toe. Why can’t they leave the little toe free? Another furious post will be over on Clouds at some point writing about clinical training!

            Have got a months supply of tramadol for pain, but (as in post re painkillers) I’m trying to keep them for emergencies.

            Mostly atm it is the interior incision/break/fix that is nagging but not excruciating. I may dose up on tramadol before staples out next week though.

            Like

          • I know the feeling. My little toe is mostly wrapped in my present cast. Feels terrible.

            Like

          • How have you managed to avoid being put in a full -legger? As you are no doubt learning when you break a bone everyone you k now who has ever broken anything tells you all about their experience. A friend who broke her ankle some time ago recently recounted to me that she too was put in a long leg cast. She made me laugh when she commented that the only good thing about the experience was the effect the cast had on her bf.. He loved the damsel in distress and so does mine. Here is hoping you get rid of that splint soon and get a real cast; it will be a lot more comfy if it is molded carefully. .

            Like

          • I’ve never had an ankle put in anything more than a half cast. I’m not sure how many previous ones I’ve had, four five? They’re in the past.

            What I really want to do is walk! I nearly fell today, so the non-weight-bearing leg suddenly ended up on the floor briefly to keep me upright.

            Like

          • Can you bend your nwb ankle? Mine is plastered, locked, in position and all I can do is touch my toes lightly on the ground. I am afraid that I am still a long way from being able to bend it

            Like

  23. Oh dear! I have just got round to reading this – Oh, you poor lamb!… My thoughts are with you my dear – be creative in those long hours! Best wishes from Dulltown!… Get them bones knitting…

    Like

    • Thanks Dave. It is somewhat gruelling. Luckily being injured and convalescing is tiring, so a good number of those long hours are spent asleep.

      The bones have been screwed together. I am officially The Tinwoman.

      Like

  24. …..I’ve never heard of or seen a fracture blister……as if you didn’t have enough damage already! But more distressing still is the thought of you crying for help (in any language) and people ignoring/not responding to you calls. So sorry it’s taken me this long to send you good wishes and find this post xx

    Like

    • No worries mate, I’d not heard of them either. Nasty though.

      It was odd. Sitting there helpless and immobile without a mobile. Because five mins from home you don’t need one. But people walking past and averting their eyes? Says a lot about our society.

      And if I hadn’t called in Spanish, would anyone have come?

      Like

  25. Sorry to hear that your break turned into a break. I sympathise entirely with being unable to walk; I broke my left clavicle and knee on a skiing holiday* in 2011. I kept imagining ways of trying to get up and hop, but my body clearly couldn’t make sense of the simple instruction ‘just get up already!’. Most disconcerting.

    Hope you’re well on the mend now!

    * I knew skiing was expensive but I never expected it to cost me an arm and a leg. Boom boom.

    Like

  26. Well, that certainly looked interesting.

    I’m a little confused. The date was May of this year. Maybe I misread some other post, but it implied you are still limited in mobility and restricted from doing much.

    I’ve not heard of that long of a recovery even for bone breakage.

    Like

    • So, are you able to get up at all? Or, if you are, do you still have to use crutches? It sounded as bed confinement was still the major part of your day.

      On a side note, they say pets are beneficial to one’s health . . . I was always a bit skeptical . . .

      Yes, that’s a joke. Yes, that a phrase instead of an ambiguous emoticon.

      Like

      • I can limp, but not very far. I can limp without crutches, but am dodgy on my feet. I need them on my rare street ventures to a) signal I am not exactly able bodied and b) hit some bastard who knocks into me.

        I can’t bend down, my gait is terrible. I get shooting pain but I can live with that. My dog got my hospital supply of tramodol, because his arthritis need was greater. I don’t buy into painkillers.

        Like

        • Yeah, I’ve yet to find a painkiller that does much. Got a bunch of them left from my other two surgeries. Not taking anything for my current issue, although Advil was advised and that is something I occasionally take to appease my wife’s worries.

          Well, very sorry to hear of the mobility issues. Just what little I have is aggravating enough. I take comfort in the 6-8 weeks estimate to beginning strength building. Time passes, and I can find things to occupy my mind.

          7+ months is a long time, but I assume whatever time it will take, that too will pass. I also assume that area will also no longer be one of your favorite haunts to take the dog for a walk.

          Like

          • Morphine is good. Took me away with the fairies years ago. I rejected it this time because I didn’t need it, and it was a spooky experience.

            There’s no point rushing it. Our bodies heal at the rate they choose. I had a bad sprain last year and it worked itself out. So will this.

            Actually, it’s now roped off. Nothing to do with me I assume. Merely a government programme. Nothing wrong with the haunt either, I should have been watching behind me instead of looking where I was going. Def six and two threes.

            Like

  27. Hi. I managed to scramble you comment but came here eventually. Glad I read this post op. I suppose by now you are up and about. Do you have any residuals – like my gran swore she could tell when bad wether ws due becaue her old fracture ached the day before. She only told us after that she’d felt it coming. And you write Faustian posts very well! Amazed at your mental resilience being cooped up. I’d have had a fair few screaming with frustration fits over the jellyfish if I’d got something like that. One techie question. I’m wondering why they couldnt drain it.

    Like

    • Well the op etc was ok. Not that I knew anything about it. Although I don’t recommending books about anaesthesia beforehand. I’ve had ops and breaks on the other ankle, so I’ve already got fine-tuned weather forecasting.

      Thank you. As there was little ie nothing I could do, I didn’t have a lot ie none, of options.

      Techie answer. Treatment/management of fracture blisters is still up in the air, but the basic theory is better for them to deflate rather than destroy a sterile situation and infect everything and cause peri-op complications.

      The real question is whether an operation should have been carried out immediately instead of waiting overnight, should the medic who saw me originally have identified the potential for fracture blisters which are uncommon (less than 3% of fractures have blisters) or would it have made no difference?

      Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks again. I do hope it’s not helpful in that you’re envisioning breaking your ankle! I think the approach is due to 1) my journalistic training (ie objective reporting), and 2) working for the health service for ten years, and specifically in patient rights/patient information. For all I didn’t like being there, it was interesting to view the health service as a patient again with a lot of informed knowledge, eg when I signed the consent form for the op which is somewhere on here. So yes, I was writing about it fairly dispassionately with my health services manager hat on.

          I did have black days when I was frustrated and depressed. But my writing style tends to veer away from emotive introspection. Like many writers, I often write what I would want to read, and wailing about the unfairness, and if only, etc, would switch me off like no tomorrow. I spent some time talking to the nurses about the differences between Gib and the UK, and to one, who comes from near my finca in Spain about the local Spanish hospital and why he preferred Gib.

          And I wanted to see if I fell into the typical patient trap of being grateful,for everything, not questioning anything, and giving away what little autonomy I had. Does that explain the background, and hence the analytical style?

          Liked by 1 person

          • The next few posts continue the story. After all as I couldn’t weightbear for a couple of months, I had stuff all else to do apart from read and write, and some editing work I had on. And it’s so easy to forget. From a personal POV, ten months later I doubt I would have remembered it all so clearly, but reading the posts again brings it back. For better or for worse …

            Liked by 1 person

          • The next post to the right might help ;) It’s annoying because I’ve not been able to write as many Gib posts as I would have liked with being sofa-bound. Although when I did my news summary round-up on my last post, plus ça change anyway.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks Geoff. I’ve just had to re-read a selection, I’d totally forgotten my observation about them turning up team-handed. Thereby validating what I said above about not remembering unless you write it down. So make sure you write lots of blog posts about your experience. And, surprisingly, most people seemed interested, or maybe entertained …

            Liked by 1 person

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