Well I’m still at home, though there has been some progress. Went to the hospital to have the cast removed and a check to see how far the bone had healed.
There’s something unnerving about having someone wield a miniature angle grinder perilously close to your flesh. I could feel the disc tickling my skin. I don’t care what the nurse said – that was more than just vibration.
The bone is mending, but not so much for me to get the all clear. Having now seen the X-Ray, it's a much bigger break than I originally imagined. But then when it first happened I didn't realise that the terms broken bone and fracture were interchangeable. I honestly thought that the latter was a less serious injury.
I have now been put in a weight-bearing cast. It’s a plastic contraption, somewhere between a ski boot and Darth Vader’s helmet. It is lined with a spongey material that acts almost like a sling for the foot, so I can stand in comfort, and with a couple of weeks’ more practice, will be able to walk without doing damage to anything. They are made in different shoe sizes, though they don’t seem to make allowances for the stubbier of leg – it goes right up to my knee, though from the illustration on the package it was taken out of, it looks like it is meant to be calf length.
So it looks like I’m at home, gradually expanding my territory beyond the bedroom and bathroom, until the New Year. At least I now have become accustomed to spending my days resting and recovering. After such a shock, I wasn't prepared for the the restrictions my injury put on me. I couldn't just pop to the garden, wander to the kitchen and put the kettle on, check in the larder or look through the bookcase. Everything I did, ate or drank had to be planned and laid out for me by Howard before he left for work. After a few days he bought an electric kettle and put it on the landing so I could at least make my own tea. But with 95% of my day spent sitting in bed with my leg propped up, my only entertainment was the TV and my choice of books for the day. With help, and eventually by dragging myself propped up by the wall, I could make it to the desk, but the weight of the cast made sitting painful after a short while. After a few days moping, frustrated and bored and railing against my imprisonment, I resolved to spend my time reading and making plans for the next year.
We all have to accept that hard times are here for the foreseeable future, made harder by a government hell bent on punishing anyone who is not already rich. So careful use of resources will be essential. Living as if rationing was in place may be on the extreme side, but the less excess spending at the moment, the better.
So I’ve taken the opportunity to write down assorted plans. Initially plans for the allotment and the garden, but also for other aspects of our life. I’m putting together lists of things we need in the house, from medications, through groceries and household goods, right through to office stationery, the magazines and newspapers we read, the shades of paint on the walls and various other places.
While I’ve been laid up, Howard has been forced to take on all domestic tasks. He has no issue with that, having lived on his own. But he lacks confidence in one aspect of cooking – the evening meal. He will happily bake, make breakfast lunch and pudding, but as I normally arrive home ahead of him, I take charge of this. So I have been writing down step by step instructions, shopping lists and follow up meal plans (using the leftovers). As these may be useful in the future, I have kept them neatly in a file.
Going back to the lists, I know many view magazines as a luxury, but being stuck in bed most of the day for several weeks now, light but instructive reading has proved essential. I’m not much of a fiction reader, so even “worthy” literature is of little interest to me. With the exception of the Barry Pilton Abernant books (which could easily be Welsh roman a clefs), the only fiction I will gladly read contains illustrations by E.H. Shepherd. So to save money on magazines, we’ve been taking advantage of Smiths money off vouchers, and lately I’ve been taking out subscriptions whenever I see a really good offer. Getting them sent to the house rather than going out and buying them saves impulse buying through boredom.
The past few weeks I haven’t had to worry about what I’m wearing either, with the exception of trips to the hospital and a couple of days out. I’ve spent my time in warm sweatshirt tops and fleeces, with baggy tracksuit trousers instead of smart office wear. It has given me the time to take stock of what clothes I have, what needs replacing, what can be relegated to gardening wear, what can be donated to charity and what has reached the end of the road. I know for certain I don’t need to buy another dark brown jumper for a couple of years, but my sock drawer needs a drastic sort out. Especially as up until today I’ve only been wearing one at a time.