Blog 7 – The Meltdown

Blog-tastic today.  Don’t write for a while, then brain goes off on one.

30th August 2013, and I was back to Aintree for my first fracture clinic.  It had been previously agreed that one consultant would take over all my orthopaedic care to save on multiple appointments, so Mr Chan (who had done the ex fix), was to be my main consultant.  Because I was in rehab, an ambulance was arranged to take me over there, and Jeanette, an HCP from the unit, was coming with me.  Packed off in the wheelchair into the ambulance, we were going to be late for my 10am appointment. Grrrr!  I’d been up and ready since 8am – ridiculously early for me!  We got to Aintree and eventually found the fracture clinic.  Why hospitals have to be so complicated, I will never know.  I’d never been into Aintree hospital other than in an ambulance, so it was all kind of new really.

We didn’t wait all that long before being sent off for X-rays.  Wrist and tibia/fibula were done, and then back to see Mr Chan……..who then realised that he needed to see the femur as well.  He hadn’t done the ORIF in the femur, so it had kind of fallen off his radar.  Back to X-ray we went.  Apparently, whilst I was being X-rayed, the ambulance to take me back to St Helens had come looking for me.  Helpful….. Looking at the X-rays, Mr Chan was really pleased with the healing, and I got the great news that I could start to bear weight on my wrist.  Hoorah!  Total elation!  I knew that I would progress far better physically once I could bear weight – get off the gutter frame and out of the wheelchair.  I then asked how long the ex fix would be on for.  I’m not going to lie – I was devastated by the answer.  5-6 MONTHS.  Oh. Dear. God.  From total elation, to utter devastation.  I had to keep this thing on my leg for all that time.  Gutted.

We then went to organise the ambulance to take us back to St Helens.  It was a gorgeous day, so we decided to wait outside.  The ORIF in my femur caused a lot of hip pain when I was sitting – particularly in the wheelchair.  It was the whole length of my thigh – from my arse to my knee, and sitting at right angles caused this hip pain.  I had to keep standing up to ease the pain.  We waited, and waited, and waited.  We’d already been waiting a good 45 minutes when we were told that the ambulance could be up to an hour longer. WTF?  Time was getting on, it was lunchtime; I was hungry, and more to the point, I was starting to need meds.  I got a bit of a titty lip on, and requested that we got a black cab back to the unit, because this was ridiculous.  The black cab was ordered, and took flipping ages as well.  Then to make matters worse, the guy had no ramp to get the wheelchair into the cab, so tipped the chair backwards and pretty much just flung me into the cab.  He had no straps to hold the chair down, and instead told Jeanette to hold on to the chair.  This was actually terrifying for me, and at one point, the chair tipped backwards as he drove round a roundabout.  Jeanette hung on for dear life.  Back at the unit, and getting the chair and me out of the taxi was equally traumatic – horrible feeling so vulnerable.  I wanted and needed a cup of tea, something to eat, and my meds.  But while I was at the hospital, the tissue viability nurse had been, and wanted medical photography to get pictures of the pressure sores, so no sooner had a got a brew, but the photographer was back to do the pics.  Then the dietician came for a chat.  No rest for the wicked, clearly.

By the end of the day, I was worn out and aching.  Really, really aching.  I got up to have a last wee before sleep, and as I shuffled across my room to the en-suite, everything hurt.  My whole body.  Then the tears started – from nowhere.  What followed was a full on meltdown, but I didn’t call anyone.  I hate anyone seeing me in that much of a state, and I cried myself to sleep.  I don’t think I had done that since I was about 15 years old.

The next morning, I still felt weepy, but talked to my friend Stacey on Facebook chat, and we reminisced about a Sonisphere festival we had both been at.  That cheered me up no end.  What I didn’t expect to happen after that, however, was the flashbacks.  Every time I closed my eyes, I relived the accident.  In motion.  Like being in some kind of film.  Over and over again, we hit that ridge.  The back of the bike came up.  I was above Martin, with my hands still in his pockets.  I saw the road.  Relived hitting the road and all the air being forced out of me.  Bouncing and rolling along the road.  Seeing bits of fairing from the bike flying.  Then the blackspot in my memory, and the next “scene” of being on my back, next to the crash barrier.  My left leg incredibly painful and trying to move it.  Seeing Martin lying at right angles, horribly still.  And this scene, or two scenes, played over and over.

Whether the events of the day before and the subsequent meltdown in the evening triggered the flashbacks, or whether they were going to occur anyway, I don’t know.  I have had flashbacks since – always the same thing – and I’ve had dreams of the accident, coupled with memories of Martin, but so far, none have hit me as hard as this first episode.


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