On 9th January 2014, I attended my first “frame” clinic, rather than fracture clinic. No X-rays this time, just a straight off “it’s time to look at taking this off”. I had my frame loosened, which meant that I was taking my weight through my leg, and the fracture site, rather than the frame taking the weight and supporting my leg. I stood up………and it felt no different. This was a good thing! The plan then was to give it a couple of weeks and then, if all was ok, take it off. I could have it done in clinic, or under anaesthetic. Anaesthetic would mean waiting a few days after the appointment.
The number of sleeps countdown started in my head. It would be almost 6 months to the day. But that did also mean that it was 6 months since the accident, and 6 months since we lost Martin. My focus had become all about my leg, and getting it back. I hadn’t forgotten. I will never forget. But I do think I could only think of one thing. Getting my leg back.
Getting the frame actually taken off wasn’t that bad. I had X-rays, and you couldn’t actually see where the fracture was – the amount of new bone growth was brilliant. My leg was healed. Then my consultant started to say about booking me in. No. No chance – I was leaving that day without the frame, or I wasn’t leaving. He said he didn’t think he had the tools he needed – but they were found pretty quickly after I cried on him (haha!). A bit of gas & air, and some stingy moments when the pins were pulled out, and it was gone. It wasn’t that bad. Balls to getting that done under anaesthetic – what on earth for??!!
So now, I have a leg. First thing I did when I got home was put on my skinny jeans. I’ve worn them every day since. And the furry lined boots I bought in readiness. My leg is generally warm, but my foot still a bit numb, and gets cold. Mind you, so does my right hand. My knee is a little sore, and I have holes all over my leg from the pin sites. The scar from the compound fracture really isn’t pretty, but I have plans for a little Benny to be tattooed in the scar space.
My head is a bit all over the place though, and I don’t know if I can make sense of what is going on in it at the moment. I’ll try. I’ve waited 6 months to get back to “normal”. My consultant called me his “miracle healer”. With injuries as severe as mine, 6 months in the frame and to heal was a minimum. And this is what is frying my brain a bit. I still don’t seem to be able to understand (in my own head), just how seriously injured I was. Yes, I know I was in Critical Care, and Intensive Care. I know I was intubated, but strangely it was only Mum calling it the “breathing machine” that has registered it properly in my brain that I was really poorly. It just seems to be insane that I can know all of this, and yet be almost blasé about the seriousness of my injuries. This is really troubling my mind. I don’t know whether it is because I don’t consider myself to be anything special. I’m no miracle. I’m nothing amazing or special. I’m incredibly lucky to have survived a serious crash, and yet still………it happened to someone else maybe.
The “normality” thing. I’m never going to be “normal” like I was before. I’m always going to be this person who survived a serious accident. I’m not going to be the same person I was before. I don’t want to be defined by this accident – I do want to be “me” again. I’m scared of “normal”. I’m going to be returning to work; re-entering the world, and I’m scared. I want to get back on my bike, but I also know that this terrifies my loved ones – and that makes me feel guilty for even wanting to get back on the bike. It’s selfish to want to get back on the bike. My leg is a bit of a mess, I suspect I may always feel conscious of it. I’ve never been a girly girl, but its nice to get the old legs out sometimes, and wear pretty shoes, and skirts. I like wearing cropped combats in summer – how will I feel? My mind is a jumbled mess of thoughts and memories, and piecing it all together is difficult. I haven’t managed it yet, but I hope I will soon.