Blog 12 – I have a leg

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.


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