Personal frustration with an injury that occurred six weeks ago.
Some of you who read my work know I have a tendency to do crazy things at times, like throw myself downwards to the floor with little regard for my personal safety. I’m also a person who seldom does things by half measure. Consequently, when such dramatic events occur, I manage to injure myself quite nicely. In the past I’ve usually healed quickly. This time, the process has been long and slow. I first documented this crazy tendency of mine when I wrote The Older You are, The Harder You Fall. This referred to a previous injury.
Six weeks ago I slipped and fell again, resulting in a rather unusual foot injury that defied the people I consulted. The doctor seemed totally perplexed and initially referred me for an xray. When this showed that no bones were broken, he referred me to physiotherapy. This resulted in a piece of writing called The Role of Books in The Injury Recovery Process and more recently, as frustration began setting in, Maintaining Physical Fitness During Recovery Period
My physiotherapist was as equally perplexed as my doctor when my foot failed to respond to her tender attention. Eventually she gave up on me, sent me back to my doctor and recommended I see a sport injury therapist. In the meantime my doctor referred me to have a bone scan at the hospital, but I still have another two weeks before this appointment takes place. Patience is definitely needed when dealing with the public health system. I’ve had time to injure myself three or four my times while waiting!
My doctor, knowing I don’t complain without reason and sensing my frustration at having to hobble everywhere, recommended I continue on my pain killers and referred me to the sport injury clinic. That appointment is to take place in three weeks time, after the bone scan, so even private referrals can have long waiting lists.
Meanwhile I hobble, I swallow paracetamol at a daily rate that probably exceeds my usual yearly rate. I persevere with people passing me as I walk from my classroom to the staffroom and who, once past me, turn and smile and ask how I am. I’ve also started swimming again, which is the only way I can be relatively active.
However, there is a glimpse of hope. I’m now coping on nearly half the pain killers I was two weeks ago. My hobble is gradually becoming more like a walk. I no longer wear a stretchy foot support. And the two scheduled appointments are getting closer.
When I was young an injury such as this would have healed in a moment. Now, no longer as young and flexible as I once was, I seem to injure myself more and take longer to recover. I find this hard to deal with, though I am learning to be more patient than I ever have been.
I want to get back on my bike. I want to go for long walks on these lovely summer evenings New Zealand is currently experiencing. But most of all, I want to look and feel like a normal healthy person. To keep everything in perspective, I remind myself that there are millions of people in the world who experience far more excruciating pain and disability that I’m currently experiencing. But my Christmas wish this year is to get my health and fitness back
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