My ankle is broken. Not the bone, the ligament. I have to say, the pain of walking on it for the past few weeks wasn’t anywhere near as annoying as this pot has been since last night!
It’s not even a good pot. When I was a kid, part of me was always a little bit jealous if anybody at school was lucky enough to break a limb and came to school with a cast that we could all draw on. It looked like fun.
I’m not having fun. My cast is ugly. It’s soft on top, so no writing on it, and it’s wrapped in bandages that are already grubby looking, and it is very difficult to get around with because it is so heavy.
I’m looking for the positives. While I can’t get out and about I’ll have more time to catch up on my homework, my cleaning, my writing. I’ll be able to spend more time playing with my pet rats. I’ll have lots of time for research. So it’s not all bad.
But if I’m totally honest about, aside from the annoyance of one leg being 3 stone heavier than the other, this has scared the crap out of me. Because it feels to me like this is just the beginning. I know when my ankle first went it was due to my having hypermobility. I felt it go. My condition means that the muscle and tissue surrounding my joints is overly flexible so there’s no stability in any of my joints. They click and pop constantly. It feels like the top of my legs are very precariously balanced on the bottom half and could slip off at any minute. When I was younger it was thought I was just “double jointed” and I had quite a lot of fun with that. Being able to bend my fingers in weird ways always got a good reaction but it was being able to cross my ankles behind my head that was my party trick.
It’s not fun anymore. It’s getting more and more painful. Nobody seems to understand why it’s so painful because it isn’t meant to be, apparently lots of people have the condition with no problems at all, but I feel slightly vindicated as one of my sisters also has it and struggles a lot with her hips. I often feel like people think I’m exaggerating. So I tend to only mention to people I’m close to, when it’s really bad, but the fact is I am constantly in pain, every time I move causes pain somewhere because, of course, the human body has a lot of jointed limbs, and dealing with constant pain, pain that never goes away completely and burns you with hot pokers every time you move, is the most exhausting thing I have ever known. And I had 3 children under 4, I know exhaustion! Two years ago I was the fittest I’ve ever been. I worked out for an hour every morning, I took the dog out speed walking, I walked into town and back twice a week and the 6 miles over to mum’s twice a week. Which just makes this more devastating. My legs are worst affected, my hips have always been bad and are still definitely the most painful, closely followed by my knees and shoulders, in winter my hands are really bad, and my ankles of course, but I can also feel my wrists and elbows getting in on the act. It’s been steadily getting worse for the past year or so, and I feel like I’ve physically aged 10 years in the past 2.
But now, with this new development, my ankle joint giving way to the point that the ligament snapped, I am terrified. I’ve completely overreacted to the “housebound” thing in the last 12 hours, when usually I’d be grateful to have an excuse to be lazy, because I’m scared. I took a few steps with the crutches the hospital gave me and my left hip, which is the bad one although I suppose we now have to call that my “good” leg since the other is in a pot, couldn’t take the strain of my whole body weight. So, even assuming that the fracture clinic put me a proper pot on tomorrow that I can put weight on to try and get about, how am I then supposed to walk with the crutches when my hip can’t take it?
What if my knee goes next, the right one that’s really bad? Will I need a whole leg cast? Maybe they can just put my whole lower body in plaster to be on the safe side??
I have a year clean from drugs. I’m training and studying all the time to improve my knowledge and skills so that I keep moving forwards in my life and try to make up for the stagnancy of my 20s. I have responsibilities, job prospects, I have a whole fucking life that I want to be out living!
I have this fear that I’ll be in a wheelchair before I’m 40. I know people live good, full lives from their wheelchairs and I’m sure I could too, it’s just not something I’ve ever had to contemplate before and it’s really scary.
I’m trying not to think about it because, right now at least, it’s only a product of my imagination and not something I’ve been told I have reason to worry about. But I do. How will I play with the kids? They love to go to the park, the library, anywhere! What about when they have kids? How will I be able to get down on the floor to play with my grandbabies?
I have wondered if this is my karma, or if it’s a product of how I have lived and the stress I have put my body under over the years. Is it my genes? That seems most likely, but then nobody else in the family seems to be as badly affected as I am. Or maybe it’s just sheer bad luck. Whatever, I’m going to have to find a way through it, one way or another, because I have no intention of going back to daytime tv!