Monday, 30 September 2013


I so badly miss climbing.
I want to train, so that I'll miss it just a little bit less.
But with not being able to weight-bear at all, I can't train independently, in case I lose balance stepping off a fingerboard.
I could go to a climbing wall- there'd be plenty of kind-hearted climbers who'd give me a 5-minute spot, but I can't get there without a lift.
Tomorrow is a progress check at LGI. Fingers crossed...

Sunday, 29 September 2013

One Step(!) Closer

And by step, I don't really mean step. Not yet. BUT, I tell you- FOOD, it's GREAT for recovery. I can thoroughly recommend it for any climbers who gave it up years ago.
I totalled myself yesterday crutching round Ilkley- blisters on my hands, leg pain all night. But post breakfast, I was more than ready to 'train' for the first time. Good old brekkers.
I started my third-year project too, might as well use this "bed rest" to get ahead with the physics- I'll need the time for more, ahem, pressing issues come spring.
So the first real training session was nothing special, but I began it with a pull-ups personal best, which was pretty exciting. Then I even did some offset pull-ups, and a few press-ups.
On a totally useless training tangent, I also thought I'd have a go at doing a one-legged squat, which went well. If you're going to be unbalanced, strength wise, what the hell- might as well do it properly.
Feeling Psyched!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Coffee and Cake

I went into Ilkley today, to have coffee. It's not such a big thing to do, but it's the most I've travelled on the crutches yet. It was nice to have some time in the sunshine.
I've been thinking about climbing a lot recently. Now that I'm eating I think it won't be long before I can start thinking about training. There's no real access to a fingerboard here but I'll be spending next week nearer a fingerboard and I think, with a good spotter, it will be a lot of fun.
To think I hated fingerboarding...

Friday, 27 September 2013

Pie and Pull-ups

Finally eating is possible and, after an excellent dinner, 24 pull-ups were achieved (not in one go...). Fewer painkillers too. Yay!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Cow and Calf

I went to the Cow and Calf with Alistair in the evening. He wanted to go climbing, and I was missing the rocks. I thought it would be so hard to watch him climb and know I couldn't- but I found myself rooting for him. If I can't do the thing that I love so much, I can at least steal some of his pleasure.
Coveting the rock... I'd like a go
It was cold, but I really enjoyed it. Though the calf is very close to the car park, the crutching was hard work and I have to confess to a small rest on a bench halfway there- although not on the way back.
It is great to be outdoors, there's nothing quite as good.
Ilkley Quarry
I even managed to eat a bacon sandwich in the evening- the most I've eaten all week- which was great. I'm still not strong enough for pull-ups after so many days of fasting but soon I'll be back on it, I know it.


Tuesday, 24 September 2013


After a rough few days of really struggling to eat anything at all, I got pretty fed up. I was also worried that my body might try to eat my arms. And I love food :(
I couldn't crutch as far and pull-ups were off the cards. As a very pro-active person I was finding the whole situation frustrating. Not to mention painful.
A visit to a local GP suggested that the stupid diclofenac had caused some sort of inflammation (oesophagitis) which was making things very painful. So further antacids and protein pump inhibitor have been provided to allow it to calm down- so now I just have to wait.
And I'm certainly not taking anymore diclofenac.
Custard has proved itself to be the least painful thing to eat. Yay for custard!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Poorly Prepared

Apparently  the heartburn is caused by the anti-inflammatory, Diclofenac.
They send you home with Morphine, which pretty much always causes constipation and sickness, but nothing for the side effects.
They send you home with Diclofenac, whose continued use causes stomach and esophageal problems such as ulcers, but nothing to protect the stomach.
I mean, there are side effects which are unlikely, and side effects which are pretty much guaranteed. It would have been nice to be a bit better prepared for the latter.
It feels like it's side effect after side effect at the moment. I'm hoping the protein-inhibitor I've now been prescribed will make it possible to eat soon and actually enjoy food. Until then, I will probably sulk. :-/

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Rainbows and Sunshine

I want to write positive and motivated stuff every day. But part of the reason I started blogging about breaking my leg and the subsequent recovery was so that other climbers would maybe find it helpful one day.
And I don't feel positive and motivated today. Yesterday, I got some emails sent and some pull-ups done, and even some physics, and I felt like I'd done really well. But today I'm paying for it. I'm really tired, but I can't sleep. I can't eat because I have horrible indigestion from lying down too much. My leg hurts more than yesterday. But the worst thing about today is that when I close my eyes I can see my leg breaking underneath me, I can hear it snap and I can hear myself scream.
I guess that will fade away with time. But at the moment something will often remind me and I can't help it. So I feel down today.
But the good thing about today is that I have good friends and family, who are there for me. I'm glad about that.

Saturday, 21 September 2013


I realised this morning the range of motion in my knee is almost acceptable from crutching it around the range of motion in my ankle is crap, so I guess I should gently try and get things moving. 10 days ago though I couldn't move my own leg at all, someone else would have to lift it for me- and now I can get into bed and out again onto crutches. Progress!
Louis the bear has taken on the role of dispensing morphine as a 300ml bottle has just been opened. A lot of responsibility for a bear.
Pharmacist Louis
I slept for 21 hours out of 24 yesterday and last night. That is a personal record- a phenomenal amount of sleep. In fact, that is MORE than a male lion sleeps (20/24 hours, they're pretty lazy). I also had the first coffee in a week this morning- it finally doesn't make me feel sick, YAY! Oh coffee, I've missed you.
Alistair's 5-year old nephew came over as Superman and proceeded to thrash me at SNAP. Can I blame opiates for this? The next game he let me win... I don't know how to feel about that.
Just did 6 , 7, 8  pull-ups, WOOP :-)

Friday, 20 September 2013

35 Staples

Today the staples were removed. There were more than I'd realised and I was absurdly proud of this number. Not bad, I thought.
As if it were a personal achievement.
Staple removing works as follows:
It's a clever little snippy set of pliers which in theory makes staple removal quick and easy.
The ones in my knee were pretty bent and required some wiggling to remove but overall the whole experience was relatively painless. I'm not sure what I was expecting but things feel much the same as before to be honest.
After the epic single-day ascent of the stairs up to the doctors' surgery I came home and slept all day. Still too tired for pull-ups. I really want to do more pull-ups but waiting around has never been my forte. SOON, I hope.
The most exciting news of the day is that there will be bacon for dessert. Mmm.
Knee Staples Gone...
and Ankle Staples Gone!

Thursday, 19 September 2013


I don't know why anyone gets addicted to morphine. I hate it. It has a bunch of horrible side effects and it makes me feel crap. The sooner I can boot it the better.
Today is frustrating because I'm absolutely knackered and as far as I can see the only things I've done in the last couple of days are a few pull-ups and a trip to the pick'n'mix section of Tesco (oh God I miss Woolworth's) due to a recent pick'n'mix addiction.
Unfortunately the challenge to ditch the morphine failed when I fell over and landed on my leg earlier.
I guess you can't win everyday. At least there will always be pick'n'mix...

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

A New Day

Today I woke up feeling terrible. I used ice, then I still felt terrible. I took Tramadol, and still felt terrible. I realised I needed to pull.I did 5 pull-ups. With a lot of spotting from Alistair. My leg hates being that way up but let's face it it's no worse than crutching and it's not actually doing it any harm so I wish it'd bloody stop complaining.
But my god it felt good. It only took 5 pull ups after 11 days of being climbing clean and I could feel the hit starting to make me smile. This has to be addiction.
I guess 5 pull ups felt so great because it's been a while since I last climbed. Ah yes.
I did two more sets. Today feels big :)
It was pretty tiring though...
Caught unawares looking peeved...
With careful spotting...
It was hard to know what to do with my legs at the bottom of the pull-up...

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Going Out

We went to see the GP today. I actually crutched my furthest yet. Including stairs.
I think it did me good to get out, even just to the health centre. I've been happier today- and I've been getting hungry! It's all good.
The best thing is I saw a nurse and she's taking the staples out on Friday! :-) I'm pretty excited about that.
Tramadol continues to provide me with enforced napping but to be honest I prefer napping to being awake but with a mushy brain.

Monday, 16 September 2013


Today I had the first shower since I broke by leg. I mean, I'd washed... but not my hair. :-P
I would say it's nice to be clean but I'm in a foul mood. All I ever want to do is sleep and I'm absolutely sick of it. I want the pain to go away so I can stop taking the sodding painkillers, so I can stop bloody sleeping. I just feel like a complete waste of space- I'm normally such a machine (though I say so myself).
I wanted to do some work today and I just can't concentrate. I know University hasn't officially started yet but if I don't use my brain I swear it will die.
I don't know why I'm so fed up today. I mean, it's not like I have to do anything. I keep dreaming that my leg is broken but I've got to the point that I can walk on it- sometimes with crutches, sometimes without.
That sucks.
I can't drink tea or coffee at all without feeling horribly sick which is a shame because coffee is one of my favourite things. Grump Grump.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Pick N Mix

It's 1 pm. I finally feel not-sick enough to try to eat. Then I think I'm going to sleep.
All I did today is eat and sleep. Today I ate as much as a small mammal (possibly a raccoon?) which is progress. I blame morphine for this regression as normally I love food.
Davy is here and I feel a bit down I think. I did not realise that breaking your leg would have other repercussions or how much pain there would be and I just want this to be over.
I can pick things off the floor using a special flying technique but Alistair says no, it is too high-risk. I can now lift my knee onto and off the pillows most times and I can bend my knee nearly 70° over the side of the bed which is just so much better than before  :-)Davy brought sweets which was a huge success despite the fact that I've not eaten any of the chocolate I now possess (I am broken, clearly).

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Office Chairs

I'm home with Ali. We ended up using a swivel chair with wheels to get ready for bed because I could only make a few steps before I fell over in pain and I just couldn't make it. I thought this was pretty ingenious. My idea, of course.
Things are very painful and I know Ali is worried about how we're going to cope but we'll be OK.
I saw Seb today for a few hours which is nice, but then things all spiralled downwards. The opiates seem to make a mess of a person and the whole night was spent either throwing up everything I'd eaten or with a stomach ache. Alistair looked up tips on heroin websites. They seem to have the same symptoms but a hell of a lot worse. It must suck.
The sickness meant that I didn't take much care of my leg last night so it's pretty sore this morning.
It's only been a week. My god.
Ali is my hero.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Going Home

Today I'm getting out. I didn't realise how badly I wanted to get out. I've been miserable the last couple of days. The pain has been awful the last 24 hours- maybe I did to much physio yesterday. My stupid leg kept waking me up. They're sending me home with morphine and a concoction of pills. I didn't even know you could take morphine home!!!!
We realised I can't go to my flat in Leeds. It's a top floor flat and there is absolutely no way I'd make it up there at the moment. Alistair (who has been incredible in the last week) and I are going to stay at his parents house in Ilkely. I think my parents are happier with that arrangement than us being alone in Leeds.
The doctor I saw said that six weeks of "touch-weight-bearing" actually means six weeks of staying at home. That means missing a lot of uni. I was pretty gutted. I know that sounds nerdy but I love doing my degree, and it's my last year- I want to go out with a (different sort of) bang.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Bad Day

Today I walked to the bathroom with crutches. It is incredibly painful. I am not happy.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


There was no physio today. I felt a little bit down. I saw Jack, Lewis, Mum, Seb and Ali. That was nice :)
I am sleeping a lot. Life is full of morphine.
My leg is pretty huge...
I think they've done a pretty neat job. Apart from the fact that my knee is so swollen you can barely tell I have one.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


I had physio three times today. I stood up twice, with crutches. I am not allowed to weight bear. It is painful, and exhausting. I have stupidly low blood pressure from lying in a bed and standing up is short lived. It's so far from what I'm used to.
Lewis, Jack, Alistair and Ed visited today. I've been so glad of the support from friends and family. It's very comforting.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Why is my knee so sore? I broke my leg low down...

My knee felt like it was going to explode and I cried until I was too tired to cry anymore and they would not give me morphine- they said breaking your leg didn't cause that much pain so a small dose of codeine would cover it.
It didn't. I've never been in so much pain. Certainly not on Saturday, even before painkillers.
A junior doctor came eventually and said the pain wasn't normal and it needed to be checked over because if there were swelling problems I would lose the use of my leg if they didn't deal with it very quickly. That was at 4pm. I didn't hear from anyone for hours, I still didn't know what surgery I'd had.
Alistair tried to do all of the tests ourselves to see if it was OK because we were worried about what the doctor had said. The nurses tried to make Alistair go home and I was upset so we hid him. Eventually, at midnight, I saw my surgeon who explained what he'd done, that he'd inserted a large titanium rod inside my Tibia and screwed the ends to my ankle and my knee, with three screws in my knee.
He said that it would be very painful and prescribed a lot of painkillers, including morphine. Why could they not have told me that earlier? So much stress.
I wished they could have told me earlier.
I think I saw Ed and Seb today.

Sunday, 8 September 2013


They did surgery on Sunday. I don't remember a lot. The pot was very wonky and the doctor was unimpressed but they said since they were operating very soon they would just cut it off. I can't remember the surgery but I remember coming out and yelling and yelling, I was so confused and I couldn't cope with how much my knee hurt and I wasn't sure why.
It must have been a lot more painful than when I'd broken it because the painkillers wouldn't touch it and I'd managed to keep quite then.
Eventually I think I was massively sedated and I don't remember anything until Monday night.

Saturday, 7 September 2013


Today I broke my leg. This is one of my worst nightmares. Right now, I don't even care. I just want them to make it stop hurting. They need to operate and they keep asking me to sign stuff, but I don't care, I'll sign anything. Just please, make it straight so it will fix.
I was climbing at an indoor climbing centre. I'd done the problem so many times before- in fact I'd flashed it. And yet today I was lacking confidence. I'd slightly sprained my right ankle. So because I lacked confidence I'd missed the jump twice.Like always, I jumped on it again without a second's thought. I hit the jugs but my hands didn't quite go in far enough. I couldn't stop the swing, I spun 90° and my hands slipped out. I fell with my hands in front of me and my feet behind me but my left foot was pointed straight down and I barely had time to think.
I probably only fell 6 feet or so but I landed with that foot perpendicular to to ground and there was a sickening snapping sound. I realised that that meant bad, and when my other foot hit the ground I looked down and saw that the left one was just bending underneath me. So I screamed. And then I was on the floor. I screamed a bit more, because I didn't have any other ideas. Then I stopped screaming and yelled because it hurt so much. Another climber came straight away and sat and held it. My boyfriend ran to ask the reception staff to call an ambulance and then he came back and Ali (the boyfriend)  and another good friend gave me a hand each to squeeze (can't be good if you're a climber!) and promised they'd stay with me.
After that I kind of stopped bothering with the noise. Nothing I did was going to make things go faster and noise = stress so I behaved myself.
My leg shook. I think the muscles were tired and confused. I wanted to see it. At nobody would let me but I'd seen it already I just wanted to check it was all still there because I couldn't really feel it, I already knew it was totally snapped in two.
The ambulance guys came. I think they were quick. They gave me gas and air and straightened it up. I don't think it hurt any more when they straightened it up, because I was so obsessed by the desire to have it straightened.
We got to A and E finally.  The porter wheeling me to have it X-Rayed said "So you're hoping it's not broken then?". I suppose you couldn't tell in the ambulance splint.  But I clarified that I was pretty sure it was.
They X-Rayed and said "broken tibia and fibula, needs surgery". At first they said none until Monday, so they put it in a pot. But it was so wonky it was awful.
Fortunately for me they decided it was urgent and rescheduled to Sunday.
How A and E works... in flowchart form. Invaluable.
The ambulance people had to cut off my beloved climbing shoes :(