Monday, 25 November 2013

Healing Bones

One of this things that really surprises me, two and a half months after breaking my tib and fib- is how much effort if takes to re-grow bones. I need so much more sleep than I needed when my tib and fib were whole.

I suppose this catches me by surprise because as time goes on, I get stronger and more mobile and, the occasional slip aside- things continue to improve. But then at the same time, now that crutching is easier, I want to crutch further.

Sadly, too, I'm no longer the sleep machine that painkillers made me- so if I don't get enough sleep one night, it totals me until the next night I sleep well. I'm no longer capable of cheerfully snoozing the afternoon away.

Though slow, the process of recovery is full of improvement and new possibilities- so much so, that sometimes I forget that there's supposed to be something wrong, get excited, and have to catch up. Looking at the X-rays, the tibia at least is only really just beginning to hug the titanium and in many ways it's still very broken.

My concern at the moment is getting as crutch-independent as possible before the snow and ice begin. That, and getting back on a top-rope this week!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Stupid Rain, Stupid Floors

As I had no lectures on Tuesday, I'd decided to spend Monday night in Sheffield with Alistair. We talked about the fall in the wet and decided hopefully things would start hurting less soon.
On Tuesday afternoon I decided that, on the basis that I'd gone from taking no painkillers to a fair few, and couldn't weight bear, I quite fancied an x-ray.

So we popped to A&E for the evening at Northern General. Of course, we packed sweets knowing the wait in store (yes, there is a clearly emerging pattern of turning to sweets in times of distress. I have no regrets). They were quite happy to x-ray my leg; however our luck ended there.

The doctor had a look at the X-rays and took them to her senior, who looked at them and exclaimed 'Two MONTHS? That doesn't look like a two month old fracture! They said that they'd send a pigeon to Leeds who could organise a visit to fracture clinic within the next week, but warned me that pigeons sometimes get lost so I should chase it up.

So on Thursday afternoon, having spent all of Wednesday in a Tramadol-induced haze, I went to LGI. With a different friend this time, and different snacks.
A&E is a funny place. I'd only ever seen it from the ambulance side. But in the waiting room, it's just like being on a bus. Everyone seems so... normal. I mean, there's the odd person you can tell isn't quite OK, like the guy who held an oiled rag to his motorbike chain, thinking that if he ran the bike it would oil it so much faster, now holding that same rag stained red*. But some couples you can't even tell who it is. The anorexic girl and her nice-looking boyfriend, who are they actually here for? The two girls talking about 'real hair hair extensions' and their relative quality, are they just pretending to be OK or have they got the wrong place?

Leeds decided they'd send me to fracture clinic on Monday, and told me to just keep taking painkillers.

There was a very nice radiology student though. I liked him. Not as much as Alistair, obviously.

*Don't worry, he walked out with both hands, and even both thumbs. Minus a little bit. Plus a lot of gauze.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Déjà vu

Crutches...and rain...are a terrible mix. They seem to think, the University of Leeds, that a horrendous combination of rubber and lino floors are a great idea. Yes, maybe they last longer. Yes, I'm sure they clean better. But for anyone less than steady on their feet- or even in a rush- they're an absolute nightmare when wet. Think climbing shoes on snow.

I've nearly slipped plenty of times, and it's pretty scary. But today both crutches slipped in opposite directions leaving me to slam straight down onto the booted leg. Which was pretty shit.

Fortunately there's a massive titanium rod in it this time, so the déjà vu ended there. But aside from pain, it was incredibly frustrating. I'm so careful, I put so much effort into the physio, I try so hard to get everything right- and then this. If I'd done it fingerboarding, I'd never fingerboard until it was better. But I was walking between lectures. I can't not live until I don't need crutches.

Stupid rain, Stupid floors.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

One or Two?

I'm not sure I'm totally enamored with using one crutch. For one thing, it's extremely slow and makes me feel about a million years old. It also hurts my knee and ankle.
I had to get my housemate to rescue me by bringing a second crutch to university (I'm glad I didn't let the physio take it away) because it hurt too much after a while.
He was very excited and asked to be blogged about... perhaps he hasn't realised how small the blog is :D
I wonder if the physio just doesn't know how much walking between lectures there is compared with being in an office? Or perhaps I showed off too much...

Friday, 8 November 2013


I went for my first top-roping session today.
Checking I'd tied in properly...

I guess I'll start with fear. Was I scared? Not when I was climbing. I was very intimidated by the main wall at the foundry- but if I'm honest with myself it always makes me feel small! Had I not known my belayer so well, I might have been scared. But Ali's been my climbing partner longer than we've been going out. I knew he'd look out for me. The other thing was- I've never been hurt top-roping, and it's not much like bouldering!
The level of knee-bend achieved here is, if I say so myself, pretty amazing!
Although I wasn't scared I was, as I say, very intimidated. There was certainly some nervous chattering to myself as I embarked across the roof of the Foundry main wall. One thing it put into perspective was my psychological need to wear down turned shoes on steep indoor ground. The boot was so useless, that although my other shoe was a size too big, I found it would stand on almost anything.
This was optimistically taken before I realised that this
 wasn't a function available to my left leg
and just took it off the wall and pulled instead.

In many ways, it wasn't anything like climbing as I know it. The movement was totally different, I didn't know how to use my foot- because even though it can't do a huge amount, it could certainly have borne more of my weight than it did. But it was a good laugh, and I can only improve.

A more honest portrayal of my 'footwork'
I managed a rather nice pink and purple spotty jug route though ;)

For now, at least, top-roping will remain a game. I'm not ready for training with feet. But it's nice to be able to do something else.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

One Crutch

I went to see the physio today- and she took away one of my crutches! Well, she tried. I wouldn't quite let go. So now I'm just using one!

It's a revelation. I can carry tea... and plates... and anything you can carry or use with just one hand. I had no idea how much difference it would make. Nor how much weight I was allowed to bear. On the other hand, the amount of walking I have to do to get around lectures all day is too much for just using one crutch at the moment and just hurts, so I'm sort of swapping between 2 and 1.

I love physio exercises, it's like training for climbing- if you put enough hours doing the right things in, it's so rewarding. My knee does the thing that knees do now!

The screws hurt though... :(