Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Good news, fear, and Fear

Having been told I was probably going to need more surgery two months ago, it was with a great deal of trepidation that I attended fracture clinic yesterday.

All of the feedback pain-wise I'd been receiving from my leg said that things were improving. But the doctor I'd seen was adamant that we should do surgery, and the consultant overruled him, saying we would allow a couple more months to heal.

When I walked into the appointment my heart was racing: I was dreading the thought that I might have to let them do more structural work, especially because I was so sure things must be getting better. However, when I saw the X-Ray, I could immediately see where the bone callus was thicker. There was still a gap, but very small. The consultant proceeded to explain that it's a race between my bone healing and the metalwork fatiguing. I asked "Am I going to win?"
"You're winning it at the moment", he said, smiling. "Have you been pounding it like I told you to?"

So basically, I'm allowed to use it as I'd use my right leg. The consultant's words were "I don't understand why you'd do something like climbing and motorcycling" but that I basically should be fine, and can return in six months to confirm this.

So finally, I'm allowed impact. It was, quite literally, the best day of my year. Better than finishing my final exams, better than any recent achievements. I was OVER THE MOON. Still am!

I was dressed first. Seriously.

For someone who has never suffered from any fear when lead climbing or bouldering, it's more of a nightmare than I expected. I can't imagine ever feeling OK climbing normally on a bouldering wall again. You try to convince yourself that you can be happy never climbing above the kickboard, and never leading. Never pushing the level of difficulty of the move, never making a move dynamically. But how can that be true? Before I broke my leg, I don't think I knew what static meant. Bouncing between holds was how I liked to climb. Now, I'll intentionally do something which requires unnecessary strength such as cutting loose on crimps on a roof so that I can move my feet and static the next move. As technique goes, it's shameful.

At the beginning of each new thing, after any injury, pushing the boundaries is harrowing. It's often less about it being fun to climb and more about building an acceptance of a situation. Deep down I knew that although it was much worse to be broken and banned from bouldering, I was clinging on to the safety net that is medical advice not to climb and now it's gone, I'm scared.

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