OK, now the real reason I switched this laptop on just after 5 in the morning (yegads
!!!) and went to my journal is because I wanted to have a good whinge. I was pleasantly diverted by some correspondence, but I'm now ready to have that whinge!
Fractures are so high-maintenance!
At 5 in the morning, I wanted nothing more than to be asleep, curled up around the warm shape of my husband, when my body started ringing a little fire alarm. "Animal protein now
! Animal protein now
!" Sigh. It's a very unpleasant sort of fire alarm, not like general hunger; it has a faintly sick tang to it, and a very unique kind of gnawing sensation. And I know that the body is already scavenging amino acids by breaking down its own muscles etc when it gets to that point, so that's not good.
Between me and animal protein was actually giving up my cosy horizontal position without weeping, trying to get on crutches in that delicate semi-comatose I-woke-up-far-too-early state without falling over, and hopping with their aid into the office, where they could be exchanged for a more comfortable conveyance: The office chair, God bless and keep it. Knee of dodgy leg on that, snuggle into the backrest, use good leg for propulsion, steering and braking, use hands to avoid colliding with solid objects.
This got me to the kitchen in comfort and safety. Now I sure as ice in Antarctica wasn't going to boil eggs at 5 in the morning, so I re-heated some of the big stash of Thai-style pumpkin and seafood soup made the other day, and ate cheese and crackers while waiting for it to heat without exploding all over the microwave (seafood mix is very explodey
, so you have to use the medium high setting and wait longer). Then I grabbed the bowl and scooted on the chair until I reached the bedroom. Warmly re-installed between the sheets, I ate my strange pre-breakfast and read previously mentioned pleasant correspondence etc while the fire alarm sensations slowly diminished.
Perhaps it wasn't such a great idea to have three slices of coconut cake for dinner last night; it clearly wasn't adequate for current repair requirements. But I'd had one of those days where the fractures just caught up with me. Much as I like to carry on as normally as possible, yesterday was a day where my body said, "Please do not get up today!" And these days, with the wisdom bequeathed by long experience of what happens if you don't listen to your body, I actually don't argue too much when that happens. I did a couple of useful things, like make warm honey and hazelnut cluster muesli for breakfast, served with hot plums from the summer stash in jars, and scoot that and tea to the bedside tables, where an exhausted husband was curled up in foetal position under the blankets 20 minutes after his alarm for his early shift had gone off. The tea and fragrant breakfast just floating to him was a humane way of getting him into a sitting position.
He's had a hard time of it too with this fracture business - disturbed sleep, extra chores, re-negotiating his schedule to be able to ferry me to fracture clinic etc.
But after that, I actually had a mostly horizontal day - apart from horse feeding. I did not
go on a one-hour peg-leg walk as originally planned; instead I listened to my weary body and rested. My broken foot in that astronaut boot feels very like a baby bird not ready to come out of its shell; it likes
its shell and feels safe in it. I read a lot, watched interviews, journalled, drank a lot of green tea, made cheesies at intervals (toasted bread drizzled with olive oil, with Italian herbs, ham and cheese, grilled until bubbly and served with tomato sauce for taste and lycopenes), scavenged leftovers from the fridge, and tried having little snoozes. My body is actually quite sore. Arm and shoulder muscles got over it fast from the beginning, helped by Vitamin E; it's more bone aches - the fractures obviously, but also the hand bones from using crutches, the shoulder joints from bearing full weight, my hip joints from not walking normally, my left knee from kneeling on it so much when on the office chair or in the peg-leg. Muscle cramps from not using my body in the normal manner, but that's getting better (my left calf was killing me all first week).
When Brett got home, he smiled and made approving sounds and brought me more tea.
He said, "This is completely normal, you should be doing more of it when you have broken bones! Don't feel bad about it. I know what you're like, and it's great you're doing so much and getting as much exercise as possible, but you also need extra rest. So just listen to your body. And listen to the husbandly wisdom of Brett, who's got some good ideas sometimes!"
(He hides emergency chocolate in the attic in case we run out in the pantry! He stashes potato chips secretly to surprise me when we watch a movie. He says, "Here's a book I got for you! Here's a CD you're going to like! Do you want anything from iTunes? How are your podcasts, have you got enough?"
It's funny, it's only my second completely horizontal "bleh" day since my accident 18 days ago; my first was the first 24 hours. I've had a lot of half-days reading in bed or sitting on the sofa with my foot up, but not total losses on the productivity rating.
But I wanted to whinge this morning, because even though this is a far easier injury than many others would be (try ligament damage, at least bones usually heal AOK), there are still times in-between my enthusiastic problem-solving and carrying on doing, when I can no longer sell it to myself as a sort of temporary playground fun, and it really strikes me that it's such
a royal pain in the posterior, and so tiring
and uncomfortable/randomly painful. And I really
miss riding. And walking like a normal person.
Well, I'm glad I got that off my chest.
So that's a whinge from me about a relatively minor and inconvenient ailment which is expected to heal 100%, and for which I am far better equipped than the average person in terms of body shape, fitness levels, and attitude. I honestly don't know how people do it if they're carrying 20kg too much, or unfit, or can't normally do pushups or get off the ground hands-free, or don't eat properly, or are elderly and/or frail - that'd be a real killer then.
How would they even bathe? That's only just safe for me, and I really had to work on it. You can't shower, because you can't stand on the broken foot. You could sit in a shower chair, or you can take a bath. Tried the shower chair; most unpleasant and dodgy too. The problem with the bath, with the fragile baby bird out of its little egg for it (you can't leave the astronaut boot on), is getting into and out of the tub without squashing the baby bird, which your body is quite prepared to use instinctively for an emergency, even though you know it can't. So I sit at the edge of the tub and swivel over - there's that precarious moment when you don't have your good foot on the ground and you hope your handholds don't fail. Once the good foot is in the tub, you're halfway to Rome, but you have to lower yourself so carefully to avoid skidding and slamming your baby bird into the tub wall.
Takes all the Pilates training I had, being steady on the one foot and lowering your bodyweight on it in a super-controlled manner, and holding on with both hands ready for aversive action in case that good foot slides, and reminding your brain that the baby bird is off limits for emergency braking. (It's like teaching yourself that you must not swerve on the road when a kangaroo crosses, despite your instincts - that's how people slam into trees.)
Anyway, I guess most people simply would have to use that shower chair, or have sponge baths, or go to special facilties with grip bars built in etc. Makes you think. I'll never look at people in splints and casts in quite the same light again, now I've lived in that world. There's a lovely lady at fracture clinic who has an ankle fracture, in a hard cast, and she's in a wheelchair because she's carrying at least 40kg too much, and currently can't even use crutches. I can't see how she would slide around in an office chair, or get into a bath, or be able to wear a peg-leg. And I don't say this with any judgemental forehead-wrinkling, because the obesity epidemic is a really complex one, and the way our modern society operates makes it so hard for a lot of people to do healthy things when all this unhealthy stuff is so pushed at every corner and the dealers deal their non-foods legally and in broad daylight and often with the approval of various so-called health organisations. Plus, if you didn't come out of childhood lean, you've already got so much stacked against you. That's a whole separate rant though, and I've already reached my daily quota!