I am counting down the hours to my appointment at the fracture clinic. Please please please may I be cast free by Tuesday lunchtime. This is such a different experience to the fracture of my right wrist. This one was not a bad break, and over the past few days I have felt irritated by my cast, as though it is an unnecessary encumbrance. When I broke my right wrist I was almost frightened of losing the security of the cast. Though I was delighted in other ways to be rid of it as frankly it smelled. So if I am wrapped up again on Tuesday I shall not be happy. Fingers crossed.
Quite a lot has been written about lockdown puppies and how they are going to cope if and when their humans return to their places of work. In the last few weeks when friends have called round with chopped onions and carrots, gifts of flowers and snacks I have realised that MasterB has lost the habit of socialising with anyone other than myself. It has taken several visits from Celia for him to relax and go out to greet her and then spend time with her. I know they say cats don’t have long memories, but I have seen MasterB react with delight to people he hasn’t seen for a more than a year. I fear the effects of this last year may take some undoing.
I have a new plaster cast, the same blue as my cast seven years ago. I also have confirmation that my wrist is broken. In three weeks I return to the fracture clinic. Life goes on. Doing the washing up, opening cans with ring pulls, sweeping up litter MasterB has enthusiastically excavated from his tray, multi-tasking, all are difficult. Chopping onions, chopping garlic, impossible. I need to vacuum but to do that means getting the vacuum cleaner out of the cupboard and assembled, then disassembled and back into the cupboard. That is daunting. I am not sure if changing the bed linen ranks higher in the daunting ranks, but it’s certainly a close rival.
I was feeling pretty good while I waited at the Fracture Clinic this morning. Seeing people at the start of their fracture recovery reminded me just how well my wrist has mended. So I sat there, reading some notes, then playing Spider solitaire on my ‘phone, while Lorraine talked on the television screen. Occasionally I did one of my wrist exercises.
The clinic was running late. It always runs late so far as I can tell. A notice reminds you that you should allow two hours for your appointment. There is a constant stream of people who have broken bits of themselves and a finite number of staff to deal with them. Still, most seem fairly accepting, knowing that their turn will come. In the early stages there are new x-rays to be taken, the plaster room to provide fresh strapping, the clinic physio to see. Today I was just waiting to see the consultant for the last time.
My turn came about an hour after the appointed time. The consultant was smiley. He looked at my x-rays; said again what a bad fracture it had been – the word smashed was used, not for the first time; he looked at the x-rays of the metalwork. I asked if I could photograph the screen as I am still waiting for my CD.
So here they are. Or at least some of them.
First up, my perfect wrist, x-rayed some years ago before I had surgery for carpal tunnel.
A fine example of delicate bones fitting nicely together to make this wonderfully articulated joint.
I could show you a picture of my newly naked arm. The consultant pronounced my healing stitches beautiful, which was enough to let me know I wouldn’t be asking him for art exhibition recommendations. I hope and expect it’ll look more pleasant in time. I scar fairly easily, so I anticipate a visible line down my arm for the rest of my days.
So instead, here’s a photo of tulips and ceanothus from the hospital grounds.
London has moved on from cherry blossom to ceanothus and lilac. The shrubs and trees in their glorious blues, mauves and white obtrude prolifically across pavements and brighten the dullest corners.It is incredible how, in such a short space of time, leafless trees are thickly green and abundant; roses have burst into bloom; the cherries are already forming as the blossom petals still carpet the grass. Spring is my favourite season; the embodiment of hope and possibility. Funny to say so when the first anniversary of Mother’s death is only a week away, and I hope it presages a new acceptance, and a shift to good memories infusing the future. Continue reading
I’ll spare you the goriest photo featuring stitches and bruises. I sent it to Octavia, but she a) is a doctor, and b) while I was still digesting my breakfast, sent me a photo of dead rat her cat had caught .
Once again the NHS did its stuff beautifully. I arrived at the fracture clinic and was despatched almost immediately to x-ray. Then a short wait and I saw the consultant, this time in shirt and tie and minus his blue scrubs. He was smiling. In moments he removed the smelly old plaster, and my new lizard skin was revealed. Though I suppose that should be old lizard skin. Suddenly the dinosaurs seem like near relatives. He showed me the x-rays; a sort of t-bar plate with lots of screws sticking out of it so it made me think of a broom. Everything seems to be healing nicely. He wouldn’t be drawn on whether I shall have a lump on my wrist or what degree of moevement I can hope to achieve in the future. But I am not a trained journalist for nothing. I asked a different question. Pushed, he said we could hope for 80-90% of my previous rotational skills.
Back to the waiting room where a small child looked worriedly at my exposed arm. There was a list of things to be done.
I had just about got my phone out when I was called to the plaster room. Ruth, the staff nurse who attended to me, is the daughter of a seamstress. It showed. I shouldn’t be surprised to see her fronting her own craft show on tv one of these days.