Hello and welcome,
Firstly, I didn’t think I’d be writing my opening long-threatened blog entry typing slowly with one hand with its partner in plaster but regrettably that’s the sad case. This does not quite live up to the glamorous image of my favourite fictional New York-based writer I aspire to, but I take comfort from the thought that some of my favourite non-fictional writers may have written their best works while recovering from some sort of accident. It’s an inspiring thought and I definitely need some inspiration right now.
So, the plaster. It’s been quite a calamitous start to the new decade. That lovely period wedged in between Christmas and New Year was spent with a busted boiler resulting in no heating or hot water for three days. The new year was seen in wonderfully with my boyfriend Alex in Falmouth, Cornwall and even when I developed flu-like symptoms on New Year's Day I thought I was immune to the January blues as we had such a brilliant time. A stinking cold was never going to get me down! Things were good!
Silly pre-plaster me.
Back to work going well, I was certainly feeling blues-free on Wednesday night in frosty Walthamstow and looking forward to a night of rest, food and LOVEFiLM entertainment with Alex. ‘Isn’t it slippery’ I thought to myself cheerfully, laughing as a group of women threw snowballs at each other and feeling smug about walking in the road as others slipped on the pavement. Then, disaster. CRASH. One second up, the next down. There I was on the floor, the contents of my Boots bag dispensed everywhere. Feminine hygiene products of course, just to add to the joy.
Quick as a flash, a very kind man and his son hauled me up and got me on my feet. Shocked and with a very sore coccyx, I carried on homebound in a cautious but stable manner. However, then the dizziness started, I was finding it very difficult to breathe and the pure white snow was turning black before my eyes. Just...a...few...more...steps...and CRASH. On the floor again but this time making absolutely certain I had caused some damage by landing on my wrist. Instinct normally kicks in when you are wearing a faux-fur leopard-skin coat and lying in the road so I got up and crawled to the nearest doorstep and tried to stay conscious. The next thing I knew a stranger appeared by my side, found my trusted iPhone and helped me called Alex, whimpering at him to please come and get me.
It is all a bit hazy after this. A dash to A&E in a taxi, waiting to be seen, a painful X-ray and a distressing forty-five minute wait for the results. Alex was amazing; keeping me warm and comfortable and wrapping me in his West Ham scarf (sorry fellow CPFC fans, I was vulnerable and taken by surprise). ‘NICOLA GREENBROOK’? was my booming cue to be seen by a Consultant who told me that the wrist was indeed broken and would need treatment. Ironically at that moment a boy outside the treatment room fainted on the floor. Yep, my thoughts exactly.
Consultant – Greek, scary, rather terse. My whimpering and severe teeth-chattering were definitely not welcome in his consulting room as provided me with two options - to go under general anaesthetic and stay overnight or under local anaesthetic and be in and out in an hour. No brainer really. ‘NOW, NI-COLA, ARE YOU GOING TO CO-OPERATE OR NOT? WELL?!’ he boomed. In my head I said ‘No, I’m going to make this as difficult for you as I possibly can, ha ha, cause I’m REALLY LOVING THIS PAIN!’ but instead I barely whispered ‘yes’.
Up next, re-set hell. Wrist was only mildly numb and I wanted to shout with panic ‘I can still feel pain!!’ but instead accepted the offer of laughing gas (it was in the least bit funny) and inhaled around twelve times – resulting in a welcome state of being absolutely off my face. A good thing really, as Nicer Consultant pulled my upper arm back with all his strength while Scary Consultant popped the broken wrist back into place and Alex stroked my head. I fainted twice, thankfully. I came to with a big wail and heard Nicer Consultant say ‘she is clearly calcium-deficient’ to which I befuddedly responded ‘vegetarian, actually’ and cried.
After two very uncomfortable sleeps, I went back today to the delightful and clearly signposted Fracture Clinic with its professional and helpful staff (sarcasm eases the pain) to be told that wrist is recovering excellently, but that I have to go back in one week’s time for another X-ray and re-cast, with said cast on for four - six weeks.
It is my personal hell. Diary commitments cancelled, including a very exciting trip to Amsterdam to see my lovely travelling buddy (sorry Lauren, I will make it up to you) and now I really do have the January blues. I am being a hideous patient as I hate being inactive, unproductive, and reliant on others to shower, dress me and put on my shoes and I’m dreading the next few weeks. In turn, Alex is being an angel, more amazing than ever and I am incredibly grateful. This must be hard for him too.
If anything, it is a humbling experience and has made me realise how very lucky I am to be in reasonably good health and that this is a temporary experience. It is quite astonishing that in thirty-one rather clumsy years, including hiking the Inca Trail, climbing a few New Zealand and UK mountains and jumping out of a plane in Australia, the first time I break a bone is walking home from sodding work, less than five minutes from home.
So on Day Two of my Sentence, it is just me, my plaster and my laptop with the Foo Fighters playing in the background watching the snow and ice. Bitterly I may add. Winter Wonderland? I’m over the snow. Timely, a Topshop Style Notes email has just popped into my inbox declaring brightly that ‘Spring is on its way’!’
It can’t come soon enough - I have an itch under my plaster.