At the moment, this is my life, to a large extent:
I also have the sofa I’m sitting on, and a shower chair that I’m resting my right foot on. Outside is my dog who is waiting for me to let her back inside. I’ll do that soon, but I need to rest a little bit longer first.
My life is currently all about keeping my right foot raised, resting, and finding an interesting thing to do that I can do whilst sitting on the mentioned sofa. There is a reason for this, I’ll tell you about it.
Very recently, I was out in the backyard, where my dog currently is. I’d dog out there to close a gate, to keep the dog in the smaller backyard area, rather than a greater range. We usually do this in the later afternoon, so Missy, the dog, keeps a bit quieter when we’re not out there to tell her to shut up.
Anyway, this particular day was AFL Grand Final Day, which in Australia is a huge day, the biggest football game of the year is on almost every turned on TV, and millions are watching the game. My husband, Graham, was one of those millions watching the game. I was going to go in and join rejoin him, and watch the game too.
So I shut the gate, then turned to come inside. Missy was out there with me, and I looked toward her, while stepping over the hose that was just in front of me. I obviously stepped badly, because when I put my right foot down, my ankle twisted, I felt an agonising shooting pain and I fell to the ground.
With the ankle still hurting, I tried and failed to get up, then I shuffled on my but as best I could, with only my hands and my left usable. I called Missy to me, but she was scared so it took a few minutes to convince her it would be OK to approach me.
I don’t know why I called Missy really, she’s no RIn Tin Tin, or Lassie. Maybe I just wanted a friend with me in my troubled time … Anyway, I got close to our Hills Hoist thinking I may be able to stand up, using it. I couldn’t.
So I started yelling for Graham, but it took a while to get his attention, because the noise of the crowd at the Football ground was so loud. He eventually heard me though. He came out, saw I was in trouble and managed to get me a chair to sit on.
He called an ambulance. We waited, I’m not sure for how long, but soon enough there were two ambos in the backyard with us. I guess Graham had put Missy inside, I don’t remember that. So the ambos I think gave me something for my pain, then before I knew it, I was having my first ambulance ride ever.
They took me to the nearest hospital, the Gawler Hospital. Things were done, it was getting late, fully dark by then, and they’d done all they were going to do for me there. Graham had driven to the ambulance to be with me, but it was time for him to go home again.
Another ambulance was called for, to take me to another, bigger hospital, the Lyell Mac, in Elizabeth. Eventually, just after midnight, I arrived at the next hospital. I was put into a ward, and so began a few days in that hospital, tending to my ankle, which had been xrayed, found to be broken in two places, put in a ‘backslab’ and bandaged.
My ankle was very swollen and I basically had to just stay in the hospital bed, and wait. A surgeon saw me eventually and it I decided I’d prefer to go to the surgeon’s usual hospital and have surgery to fix my ankle.
So that meant yet another ambulance ride, this time to a much swisher hospital, the Ashford Hospital. I stayed there in relative luxury, become more accustomed to lying around doing nothing , having my ‘obs’ taken regularly, and learning to accept the ‘bed pan’ as a normal thing.
I had the surgery, coming to and then more bed rest, but only a day and a night of it. I know had not cast to keep my ankle in the correct position, instead, a plate and screws. I may heave these for the rest of my life, I’m not sure, but I’m OK with that idea. I was introduced to, and used the Knee Walker, which meant I could finally get up and go to the toilet in the normal way, hooray!
I wasn’t at the Ashford for long, in fact came home a day and a bit after the operation, so that the TV is now my main companion, when Graham isn’t here. I sit around, my laptop and phone close handy, foot up, and wondering what might come next … I can’t walk, not without that super dooper Knee Walker.
I’m remembering now that while I was waiting for the various things to happen, once my ankle was dealt with appropriately, and the pain managed, that my studies about stoicism were a great help in being able to easily just wait for the various thing that had to happen, to happen. I was in the hands of experts, and no carrying on, was going to make things happen any faster, I just had to wait.
Holding to that attitude made it easy to wait, there was nothing I could do, so I didn’t have to do anything, beyond eat, drink, have my obs done, hour after hour. I was pleasant enough to all who dealt with me, they were pleasant and even friendly to me, and overall, I had a strangely good time. Off my face on painkillers, perhaps, but what the heck, you do what you have to do.
So that’s it, Stoicism, painkillers, pleasant behaviour, no excesses if possible, and life moves along in fine ways, pain kept in control, no need for any histrionics, a calm, Stoic life of dealing with things that happen in the best way I can.
Life goes on, slowly, stoically …