Three weeks ago, I fell down and broke my leg.
I had had Ewan McGregor at the vets that day - he had gone for an explosive run the night before after a rabbit and came back totally lame in one of his back legs. Struggled back up the back stairs and promptly flopped down on the back verandah. Which is so not like him.
So off I went to the vets the next morning, 'has he had anything to eat this morning?', 'we'll need to do an x-ray to see what's going on, leave him with us, we'll ring you when we have some answers'. Ring, ring - 'hello, I'm sorry to tell you that Ewan McGregor has ruptured his cruciate ligament and needs surgery to fix it - fortunately, we've got space in the operating schedule for Friday so in the meantime, come and pick him up but keep him as quiet as possible till then' . . . 'Here he is, he's still a bit sleepy from the sedation we had to give him to take the x-rays, just watch that he doesn't go running and do himself an injury, that will be $700 for today, thank you, please have him here by 8.30am on Friday, oh I should let you know that the operation will cost $1100 minimum, okay bye bye, see you on Friday!'
So I took our Ewan McGregor home and he was kind of quiet until I took the dogs out for their dinner at about 8.15pm. Having finished his food quickly (he hadn't eaten all day), Ewan McGregor then shot off down the stairs, across the lawn and round the end of the hedge he disappeared. I cursed his naughtiness and followed him, with my torch, exquisitely attired in my pyjamas, dressing gown and daggy old slippers which had been the subject of recent conversations re their worn-outness and lack of tread on the bottom. I had slipped in them before, at least twice.
So I proceeded with great caution, shining my torch down the hill to see where my crazy dog had gone. Over by the side fence I couldn't see him anywhere. I walked diagonally towards the first of the casuarina trees, past which the land flattens out and I knew I would be safer standing there. Just one more step close to the tree and I will be on safe ground. Stepped with my right foot which when it made contact with the ground just continued in a forward motion and I was falling. Backwards, with my left foot remaining where it had been. And so I fell, with my right leg out in front of me, onto my back but also onto my left leg, bent at the knee, with my left foot in a contorted sort of position, half pointing out to the side but with my toes pointed up towards my head. And I heard the snap. A muffled kind of snap.
Burning pain in my left ankle. My immediate thought was 'how am I ever going to stand up?' I was out of earshot of the house, Mike was home with the television at his usual volume. Just stand up . . . no, that hurts too much . . . what am I going to do! . . . okay, roll over onto your hands and knees and try to get up that way . . . oh no, that hurts, what have I done to myself (insert small episode of sobbing here) . . . okay, crawl back up the hill till you're close enough for Mike to hear you. I even gathered up all my belongings!! Made sure I had the torch AND the rotten slippers. Crawled till I was near the mulberry tree at which point, ignoring the pain, I got to my feet, staggered to the edge of the paving and proceeded to use the torch to morse code my distress through the windows of the family room in the hope of attracting Mike's attention. Which I did, fortunately, quite quickly and he came outside. I said 'I've REALLY hurt myself!!!' But I still had the 10 steps up onto the verandah to contend with and I'm not going to describe how much that hurt. Got inside, got the peas out of the freezer, already swelling, paining, sobbing, okay off to Accident and Emergency (IN MY PYJAMAS!), sorry, the radiology folks have gone home to bed, here's some strong pain killers, if I poke here, does it hurt? Okay, could be ligament damage, we'll put a bandage on it for you and you'll have to come back in the morning at 8.30am for an x-ray. Here's some more strong pain killers, and some more to take home.
I kind of slept, but every time I moved . . . ouch!
As soon as the first x-ray was done, the radiologist lady said 'Fracture!'
I had a temporary plaster put on while they decided whether it needed a pin put in, I was admitted to hospital, the orthopaedic surgeon decided not to pin, the following day the backslab plaster was replaced with a right orange fibreglass cast and after another x-ray to check the position of the bone, off I went home on my new crutches.
Boy, it was sore! And bruised - it still is.
Two days later, it was Ewan McGregor's day - off he went in the morning with Mike, the vet rang early afternoon to say every thing had gone well, and the procedure from here on was that he was to be kept crated for as long as possible, and only taken out, on a leash, for toilet stops. I could have gone and bought a crate, but on the crutches, my chances of taking him down 10 stairs to go to the toilet were nil. And so he stayed at the vets. And almost three weeks later, he is still at the vets. They ring me every few days and tell me how he's going, that he's pretty well taken over the place, that his injury is healing nicely. I miss him and so does Merlin. He'll come home when it's okay for him to be off the leash and able to get up and down the stairs by himself - who knows how long it will take. In the meantime, the $1100 is growing by the day.
My leg has improved greatly, once the soreness went away I found it so much easier to get around. It still hurts a bit if I put too much weight on it. The greatest frustration is not being able to get the cast wet, so showers are an absolute nightmare for someone who loves to run a big, deep bath and lie there with a book and a glass of wine!
I have missed my mum these last few weeks, if only to hear her say 'well, what did you go and do a silly thing like that for!'