It’s been five years! 

We were having a chat in work today and my wonky leg came up in conversation, mainly because it’s being a bitch. I’ve only just realised, while pondering life on the train home, that today is the 5th anniversary of my accident.

I hate being in pain, I often remark that from the waist down I need to be erased and then redrawn. I have one knee with a knee cap displacement (unless its moved since it’s last MRI) and one with three holes drilled in it to facilitate a severed tendon being reattached. If I were my knees I’d feckin hate me. Most days I know they do hate me.

I have a feeling the pain is only going to get worse, but I was warned of this, so it’s not like it’s a surprise or anything. I continue my exercises even though the pain now shoots to my hip. I try not to curse when my leg gives out for no reason and I try not to cry on the nights I’ve had to stand for long periods of time and the pain is unbearable. I’m getting old. It sucks. But it’s life.

I’ve quit smoking, it’s bad for the cartlidge that remains in my knees.

I’m eating healthier, to try and lessen the load that the sisters grim have to carry.

I will exercise, but I can’t right now until this current flare up of pain passes. This has been the worst one in a while.

I’m working on not blasting out ‘ya feckin fecker’ when my knee gives way and I jolt my back to keep myself upright. I’ve actually done this on a crowded platform, it’s extremely embarrassing.

I’m still walking, and that’s a blessing because when I initially found out I had severed my patellar tendon from my kneecap, my anxiety ridden brain had me convinced my life was over. It wasn’t.

It’s certainly different. There are things I miss, like full mobility. I hate cleaning the inside of cupboards, but now I wish I was able to. I hate not being able to walk down stairs unaided and I hate that I look like that the poster ‘Evolution of ape to man’ when I go from a sitting to a standing position.

This post is a reminder and a celebration.

It’s a reminder that things can change in a heartbeat and never be the same again, but that they could always be worse. I think of some of my friends, both in real life and here who are dealing with pain and sickness on a daily basis, but doing it with humour and grace.

It’s a celebration of coming out the other side and knowing that despite the fact that there is pain, there’s still life.

There’s more to be thankful for than not.

Happy birthday Alien Leg : )


A Miniature Update!

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I haven’t used the breaking news picture for a while, it has no bearing on this post, but I liked it, so thought I would resurrect it. Sadly, there is no breaking news, you can pick your coffee cup back up.

I had a head full of plans for the weekend, the latter half of the week had passed uneventfully and although the vision of my weekend was slightly clouded by housework, I intended to fit some writing and GTA in there somewhere too. It all started well as by 8pm on Friday night most things were done and I was just finishing off the last of my tasks while mentally planning what I was going to spend my free time on, when I fell out the back door. How random right, I have no idea how I fell, did Alien Leg give way, did I slide on something, did my foot catch? who knows, but I tipped forwards out the back door and still somehow managed to land flat on my ass, thank feck it’s cushioned. The poor Fathership, he has no idea how I fell either, but I think he was about two farts away from shitting himself.

Somehow on the way down, in the moments between standing and slump I managed to scrape my elbow against the wall and also jarred my already damaged knee. I think that’s what concerned me the most, I was heart scared that perhaps I had managed to remove my tendon from my kneecap for a second time and sat for a little while cradling myself and praying this was not the case. Eventually I moved myself back, up onto the step and then hauled myself up, flexing my leg and walking. It hurt, but it seemed to be functioning correctly so I heaved a sigh of relief, lamented the loss of a layer of skin from my elbow and went on with the dishes. I babbled a little incoherently for a while, the Fathership informed me I was possibly in shock.

I didn’t move for much of the rest of the night after that, I know my knee well enough to let it rest and by this time it had started to swell. The weird thing is though, that when I was up and moving around later I realised my knee was no longer grinding, the grimace inducing grating of bones had temporarily disappeared, sadly the pain hadn’t. It’s weird isn’t it, that I was wishing the thing that has caused me concern and pain for the last three years would return.

So I’m hoping that perhaps when I jarred said knee I broke some scar tissue, which in the long run might give me some relief. It may also just be a simple case of the swelling causing temporary disappearance. Regardless, apart from a few scrapes, aches and a bruise on my butt I’m grand, if perhaps a little unsure on my feet again.

In other news, a theme was finally released that I like, taadaaaa, what do you think? I tinkered with it for a while before publishing and just this evening Paul sent me a new banner! Isn’t it great. I think that’s me happy again for a little while, but they don’t call me indecisive for nothing you know, so watch this space!

So that was my eventful weekend, how was yours?

Daily Prompt: Flip Flop

Flip Flops
Image by Bermi Ferrer

Daily Prompt: Flip Flop
Think of a topic or issue about which you’ve switched your opinion. Why the change?

Ok so I know I am really late on this, as the Daily Promt was on the 18th July, but hey, better late than never.

The reason it caught my eye in the first place, is because the thing about which I have switched my opinion, is infact the Flip Flop itself.

I’d never been much of a fan until I discovered a specific pair. They were a little more expensive than run of the mill Flip Flops that sold for a couple of quid in most retail outlets, and left you with blisters where the toe post nestled. Oh no! these were super flip flops, cushioned and most definitely built for comfort with a little flair thrown in for good measure. So good were they infact, that when a friend tried them on, she immediately went home and ordered herself a pair as well.

It was a match made in heaven, perhaps even love at first slip on. I thought we were destined to be together forever.

I’d love to tell you at this point, that my flip flops and I traveled all over the world together, seeing sights, eating at fancy restaurants and generally pounding a path across the universe, but, that would be a lie.

In fact the only trip my Flip Flops and I took, was on the living room carpet on the 6th July 2012. My souvenir, a ruptured patellar tendon.

I didn’t give it much consideration until later that evening when I was lying on a hospital gurney, leg in plaster from ankle to thigh and the Nurse said to me, “You know those are the worst things you could wear on your feet.”

So here’s the thing, I tripped because my toe caught at the bottom of my trousers, but, had I not have been wearing the flip flops then it may never have happened. It could also have nothing to do with the footwear at all, and they are just an innocent bystander, framed for a crime they did not commit, but her suggestion changed my relationship with my beloved flip flops forever.

There was none of the usual heartache that follows a breakup. The flip flops were relegated to the bin (they were done anyway) and I spent the next 6 months learning to walk properly again barefoot.

The other day I found a pair I had bought for going on holiday, which should have been the day after I tripped. I didn’t look at them with the same love and devotion I once had, infact I needed to get rid of them, so I took them to work and a colleague decided to buy them, even after I told her she did so at her own risk.

My love affair was well and truly over, never to be rekindled.

NB: After I had been back at work about a month or so I heard about a work colleague who tripped in a supermarket, breaking her leg in four places. Guess what she had on her feet! And no before you ask, it was not the colleague I sold mine to!

Alien Leg – Part 6 – The Last Stand

Image by Stuart Caie
Happy Birthday Alien Leg!

Dear Alien Leg

Happy birthday! You are one year old today!

This is going to be the last post I write about you, I’ve decided that you are what you are and I am just going to have to live with it. Things could have been a whole lot worse. 

We’ve had a rough year you and I.

I found that being with you through your recovery left me feeling a little depressed, I’m still trying to shake it. It’s hard to go from being fit and healthy to bolloxed in the space of 30 seconds. Harder still to be housebound for 6 months when you’re used to working two jobs. 

I’m reminded of your existence every day. I’m always in some degree of pain or discomfort, always wary and now even your twin has started acting up because she is fed up taking all the strain. To think she was always the problematic one when we were younger, you not so. Now look at you ffs! 

Your cousins, the Hip sisters are not so happy either. They say you two are not pulling your weight and passing a lot of the work to them. I’m just praying you all figure it out, so that someday soon we can all work together as a team. 

We met some interesting people on our journey though didn’t we. We’ll not forget the help they gave us because we couldn’t have managed without them. 

Looking back  9 – 10 months, I didn’t think I would be able to do what I am now. I know there are still a lot of things we can’t do and there are some things we’ll never be able to do again, but that’s just the way it is and I’m trying to find a way to accept that. It’s proving a little harder than I thought though. 

Usually in letters there is a bit about how you wouldn’t change anything etc, but I can’t say that, because if I could go back 12 months and never have met you in the first place, of course I would. No offence intended of course!

Even though they have said you might never get better, I still think, and hope there is room for improvement. They say though that we are certain to get a visit from Uncle Arthritis and that Cousin Cartilage might have us in hospital again in the years to come. We’ll just have to cross all those bridges when we come to them. 

I’ve left you a present on the dressing table. Cod liver oil capsules with a hint of Glucosamine. I know they aren’t very pleasant, but they are meant to help, so lets give it a shot. 

I’ll try and remember to get in touch in about 6 months time to see how things are going. In the meantime I hope you continue to improve and try and have a word with your twin and tell her to give me a fecking break.

Be good and stop giving me so much pain if you can, I’d appreciate it!

Much Love

Juls x 

(Image by: Stuart Caie – Click picture for more info)

Alien Leg – Part 5

Image from
Image from

Previous Post!

Let‘s go back a little in this story. I feel I need to provide some information with regards to my injury.

The Patellar Tendon runs from the kneecap to the Tibia, the bone under your Knee. The rupture meant I had in effect severed this tendon, removing it from the knee cap, resulting in me losing the ability to straighen my  leg and my knee cap to be lodged about 3 inches higher than it normally was.

The repair involved the surgeon, making a incision of about 6 inches vertically up the knee, drilling 3 holes in my kneecap and basically sewing the tendon back onto it.

Recovery involves the tendon healing and scar tissue forming to help everything re attach. That’s it in a nutshell, well to the best of my knowledge anyway, I never got very detailed accounts.

I googled pretty much everything to try and gain a better understading of what was happening, and more importantly, going to happen.

Back to the story…..

The rest of Saturday passed in a bit of a blur. I was still a little woozy from the earlier Rice Crispie incident. My friends came to visit, bringing with them smiles, helium filled baloons and Haribo!

I slept better that night, I’d eaten a little and I was so tired I even managed to block out the middle of the night chatter from my ward companions.

Sunday morning brought about a shift change and a new nurse, however the Sister was still in attendance. The new nurse was brilliant, she promised she would try and get me released later in the day. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to get home and into my own bed.

Under her watchful gaze I managed to make it to the rest room all by myself, she did however follow me with a wheelchair in case of emergencies.

Satsified that I was walking she arranged for me to go and be fitted with my leg brace, which was to be my constant companion for the next 3 months or so.  I’d walked relatively ok in the post surgery one so I had high hopes that the new one would be the same.

I was placed into a wheelchair with alien leg on a little platform to keep her up and safe. A lovely porter, who just happened to be a gamer came to collect me and we chatted about consoles and what was hot or not in the gaming world as we sped through the corridors to the Fracture Clinic.

The Better Leg brace
The Better Leg brace

Once there, it was out of the chair and onto a higher one, kind of like a dentists chair. The two gentlemen who had cut me out of my cast the previous Tuesday, removed the temporary brace, all my bandages, checked my wound, put on a smaller dressing and then fitted me with the new one.

Back into the wheelchair and my friend is back, push push, more chit chat and within the space of 45 minutes I was back at my bed. I was worn out, kinda hard to believe really considering I hadn’t done anything!

My nurse was all business trying to get me sorted out to go home, tablets and injections were ordered. I was given a box of Laxido (in my head pronounced Laxidoooo to help you poooooo) just in case, as I had not been able to….well you get the drift!

Laxidooo to help you Pooo!
Laxidooo to help you Pooo!

It worked not to bad actually, because the sight of the box, and all the injections  I was to take with me were enough to scare the shit out of anyone!!

They decided I could go home. Not that I was glad or anything, but I started packing straight away!

I changed out of the pink nightshirt, and back into my cow print pj bottoms and started to walk down to the toilet. It was going to be a long journey home.

Panic set in, I couldn’t walk in the new brace. My earlier freedom of movement was gone. Now when I stepped forwards my leg felt like it was being pulled in about 5 different directions and I was thinking this brace can’t possibly be on right. I was in quite a bit of pain, so much so I was beginning to wonder had I somehow hurt myself again. I called over the Doctor on duty but he wasn’t to sure about how leg braces were supposed to work. I asked “Do you think it’s ok” and his reply was “Aye it should be”. Now there’s confidence for you.

Feck it I thought, I don’t want to be here another night, I want to go home, so shut up and ship out! and thats what I did!

To be continued….

It’s all been about tomorrow!

Ok so perhaps I didn’t have the headgear!

I’d mentioned in my previous post Looking Back, that since my accident I have been living my life from appointment to appointment.

Tomorrow is a biggy and I would be a liar if I said I was not nervous.

About 6 weeks ago I had an MRI scan to investigate the innards of my knee in an attempt to try and establish why I am not getting a better range of motion and also why I am clicking when I walk.

Since my last appointment almost 4 months ago there have been big improvements. My colleagues assure me I  no longer walk like I have crapped my kacks! I still limp, but it is not as noticeable to someone who did not know I had been injured.

My biggest fear is more surgery, that is something I really do no want. I feel like I need a little more time to let everything meld into place, I can only pray my surgeon agrees.

So everyone please keep your fingers crossed for me that it is good news! Surely I deserve some!

Image by Bryce Johnson (click picture for more information)

Looking Back!

8287142040_fa7ea19f4a_mAfter my earlier post and much discussion in the office about my new shoes  it got me thinking. I have been back in work almost 5 months now and although I am far from being better, I am also much improved.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I very rarely “Always look on the bright side of life”, I tend to worry more about where I am going as opposed to how far I have come.

It’s been almost a year since my accident. Eight months ago I would never have imagined being where I am now. I thought my world had ended.

My next appointment is in a weeks time and I dread it. What if I go and they tell me they have found something on my scan and I have to go for more surgery. What if my now slightly higher than before kneecap is not right and has to be realigned. what if, what if, what if…..

I realised today I have pretty much lived my life from one appointment to the next. I can’t make plans. It’s a weight on my shoulders.

Aside from the fact of more surgery, there are other things to consider. More sick leave means going onto half pay again. Bills still need to be paid. It could also mean warnings from work.

But I can walk, that is the main thing here. Sure I may have a limp or not be able to do all the things I previously did, but I am walking. I’ve been through the toughest 7 months of my life and come out the other side.

I need to breathe and remember it is a long road to full recovery. There are many people fighting different battles and they do it with a smile because there is always hope.

Picture credit Bryce Johnson – click picture for more info

New Shoes!


I’m in different shoes today!

Ever since I came back to work after the Alien Leg incident I have been wearing my Dr Martens. They are old, worn and slightly too big for me now, but I am used to them. Due to their solid nature I feel steadier in them…. move little stone or I will crush you with my clod hoppers!!

I also had the vein hope that the extra weight at the end of my legs would be good exercise.

This morning due to a little glimpse of sunshine I decided to put on my Converse baseball boots.

I walk differently.

I have been so used to the weight of the boots, that now when I lift my leg I am practically prancing. I expect resistance, but there is none.

I don’t however feel as steady. Little stones feel like huge mountains underfoot. With every step my knee is clicking in protest, it’s drumming out that it is not used to this and I need to slow down.

These boots were made for walking,
and that’s just what I’ll do.
But when I go home with blisters,
it’s going to leave me feeling blue!

Alien Leg – Part 4!

Previous Post. Resized - Hospital_Beds_by_JohnMKimmins

The shift change brought with it a Ward Sister and she was all business. I figured I was being left alone as I had just had surgery the previous day. Everyone else was washed, scrubbed and titivated.

Breakfast came and I decided to have some Rice Crispies and Milk (I’m spelling them with a C because I am doubtful they were Kellogs), heaven knows why but right there and then it seemed like a great idea. About half way through the bowl I gave up, I just wasn’t 100% ready for food. Slow steps, it had now been well over 24 hours since I had last had solids, apart from the little pot of ice cream.

Just as I was drifting off for some well needed sleep, the Sister comes over to me and says “Right you, get yourself washed and dressed you’re getting out of bed today”. I was horrified, I looked in despair at Alien Leg all bandaged and strapped thinking how on earth am I going to be able to get up. I have to say though,  the prospect of being able to make it to the toilet myself was much better than having to continually call for a bed pan.

I was given a wash basin and proceeded to wash myself, well the best you can while half lying / half sitting in a bed, I was appreciative though of the fact they let me wash myself.

Previously the Sister had given me my medication, a concoction of  Tramadol and Paracetamol as far as I can remember, apparently they are more effective when taken together. I couldn’t believe how little pain I felt considering the agony I had been in the night before.

“Right” she says, “time to get out of bed”. Somehow I managed to get my legs around and down onto the floor and she helped me manoeuvre from the bed to the chair at the side and there I sat, my leg in front of me on a little stool. “You’re physio’s will be along soon to see you, they want you up and walking”. Oh fecking great, not content with getting me out of bed I now have to walk as well, mind you spurred on by the bedpan / toilet argument I thought fair enough.

I’d been sitting no more than 5 – 10 minutes when the sweats started, you know how it is, the cold fingers that creep all over your skin and you’re quite alarmed about the fact you can feel so cold but be sweating like it’s 50 degrees and rising. Then came the nausea. I asked a nurse for a tissue and told her I didn’t feel so good and it was right at that point the physios walked in.

Smiling profusely they introduced themselves and said that they needed to make me walk to check everything was ok. I replied saying I didn’t feel too good and in a slightly sterner voice she told me she needed me to just take a few steps. I think she thought I was making up the sickness to get out of the walking. I assured her I did want to try I simply wasn’t feeling the best.

They helped me up and I managed to shuffle a couple of steps. Again I told them I did not feel so good. “Just a few more steps” she said “and then we can turn and go back.” I replied “ok, I’m just telling you I really don’t feel so good” and she said “Well are you actually going to throw up?”, “Yep” says I,  as I proceeded to do just that all over her. Well I mean come on I did warn her. Welcome back to the world little Rice Crispies, I didn’t expect to see you again.

I don’t know who was more horrified, my poor physio or me. In my defence I felt too sick to actually care all that much. I was pushed into a comode like wheelchair, (basically a wooden board with an arse shaped hole that fits right over the toilet), and wheeled to the bathroom, handed some paper towells and left to get myself cleaned up. Not an easy task at all, but I did the best I could. I was given a pink gown to wear considering the state of my poor nightdress, pink ffs, oh how my friends laughed.

When I came back all the little rice crispies were gone and I was allowed to climb back into bed. All this and it was still not even 11.30 am.

To be continued……….

Alien Leg – Part 5

(Picture courtesy of  JohnMKimmins)

Alien Leg – Part 3!

Previous post.

When I awoke I had a little trouble understanding why I was so groggy. I also had trouble remembering where I was and as I started to try and sit up and process what on earth was going on I saw a blue uniform advancing towards me and felt a hand gently pushing me back onto the bed. A voice asked if I needed a drink of water and I nodded, a straw was passed to my lips and a voice told me I was in a recovery ward after having surgery.

I drifted back to sleep.

I had no idea of time and I continued to drift in and out of consciousness. I kept being given drinks of water and could listen to the general hum of conversation all around me. I seemed to be in a large ward with lots of people in various states of recovery.

Eventually I was told I was being taken to my ward. Lots more corridors, whizzing overhead lights, smiling at people in lifts and probably still occasionally nodding off.

Bearing in mind my surgery had been scheduled for 9am it was late enough in the day, as not long after I arrived in the ward the hustle and bustle started for tea time. I’d not really eaten properly since the day of my accident, worry will do that to you and on top of that I had had to fast for the surgery but oddly enough I still didn’t feel that hungry. I was aware of the fact that I’d need to try and eat something so I accepted a little pot of ice cream.

I don’t remember  much else about that day. I was woken occasionally to have my blood pressure checked and to be given pain medication. I vaguely remember my Surgeon coming in to talk to the lady in the bed opposite me and then stopping to ask how I was on his way out. I asked him when the pain was going to stop, as the local anesthetic had started to wear off at that point.

I completely forgot to thank him for performing the surgery and the fact that I was still alive, I was in too much pain. Even the nurses came over and were nudging me and telling me how lucky I was to have him with exclamations of “Ooo isn’t he gorgeous”. It would be 3 months or more before I was actually able to see him in person and thank him.

After visiting time when my folks had left I was able to have a look around my ward. I was the youngest out of 6, the closest to me being 65, but she was good conversation and had had a similar kind of accident to me, only involving her arm and not her leg.

I’d never been in a hospital before, I had no idea of what to expect.  I also had no idea how to use a bed pan and the thought of asking for one terrified me, but I knew for sure that myself and Alien leg were not going to be able to walk there.In the middle of the night I had to call the nurse and believe me it was even harder than I had imagined, but somehow I managed.

I didn’t get much sleep that night, one of the old ladies kept calling out everytime she heard someone passing. She was calling for someone she knew, and kept shouting “Is that you, come here  I want to talk to you”. The nurses would come over and placate her saying shusssh it’s only one in the morning, shussh it’s only two in the morning and so it continued the whole night.

Shortly after 6 the ward was all business getting everyone washed for breakfast and the shift change, thankfully I was left alone and was able to drift in and out of sleep for an hour.

To be continued…………..

Alien Leg – Part 4