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)

It’s all been about tomorrow!

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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

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!

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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