Today marks the one year anniversary since I got in to a tangle with a car on my Vespa. The gory details are well documented, but how am I doing now? Mostly good. For a start, I can walk, which I suspect is not something I may have been able to do maybe 30 years ago. The doctors would have probably just cut the useless thing off, but nowadays I have cold hard steel as the main thing keeping me on two feet. It’s not an exaggeration either – I had an x-ray about a week and a half ago and the fracture doesn’t look that different to what it did in December 2010. A little disheartening perhaps, but probably explains why it still feels a little wobbly.In regards to my mobility, I walk unaided now but still limp when I’m tired or exert my knee too much. The physio has given me a knee strap which seems to lessen the pain and gives me confidence. I’m still hesitating before I get of the bus or train, still grab on to railings whenever I’m going up the stairs and there is no way you’ll see me jump. The stairs are my biggest hurdle in all honesty. Going up is mostly pain free but down is my big scary bogey man. Putting all my weight on to my broken leg and then bending it still hurts, wobbles and generally scares the shit out of me. I’m working on it by standing on ladders and ducking down, so the hope is I’ll over come the bastard. Physio still happens monthly where he checks on my progress and tells me off for not doing enough.
So what is my answer when people ask “How is your leg”? To most people, the answer I give is “80% good”, to a few it’s “not so good”, but to me, I walk around carrying a world of hurt. It’s probably the worst thing that has happened in my life (which doesn’t count bad things that happened to other people that affected me). It’s a constant irritant, it hurts in a nagging way whenever I walk, I hesitate at every road crossing, uneven surface and look jealousy at people who run without care. I’m making progress though, because I’ve just managed to try kneeling this week, which isn’t as painful as it once was. I worry that it’s always going to feel like I have to treat my knee with kid gloves but I’m hoping that it will be stronger than the unbroken leg now I’m rocking the robo 2.0 version.
I’m not beauty conscious but I flit between being angry I have this ugly big scar down my leg to thinking it’s a cool thing that gives me character – it shows I’m at least living a little bit. I plan on getting a tattoo of the Vespa key on it just to make sure it’s obvious what the cause was.
Mentally, I hate all cars, I hate anyone that has no patience for pedestrians and I’m a really bad car driver now too. I’m also a really really bad passenger, so generally my preference is to stick to buses and trains. The great thing about returning to public transport though is I have to walk a lot more now, which gets me outdoors and exercising. I’m not angry at the lady who drove the car that caused the accident as I understand that people make lapses in judgement, I just wish that people understood that cars deserve respect and attention when driving them. Yes, I do want to ride scooters again, no I haven’t just yet.
In terms of my life I’ve come to some realizations – which I guess is expected when an event like this happens to you. Spending so much time indoors while recovering has made me want to get outdoors more. Why am I spending what is essentially my youth in an office while there is beautiful blue skies and nature waiting for me. I really enjoyed having to swim, cycle and play tennis as part of my rehab and a lot of that tailed off as soon as I went back to full time work. Most people manage to achieve both exercise and work in their life, but somehow I can’t achieve that balance – or if I do it doesn’t last long enough. I’m not looking to become a triathlete like my overachieving younger sister, but I would like to do more than I’m doing – I just need to stop making excuses.
I’m definitely hatching plans to change my work/life balance and potentially get to do my lifetime career dream – global nomad. It wouldn’t be forever, but I quite fancy the idea of being a displaced traveler for at least a year (or maybe longer if I can stretch it). I don’t think I’d be able to go too long without family and friends though, so I’d have to pop back for visits. That’s probably the other big change in my mind – which is a combination of my solo trip to Thailand/Vietnam and the accident. The love from my family, partner and friends has always been so subtle and constant throughout my life that I thought I was just this super secure person that didn’t need anyone. Because I don’t mind being by myself I thought I’d be ok solo and in reality I am, but I do need that subtle love that the people close to me provide. “Hello obvious” says everyone, but to me it was kind of a shock – mainly because the way people do it. It’s when they call bullshit when I’m acting all tough and strong and give me a safe platform to fall apart on. It’s the people who are actually interested in your answer when they ask how you are doing. It’s your divorced parents coming to clean your back deck and help plant your front garden while making it fun at the same time. It’s friends making the effort to visit in hospital when you appreciated just the card to start with. It makes me want to be a better friend and try and be there more for other people.
So in summary, it’s one year on, I’m still sore, I’m a little bit fucked up mentally, I love my friends and family more than I did before and I have some exciting plans for my future. Over 1000 words to say that. 😉