Thursday, September 08, 2011

Where was I?

He phoned just before 4pm.
"I've crashed, " he said.

Being married to a man who loves his sports cars (not to mention the motorbikes) means that I've been expecting this call for nearly seventeen years. When it finally came, I was grateful he'd phoned me himself, having hung up on the emergency services lest they get to me first.
"Are you all right?" I asked.
"I'm fine," he replied, "but I think I've hurt my foot."
I had a little panic then: this is a man who could slice off his finger and mention only a small cut.
"What sort of hurt-your-foot," I asked.
"It hurts when I move it, and I'm stuck."
Poor lamb. He was stuck in the wreckage for over an hour while they searched for him (he didn't know exactly where he was, and his satnav had been flung out by the force of the impact). Eventually, he was spotted by a kindly farmer, bumbling along on his tractor, who noticed something unusual sticking out of the hedge...

Altogether, he broke three bones; one of them in four places, and the 'hurt foot' required a major reconstruction of his lower left leg. Three months, and three operations later (so far), it remains encased in a steel frame (with all kinds of exciting bits to twiddle). He doesn't get much pain now, he says, and has stopped swearing at his leg, but I can tell you he swears a lot at his crutches instead.

Now he's past the seriously-injured stage (sleeps well, can stay awake all day, isn't popping pills every hour), he's reached the frustration stage. He thinks he's better (which is laughable), and being a man, he's trying to get on with Normal Life. Only he can't. Not even nearly. Hence the swearing. This is at least as hard to live with as having a fragile, bed-bound, smashed-up invalid in the house.

He's getting better. Not day-to-day, or even week-to-week, but if we look back a month, he's much better than he was. Eighteen months, the consultant said, and we've done two of them already.

These people have made it all possible: the Brighton Orthopaedic Trauma Team, who are talented and lovely with it; Queenie, who thinks she's neglected me, but has just been wonderful; Jane and Angie who have picked up so many pieces I've lost count; my dad, who paid for a cleaning fairy; and my kids, who stepped up to the mark when I needed them to.