Monday, 16 February 2009

It could be worse.

I'm sick of these crutches and I'm sick of my stupid broken foot and I'm sick of myself.

It all came to a head on Friday – CT Scan time – the moment of truth. I was so certain that tiny chip of bone would have glued itself back. Violin music – Betty throws away crutches with a cry of joy. Gracefully, like a very graceful gazelle with an extra helping of grace, she bounds away to the bike shed in slo-mo, smiling beatifically.


It doesn't appear to have healed at all! Not one bit! Four weeks of pampering the stupid foot, keeping it wrapped in cotton wool and fibreglass, babying and cossetting it as if it's made of the finest, most precious and fragile crystal has done nothing! NOTHING!

The backslab cast has gone, in its place a gigantic and heavy “moon-boot” that holds my foot at a different angle. I look like a Transformer. No weight-bearing for another 2-3 weeks. All for a tiny stupid chip of bone aboutthe size of my little fingernail.

This awful shattering of my hopes broke my heart and my spirit. I came home from the hospital in a taxi - $46! - and cried. I mentally slapped myself about a bit and “got on with things” - getting the laundry basket to the laundry, for a start.

I don't know what happened – but I went over backwards, like a big miserable sack of poo.

And that was what brought me undone: the reality of several more weeks of this crap, of being dependent on others, of being unable to sit in bed with a nice cup of coffee, and of being unable to ride my bike – being out of control and powerless - not to mention the whopping bruises that appeared after this latest fall.

The conditions were perfect for a big fat panic attack, yet when it hit it still took me by surprise (yes I am a froot-loop), and I was suddenly gasping for air, crying uncontrollably and looking for tissues and my mobile phone. My nose started bleeding, my heart raced at about 200 beats per minute and I knew I was going to die – even though, rationally, I knew I wasn't.

My mate Clem saved me with a well-timed phone call that located my mobile phone and distracted my panic-ridden self from myself. I don't even remember what we talked about, but suddenly I could breathe again. Phew. Thank [insert higher power of choice here] for mates and telephones.

Saturday was shite as my body recovered from the massive adrenalin dump. Wan and washed-out, I slept a lot, and couldn't drum up even the ghost of a smile. Me and my stupid moon-boot retreated under the doona and stayed there.

What I hear from some of my biker mates is “pull yourself together” - and I wish I could, but panic has its own rules. See (and this is very very important) – since I was raped, motorcycling is what has enabled me to pull myself together and give me back a sense of control. Take away my 'medicine' – my ability to get on the bike for a bit of road therapy – and I'm up shit creek without a paddle. When panic hits and I can't ride away from it, it just has to take its course, and no amount of well-meaning advice will help. Yes, it sucks. I'm working on it. I'm lots better than I used to be.

BUT – it's Monday now. I'm well rested and a kind of equilibrium has been restored. I can think of lots of ways that this could all be worse.

I could have two broken arms as well, and an itch at the end of my nose. And be living in the middle of nowhere – somewhere off Woolies' grocery delivery route.

Or this: I could live in a 2-storey house, with only one loo at the top of 20 stairs, at the top of a cliff that's only accessible by scaling a thousand stairs hewn into solid rock and guarded by dozens of psychotic homicidal cats a lot like Oscar bin Laden – and have a head cold and a perpetually snotty nose…or even worse, diarrhoea.

Or – and this one is very very serious, and puts my crappy situation into perspective: I could be one of the hundreds upon hundreds of Victorian bushfire victims who survived the fires but lost absolutely everything and now live in a tent city with absolutely nothing, wondering how the hell to rebuild family, life and community.

I'll stop moaning now.

Red Cross Bushfire Appeal


keryna said...

Funny how our posts mirror each other because that's just what I was thinking on my latest rainy ride home today - it could be worse. I was only on my crutches for a few weeks, and I moved in with my boyfriend to avoid the 2nd-story stairs to my apt., AND I got to be on the handicapped list at school so I could get a ride to all my classes. As short as my injury was, I still know it happened for a reason, to slow me down mentally and emotionally and take m to a whole new level of bike riding and appreciation for the sport. You'll be riding again soon! If it's any consolation think of how sweaty you're NOT getting in your leathers right now!

Andrew said...

Hey Sue,

Hang in there. Things will get better eventually.