Friday, 27 April 2012

How to try and break your wrist.

There are many ways to break a bone in your body. So far, I broke a bone in one of my fingers by being thrown on the floor by a rather unpleasant man many moons ago. The finger is still broken. When I was 17, I was involved in a car crash and ended up with a broken clavicle. That is still out of place. In December 2010, I stubbed my toe when falling up the stairs and broke it resulting having a cast from my toes to just under my knee for 7 weeks. It was very painful and extremely inconvenient as I couldn't put my foot down.

And 4 weeks ago I tried to get undressed but one leg got stuck in my jeans and as I was trying to peel them off I realised that I was slowly - or perhaps, rapidly - losing my balance. As I hopped around the bedroom trying to regain my balance it occurred to me that I was going to fall back. On my arse. I have a fear of damaging my back as it is already pretty fucked, and am even more afraid of damaging the titanium cage that is separating two vertebrae. So as my arse rapidly started to try and make contact with the rug I did the sensible thing and put out my hand. Flat. My wrist saved my arse from suffering any damage by taking on my full weight.

Well, it didn't hurt.


But slowly, the bruising started, as did the swelling but naturally, being the owner of my body, I know what is best.

It was nothing.

A week later, still in great pain, I mumbled to Richard that perhaps I should go to A&E where my wrist was xrayed, examined and almost put in plaster until a senior nurse suggested that just a removable splint was necessary for the time being as they couldn't tell whether or not I'd broken or fractured my wrist as it appeared to be a scaphoid fracture, and they only show up two weeks after the incident.

A week later I went back. Had an xray, but still nothing showed up. The nurse was worried about the bruising and pain and so arranged for me to see the hand specialist the following week.

I didn't see any hand specialist, just a doctor of some sort who happened to be working in the fracture clinic on that day. She thinks that I may have pulled some ligaments or something and so should have an MRI and continue to wear the splint for at least another four weeks.

The best outcome of this injury is that I can no longer carry heavy things in my left hand, cook, wash up or even hang clothes up properly, but to be honest, I would rather be able to do all those things as the pain is pretty dire.

So if you want to break your wrist, that is one way not to do it.

And of all the places that I have seen the most since I have moved here it has to be Leighton Hospital.

It's like a second home.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

It's infected.

Since 17 April, 2011 I appear to have accomplished quite a bit. It was a warm, sunny Sunday when I arrived at Richard's house with his parents, only to find that Richard looked a bit green and had, in fact, only just got home from A&E.

"I noticed blood on the bath mat after my shower this morning and my scar didn't look that healthy. Sharon took me to hospital again and the doctor said that it's infected so I am now following a course of antibiotics."

"Oh. Hi Sharon, I've heard a lot about you - thank you for looking after Richard so well."

Sharon had not only looked after Richard, but made the hotel booking for his parents for the night on my behalf as Richard was in hospital at the time. I think she also helped out with the storage people - but I can't be sure. Whatever, she was very helpful and I can't thank her enough.

That afternoon was spent putting all my belongings into storage - except Hermie, his indoor cage and outside run, a box of documents and a suitcase of clothes. Richard helped as much as he could and his dad and I did the rest with the help of a man from the storage place.

But since this day last year, I have....

1. Bought a house.
2. Decorated a house with a lot of help from Richard.
3. Signed on at the JobCentre.
4. Registered with the Belgian Embassy. (Only recently...)
5. Got back my belongings from the small storage room.
6. Been to Wales and neighbouring towns.
7. Been back to Ashford, Kent, twice.
8. Been on an Assertiveness Course.
9. Been on a photography course.
10.Become a qualified first-aider.
11.Started volunteering at Oxfam and 'Wishing Well Community Centre'.
12.Met an online (Facebook) Scrabble mate.
13.Been to France for a Family Reunion.
14.Had a visit from the Parental Unit.
15.Had a visit from Coralie and Tatiana.
16.Got to know Crewe a bit.
17.Seen John Cooper Clarke.
18.Possibly broken my wrist. (To be updated.)

I still haven't found a job, but when I get one I think things will start to fall into place, bit by bit.

We had pizza last year. Tonight we are celebrating our first year together with a pizza and a bottle of Cava.

Thank you for helping me get through the first year, Richard.

Here's to many more.

Monday, 16 April 2012


"Sharon's taking me to hospital - I really don't feel well."

"OK, Richard - good luck. Let me know what they say."


"Hi Zoe - they think it's appendicitis and I have to stay in."

"Oh dear. What about next week? I'm moving over to England."

"I'll get back to you - the doctor's here."

This time last year I had packed all my belongings into a van with the help of Coralie, several of her friends, Todd, a friend and Richard's brother-in-law, Mark. Although Richard was out of hospital now, he was in no fit state to drive all the way to Belgium and so his family got together and Mark, a professional lorry driver, was designated to get me.

When the van was packed I told Coralie what to do with any mail sent to the house, what to do with what was left in the house as there was still a lot of furniture in it which I thought Tatiana, who was doing her stage in a hotel in Madrid at the time, would like. We hugged and as I handed over my house keys to Coralie I gave my last few instructions in a broken voice, gently wiping the tears off Coralie's cheeks.

I climbed into the van with Hermie in a box and as we drove out of the clos I didn't dare look back - I decided to try and concentrate on talking to Mark and try and discover what on earth the vibrating noise was coming from one of my boxes. Coralie and friends passed us by just before we joined the Ring and honked loudly before we headed for Calais.

It was a lovely warm day and we arrived early but couldn't get on an earlier ferry so we sat in the van and people-watched, making jokes about who they were and what they did. The talking helped me from thinking about what I was doing and the wonderfully warm and unusually hot weather kept my spirits up. When we finally boarded the ferry, Mark bought me a coffee and we sat by a window, chatting and watching what had to be the flatted crossing that I had ever been on. As the English coastline came into view I felt vaguely excited and calmer than earlier in the day.

Hermie had stayed in his shoe box in the van during the crossing and appeared fine as we drove off and headed towards Richard's parents, arriving dead on 7pm. I was made to feel very welcome and was fed an excellent meal of cold ham and vegetables before being sent to bed as I was obviously fading rapidly.

I think I was still in shock, because apart from driving on the left, I hadn't really realised that I had left Belgium, everything seemed to be happening in a dream.

And that was a year ago exactly.

After an excellent night's sleep I woke up and burst into tears. I knew where I was, and that I was to be driven up to be with Richard that day, but my heart wasn't ready. I was already missing my children and my house, not to mention Belgium.

But my house had been sold already, I was just waiting for my share of the sale. There was no going back now.

All that happened a year ago today.

Happy anniversary.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Mad as a Mad March Hare.

So much has happened since I last wandered in this direction that I haven't even had time to even think about what has actually happened.

Starting from the end, I couldn't blog to a sudden and mad dash at decorating.

Before that, though....

I have become a qualified First Aider.

Yes. Me.

I can help save your life - unless you do something that I didn't learn about. Then you are pretty well stuffed. Well, I almost killed the dummy when attempting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I forgot to hold the dummy's nose as it was covered in a cloth which made me forget that while I was blowing into it's mouth like a trumpet player, all the air was coming out through it's nose. I thought it felt rather drafty, but I didn't put it down to my own breath coming out of the dummy's nose. I know now and have the certificate to prove it.

Oh yes. I'm qualified. For 3 years, too.

So I did that. I also finished my Assertiveness Course and no longer swear too much at people to get what I want. Something tells me that I should re-take the course. I then went on to take a photography course but ended up stopping due to some decorating that badly needed doing.

My parents informed me of their visit at the beginning of March. All hell broke out, as did the sun. But that's for another day.

Maybe tomorrow.

But I can attempt to save your life in the meantime.

Just don't die.