Ask me at any time prior to New Years Day, and the prospect of being able to loll on the sofa without having to move for hours on end, would’ve been a figment of my imagination and only something I could ever aspire to in the after-life. Any futile attempts at trying to recreate this on this mortal planet usually go something along the lines of …..
- House goes quiet, no one in sight, opportunity sensed ….
- Sit down on sofa,
- Start watching or reading something of interest that’s been on the ‘to-do’ list for ages,
- After 5 minutes, kids/dog/husband (select as appropriate) then can’t find something, someone pinches someone else’s things, or an argument breaks out between one or all,
- Noise and tempers escalate to the point where the United Nations are needed to mediate a peace treaty,
- Temporary truce negotiated,
- Resort to the G&T.
So, following the broken leg saga and my surgeon’s instruction to keep all weight off it, I was issued with a pair of crutches (and the optional upgrade of ice grips – essential when the whole place is covered in snow and ice for another 4 months as yet) and sent home to recline on the sofa for the foreseeable future. Bliss, you’d think. Finally, my prayers had been answered through divine intervention …..The first week passed in somewhat of a blur …. mainly, I assume, as a result of the morphine to dampen the pain and swelling. I vaguely recollect an abundance of assistance from my numerous tribe who diligently provided me with regular cups of tea and sandwiches for lunch just to keep me going whilst they were at school.
A fleeting visit to the hospital last week to check progress gave me a welcome change of sofa scenery. I was greeted warmly by an orthopaedic nurse and an announcement that she would remove my dressing and take my staples out. I didn’t look – fearing that my mind would hurl me into mental oblivion and make the whole procedure a lot worse than it actually was.
When presented with the abyss, sometimes it’s better not to look.
With gritted teeth, husband holding my hand, the nurse started the unwrapping.
‘I’m excited to watch this‘, declared the husband as the nurse offered me a sympathetic smile and the reassuring comment, ‘It’ll be fine. You’ve got age and the fact you’re female on your side. Men aged 21 – 40 are usually the worst‘. Not sure whether this made me feel better or not?As my husband unconsciously clenched his hand around mine, bracing himself every time a staple was removed, I just tried to imagine the pain of childbirth being significantly worse. As the nurse was halfway through the procedure, he proclaimed – ‘you’re doing really well, only another 45 to go ……..‘. The nurse offered me a withered smile and enquired whether he was always this sarcastic. I’m afraid so.
I admit I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I eventually deigned to glance at my left leg which now resembled the look of plucked chicken with malnutrition due to the loss of muscle mass. After numerous years’ experience watching the hospital drama, ‘Casualty’ on the BBC, I had sat through a multitude of ‘operations’ and naively assumed technology had progressed to the point that keyhole surgery employed a simple – and small – 1 inch ‘cut’ as the solution of choice. Alas, no. Neat, it may be – but at 5 inches long and with a fair depth of an incision, it came as somewhat of a shock. On the plus side, clearly their knives had been sharp and next time I visit, I may enquire who they use to have them sharpened as our kitchen knives could do with some enhancement and I’d be interested in employing their services …… Roll forward another week and whilst my cast has been removed, the instruction remains the same and I’m starting to climb the walls. I’ve still got another three weeks – and on my birthday at that – until I revisit the surgeon where I’m hoping I can start to place some weight on the leg finally.
My band of merry helpers in the household have clearly tired of the novelty of meeting my every whim and desire. I’m sure they attempt to by-pass the lounge as quickly as possible by employing every known trick to adopt the characteristics of the ‘invisible man’ such that I don’t notice them so avoid being allocated a household chore.
Me? Well, I’d give anything to be off this sofa and able to hoover the house. Oh the irony …..