Holidays should be filled with fun but sometimes they don't go according to plan!
Day 1 was April Fool’s Day, a bright day in Gateshead attending my nephew’s wedding, culminating rather shockingly in a simple miss of a step and a broken ankle. Apparently a broken ankle is a common fracture and I certainly know others who have experienced it. Until it happens to you however, there is little understanding of the implications of an injury like this. After 2 and a half hours of surgery (awake under a local anaesthetic), three nights in hospital (the rather lovely QE Gateshead) and 4 ½ hours in a car ( a very comfortable Merc), I am finally at home ‘resting’! So day 5 is today and the beginning of, what feels like, a long recovery.
If you are interested then my break is a Weber B (apparently a classification of ankle breaks), distal fibula fracture, displaced, with talar shift. The displaced is the tricky bit because that means plates and screws and surgery. The good news is that the metal helps keep it all stable so may be better in the long run. For those of us interested in etymology, medical language is a painful joy. I spent ages trying to work out what an ORIF could be, to discover it stands for open reduction - internal fixation (and I thought education was bad). But what an amazing team exists in an operating theatre - all playing a vital part, all knowing what they need to do - so reassuring!
So what have I been able to do today? As the injury demands no weight bearing for six weeks, I have been getting used to crutches, waking up muscles that seem to have no other purpose but take body weight in situations like this. I have manouvered my way to the bathroom, managed to wash myself and my hair. That was interesting – a logistical appraisal suggested this could be done kneeling on the floor with head over bath but the cast prevents kneeling and then the question pops up –how do I get up off the floor? Well I managed and got back to bed, exhausted! The stairs seemed an insurmountable obstacle on my own, but when friends called and stood by my side, it could be done.
Talking of friends, they kind of step into a whole new gear at times like this – homemade chilli in the fridge and lemon drizzle cake on the side, a clever antidote to hospital food. Colleagues too are stepping up (couldn’t resist the pun, but jealous they are able to), especially because my Deputy Head has also had an accident this week and has broken her hand. What are the chances of that? Lucky we are on Easter break and we have time to plan a strategy so that the school operates as normal, even though April and May are manic times for primary schools – recruitment, internal promotions and SATs – added to which we have some design developments going on, a difficult budget to set, a headteacher conference to arrange, a new staffing and governance structure to put into place plus keeping on top of the everyday operation of a large school working in highly challenging circumstances.
But do you know, despite the broken bones, we will manage it all because we have such a great team of people around us, and at the end of the day it’s people, and the way we view them, that make our lives a joy or a pain. I will continue to update you on progress, via this blog and hopefully shared on other media, so please visit us at Cippenham Primary and see how it is all going.
This picture was taken on Monday, day 3, after surgery and before the cast was put on. Probably the most painful time, when every twitch and movement raised a quick intake of breath and just wriggling toes seemed like an effort. Much more comfortable today!