Eeek, it’s been a difficult couple of days. I’ve been up and down on this emotional rollercoaster so many times, I’ve lost count. I guess I was tired to begin with, due to tidying up the chest of drawers in our bedroom and swapping out with the chest of drawers I used to use for photos and artwork from the study. Walking away from the exhaustedness (I know I’ve just made up a word), I found I was actually feeling good, proud and excited about thr start of this clearing process. Seeing the results of this first stage has been a positive experience for me.
I’ve had visitors too, which has been lovely to share company over a cuppa and a chat. Jacquie arrived with lunch one day, which was so thoughtful and lifted me immediately. Jo and Thomas came with lots of energy and positivity. Judith came last week and we covered all sorts. She also brought a super book for me to borrow – The Salt Path, which I can’t wait to read as it’s set on the South West Coast Path.
A colleague, Lynne came to visit from school today and we went over some of the events of the ski trip. Lynne was such a great help to me after the accident. Cheryl used to work with me and also popped in for an hour. Her smiles and positivity are infectious! Rosie who was also on the ski trip, dived in after school and we laughed and talked – plus she took away some clothes I no longer needed. She’s another one who only has to smile and she makes me laugh heartily!
So really, it’s been a steady stream of people and that has sincerely kept my spirits up, although the downside of this is I then start worrying about the little jobs I’ve set myself to do which need attention and then, when I don’t get them done, I worry that I’m falling behind with my schedule. It’s my own issue and no one else’s. The positive effect on my mental health of visits from friends, far outweigh the downside of me not getting jobs done. Never underestimate the power of a visit to a housebound or injured friend!
Chasing up my MRI appointment has been tiresome. I called on 1st May and they hadn’t even recieved my referral in the scanning department. I spoke with the orthopaedics secretary and was told it had not yet been typed. My concern is that I’ll get to the fracture clinic to see the consultant on 22nd May and I will not be able to discuss the results of the MRI on my left knee because it won’t actually have taken place! I called again today and they confirmed the appointment had just been made yesterday – for 17th June (Mike’s birthday). That’s almost a month after the fracture clinic appointment.
With all of the delay of the MRI, I had a thought that perhaps I could apply for a private appointment for the MRI and claim from the insurance company. I called the GP for a referral, emailed the headteacher at school to keep him in the loop and contacted the insurance company to ask how to go about the process of following a private referral. I was not expecting to hear that the insurance we travelled on only covered us for medical expenses within the country of travel. Once back in the UK, it was no longer valid. If only I had known it was a travel only policy, I would have taken out a personal policy too.
So therein lies my next concern… oh my goodness, what am I turning into with all these worries?! I do have a very real reason for feeling concerned however. This is my last term as a teacher on a permanent contract and therefore by September I will not likely be eligible for sick pay. If this injury requires surgery, then I can imagine the waiting list will take me into the autumn at the very least… thus preventing me from working for a while. Eeek… again!
Following this revelation during the telephone conversation with the insurance company, I cried. I couldn’t believe my luck – well, my ‘unluck’, that is. How would we survive? I sniffled some more. Everything seemed so hopeless.
Mike lifted my spirits on his return home and encouraged me not to worry and that come what may, we would manage. Unfortunately, my persistent ‘knee head’ continued in its up and down state however and by 1am I was sobbing myself to sleep once more. When will this ever end?
Footnote: The above was taken from my journal on 9th May 2019 and adapted slightly for blog suitability. I wanted to add here that despite me feeling low at this point, following the skiing accident, the feeling was temporary. In addition to visitors and focusing on small daily goals to achieve (please see previous blog post for tips and ideas), also having a future focus to aim for particularly helped to drive my attention away from the negative situation I could have seen myself permanently in.
Over a period of months, I worked hard to practise the physio exercises I had been given. I am usually terrible at doing these as I usually find something else I need to do that I deem to be more important. I focused on needing to be able to backpack 194 miles by the beginning of September. On September 2nd, we embarked on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast trail and 14 days later, I had indeed achieved my goal. A goal I had at first thought was impossible, yet five months after rupturing my ACL and MCL in my knee and partially dislocating my knee cap, I stood at the end of a challenging Coast to Coast walk in difficult conditions, feeling triumphant and no longer suffering with ‘knee head’.
If you’re going through similar right now, please hear me – the despair is temporary and the delight of being outside is the best medicine I could have ever been prescribed.