22 days ago I went head over teakettle.
The morning had gone spankingly well. I had meditated the sun was sining on the white, white, frost and I got dressed early to go for a solo walk .
Down the hill, round the bend. The grass crisp and hard beneath my trainers. Down the avenue a quick tree kiss and then I reversed. Round through the farm, the fields laid out frostily before me. The white met the green met the brown met the sharp blue sky. I walked through my field, and decided that instead of going through the kissing gate, in case the little slope was too slippery, I would slide through the two gate posts.
One right foot down, up went my heel, down went my hand and the jolt to my my body was so sharp that I sat like a rag doll, wondering how life could turn on a sixpence.
I could feel my arm swelling as I walked down the hill, through the rocks and back through the avenue. There wasn’t so much pain as discomfort.
I woke the old git. Who slid out of bed and tried to help me move the arm.
Into the car and to the local Cottage Hospital. I had called to make sure they were awake.
Ther man on reception told me they were open until 8.00 that night.
Five minutes later I was sitting in the waiting room.
There was me, the ‘oosbind, a little boy and his mother and two nurses. One I knew, one I didn’t.
I was put into a cubicle, Ally asked me questions, then looked at me, threw several faces of concern and empathy and said she was sure it was just soft tissue damage. That’s what they call a sprain now. She picked up the telephone and called Uckfield cottage Hospital.
The Xray opened at 12.00. That was when the appointment had been made for.
After breakfast, my arm hanging painfully, we set off. Twenty minutes later we were sitting in the Uckfield waiting room. Three nurses, Radio 2 and the offer of tea. I declined.
X ray taken we then had to wait for the diagnosis from a doctor down the line in Eastbourne.
At 2.00, Elaine Paige doing her stuff on Radio 2, Pip, the nurse told me apologetically that I had broken my Ulna, an unusual fracture. Yes I would have to be plastered. I felt my lip wobble. The idea of incarceration, lack of movement. I could feel the panic rise. Let me tell you having a thick plaster of Paris plaster on your arm is not the design accessory for a Jewish Princess. What to wear over it. How to get the arm up to get into anything other than an open backed hospital gown courtesy of the East Sussex Hospital Service is not my idea of a day out. What kind of handbag matches an off white bandage, not to mention the lack of bubble baths, I cried like an infant.
Jim drove us home. 3.00 and the dawter came home. I was very, very tearful. Im told it was the shock. I think it was the humiliation and the pain and okay the shock!
For one whole week I took to my bed, to the armchair, to the floor. Anxiously, turning over in bed like an old walrus. Jim did everything. A very hard call for me Mrs. Control Freak. He did everything from vacuuming to cooking, from shopping to wiping away my tears.
And this is just when my yoga was going a treat, and my writing was going a treat and everything seemed to be on track.
So aged 65 and a half, I was in a plaster cast, relying on everybody, unable to really enjoy the 15 strong party we had organised for the dawter’s birthday.
And then Friday 28th arrived.
The ‘oosbind drove me to Pembury hospital. A huge airport hanger of a place. We walked in, handed over my printed letter ( three had arrived; don’t say the NHS aren’t thorough) and within one minute there was my name up on the screen. We walked to Zone 2. handed over another piece of paper and told to wait.
Into Room 5 and there was Dr. Gorbachov. Lithuanian, smily and ready to cut me out of my straight jacket. The scissors snipped through the open gauze. The relief immense. I kissed Dr. Gorbachov, I kissed the ‘oosbind, I kissed my own arm.
Jim told me off for being too familiar with the doctor but I felt sorry for him, so far away from his mother, nowhere near the Lithuanian mountains or his mother’s Borsht. I very nearly pulled his head into my breast and offered him some homemade chicken soup. Which by the way Jim had made, to my specifications brilliantly. I took the soup in mugfuls to help knit my broken bones and my broken spirit.
Dr. Gorbachov sent me to Xray. Mrs. Owen, the mother of one of my daughters school friends, hugged me. A geezer in a wheel chair wanted a hug too. There was much merriment on the Xray corridor.
Into the Xray, two students and Mrs. Owen studied the picture. Yep, they said, it was the ulna, yep I would probably have to go bak into plaster.
Out I walked back into Zone two. Dr. Gorbachov studied the Xray. And pointed out that in fact it was not the ulna but the radius. A common fracture, nothing to worry about. and no I would not need to be replastered, but to take it easy, twist my arm – back and forth – pronation and supination and come back in three weeks.
I kissed him again and tousled his hair. Well he was but a youth. And he had given me back my arm.
I cried and scratched all the itchy bits I hadn’t been able to reach with my long, skinny, emery board
I did not bank on the achy pain, the discomfort, the nights of delicate manoeuvring, but today. March 9th. I can type. And luckily thewre erntnt that many typoes.
The elbow is not totally mended but it does get better by the minute.
I’m off to see my Mr. Bibby, the best osteopath in the Multiverse, who has helped with the neck. The sling has really pulled the shoulder. BUT I am healing, meditating and healing. Now I can get into the bath. Getting out aint that simple but there’s always JImbo to hoist me out.
I’m filming at the end of the week so I will be able to wear anything I like, and since it’s my left arm I can use a pen.
Who’d have thought I would have crunched my body again.
I went into a shop and PH said to me ‘You’always breaking stuff’ I don’t know why I took umbrage, but I did. I’m not ALWAYS breaking stuff, but one slip and suddenly I felt old and flawed, ancient and frail, vulnerable and needy.
Today, however, I’m getting back on the horse, okay so it’s a little Shetland Pony and we’re only trotting round the garden but I’m out of the woods and into the sunshine.
Thank God for Perestroika, tolerance and the NHS. keep your hands off it Cameroon and co.