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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Broken Leg Blues Part III: Dawn Of The Cyborg

When you're incapacitated, your horizons shrink. The after-effects of anaesthesia linger like a creepy kiss, and a four yard hop on crutches to the loo is akin to pogo-ing across the Sahara. These last two weeks I've listened to hail pebbledashing the skylights and stretched my withered hands towards the living flame gas fire.  The fact that I can't jaunt hasn't troubled me the way it would if I were mobile, and in my  head the prospect of an appointment at the local super hospital took on the proportions of a climb up Everest. 

But round it came and off I went with my trusty neighbour Nurse Cathy, while Son the Younger's lovely and obliging girlfriend acted as our chauffeur.  At Gate 12 Outpatients we gazed at the Departures Board for notification of our destination.  Young men on crutches bounded past, graceful as gazelles, and I hated them, though I was quite excited to see that one of my fellow patients was called Peggoty. (Yes, I probably do need to get out more.)

In the Plaster Room I had the first glimpse of the my right leg for two weeks, and it wasn't a pretty sight, being bruised and horribly swollen still. 

But unlike Royal Marine Commando Andy Grant, whose story I told Ellie, the orthopaedic practitioner, to much horrified guffawing*, the tattoo of Braques' bird on my right foot was unscathed ... 

... and the scar itself was healing really well, thanks to Nurse Cathy's recommendation that I take a multivitamin with minerals every day.

With a choice of red, blue, pink or white for my fibreglass cast, I decided to cast my vote three months early and went for red. 

Then it was off to be x-rayed.

Back in Trauma and Orthopaedics, a familiar figure studied my x-rays. 'You won't remember me,' I said, 'but I'll never forget your face because You. Set. My. Leg.'

He laughed. 'I do remember you,' he said. 'I had fun doing that one. I must say, it's good to see you looking so well.'


'Nine screws, though,' he added. 'That's an impressive break. But it's healing fine.'

All that was left was to request a DEXA scan in case I have osteoporosis and for Cathy to push me and my newly acquired zimmer frame home across the park in my wheelchair. Door to door, a little over an hour and a half. Thank you, Universe, for good friends and the NHS.  

*I think it's probably OK to be amused by the story of this man's tattoo because I've heard him talk about it on the radio and everyone - including him - was laughing about it. More importantly, he's gone on to prove it wrong in spectacular fashion. 

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