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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 March 2015

Broken Leg Blues Part V: The 7/6d Woman

'Do you have any tennis balls?' asked the doctor as he issued me with a list of exercises to do while I wait for my physiotherapy appointment.

The answer to that is yes, though I might be pushed to find one that isn't all slobbery.

Meanwhile, my leg doesn't look like my leg at all.  Although the bruising's gone, my ankle's still double its normal size and the whole area seems to be wrapped in disintegrating cling film, which is, in fact, dry skin.  Plus, there's a disconcerting hardness under the muscle on the right hand side of my leg which must be the metalwork.  (I expect I'll get used to that.)

Most disturbingly, there's a very real disconnect between my brain and my foot.  When I try to put weight on it, it feels as if my shin is about to snap, and I am seized with the conviction that I am too old, too weak, too useless, and my tribe will leave me for the wolves.

The same member of staff who'd omitted to reassure me that the circular saw wouldn't actually slice through skin, flesh and bone while he was cutting off my cast, fitted me with what would be a really cool motorbike boot if it were made of leather and buckles, but is plastic, foam and velcro.  I still have to use crutches and can't drive yet, but will be back to work on Monday, which means there are some logistics to work out, like who's going to let Ted out for a pee as I won't be able to pop back home at lunchtime.

Back on the Settee of Suffering, I think back over the last six weeks, during which I have:
  • acquired a plate, nine pins and a four and a half inch scar on my lower leg.
  • read.  A lot.
  • written fewer poems than I thought I might (though I've made reams of notes from my reading, and had a long overdue sort out of folders on my laptop).  For me, the link between walking and writing poems is even more symbiotic than I'd realised.
  • become an expert on 'Wolf Hall' (TV series, not the novels).
  • rediscovered my needlepointing mojo. I've nearly finished stitching a top for my sewing stool and dug out a wall hanging I abandoned in a state of near completion 16 years ago because my ex husband didn't like it.  I do, though, and will finish it for my new home.
  • managed to control my frustration at not getting my house on the market. I am now six weeks behind schedule, but really looking forward to opening the front door of my new life, so what needs to be done will get done as soon as I'm able.  
Having been sequestered for so long, I'll define this time by sound.  Rain and hail battering the skylights, the click of Ted's nails on the kitchen floor, the quiet roar of the gas fire, the bleeping of a new hob I don't know how to use because it was installed the day I fell off the doorstep.  The endless chak-a-chak of police helicopters overhead, searching for a girl who will never come home. 

And light. Waking up from post-anaesthetic afternoon naps and not knowing what time it is because although it feels quite late, the sky's still blue.  Spring is on its way and I'll greet it with same in my step, metaphorically if not physically just yet. 

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