The physio department at my local hospital has an intricate signage system provided to navigate you to exactly where you need to be. Coloured lines lead to X-ray, Physio and various Out Patients departments and while it’s all a bit WIzard of Oz it’s nontheless effective. I needed the green line to get to my physio appointment. As I had been so eager to get there and start the rehabilitation programme I’d left plenty time to arrive ready for action. Well that was the intention.
I’d opted for an appointment 6 weeks after my accident, as I’d been advised an extended period of inactivity would maximise my chances of recovery. So having been laid on my back for the past 6 weeks (Harrogate aside) the day of reckoning had arrived. Parking at our local hospital is a fine art, it shares the car park with the local health centre so spaces are always at a premium unless its midnight. Our first task, when we arrived, was to secure a space as close to the entrance as possible. Since I had already agreed to walk to the appointment, that proximity was an essential determining factor in our selection of a space, but selection was simply a delusion; its a dog fight in that car park. We were 500yds away.
Bearing in mind this was my first sortie, walking any unnecessary distance was not my wisest decision. But then stagnation does impact your brain function. That also accounted for the poor choice of clothing; it was freezing and the lose fitting pyjama bottoms that were the closest thing I had to joggers were ill equipped to fight the elements. Jack Frost swirled up my legs unfettered, licked my wounds with his acid tongue and nipped me with his nails. I was shivering and exhausted by the time I got to the hospital entrance.
Now frantic with pain and frozen I quickly identified the green line that would guide me to my saviour. Like an apostle I was transformed by a singleminded mission; I refused to allow others to transverse or hinder me in on the route to my salvation. I had a 10am appointment but had arrived a good 20 minutes ( not including the walk in) early to allow for delays. I didn’t factor in the 10 minute delay their side. So by the time I was summoned I had succumbed to the emergent pain from the walk, the cold and having to sit down. This impacted substantially on my ability to walk another 200 yds to the consulting room, so by the time I saw the bed I lunged at it seeking immediate comfort. I really did need a miracle now.
The physio observed with interest and could see I was struggling. She had the patience of Job, working through my wincing she used the time to assess me, monitor my reaction to pain ( shambolic) and determine how we might proceed. She asked me to stand to measure my legs, which by now resembled cocktail sticks wrapped in rice paper. Overcome by the pain, the occasion or something else I became dizzy, unsteady and, unable to retain my composure, I collapsed in a heap on the bed. It was increasingly apparent that this particular saviour was going to have to work miracles to bring change and improvement. We agreed to abandon this appointment in favour of another the following week. With her assistance I used the remainder of the time to re-locate the green line and hirple back toward the car park.
Feeling fragile and a failure, the reality of the matter stung at my eyes and once again I was left inert, unable and incompetent. I was beginning to get the measure of the damage a stage 3 hamstring injury can do.