That has now been 3 months since my awful slip in Edinburgh, I’m excited to reveal my progress and what a person might expect by now if they have had the misfortune to experience a stage 3 hamstring injury. Not wanting to appear ageist, but if you’re younger than 55-60 then you might have a slightly different prognosis and experience. Although I was active and reasonably fit, there is little doubt healing takes a bit longer when you are middle-aged and menopausal.
The good news is I am now able to dress myself without assistance, take a shower (but slipping is a real and present danger) and use the toilet without a seat raiser. In the morning, for about 40 minutes, I can walk freely without sticks, I feel very little pain at this time but movement is cautious and restricted. Managing the stairs one at a time is laborious but it is possible now to manoeuvre these more than once a day.
Continuing the positive vibes, I’m now able to fix my own breakfast, dependent on the 40 minutes of freedom window, if that diminishes, it means I need the sticks to ambulate around my kitchen. It is also impossible to carry what ever delights I have created and my morning cuppa into another room. I still need assistance to do this, as sitting at the kitchen table continues to evade me. I have mastered new ways of achieving this if no help is available; I can carry my hot water bottle, that goes everywhere with me, (including the Caribbean) by my teeth. This additional holding vice also allows me to balance my mug of tea, albeit precariously with spillage highly likely, on the left handle of the crutch. If I get the right grip, and tread carefully, I can slowly hobble through the lounge and into my sanctuary- the TV room.
Impressively I can now walk outside with the sticks. The distance can vary dependent on pain thresholds which alternate continually, but the pace is inordinately slow. It is not unusual for actual turtles to move past me with ease, as I have found to be the case on this trip. Other holiday makers become impatient to get to the pool so I can be side-tracked to allow them to pass which inevitably slows me down even further. More exhausted.
Walking now requires an enormous amount of concentration, this I’d put down to my lack of right/left distinction. Coordinating the left stick and the right foot alignment in strides, just normal gait, takes me a few seconds to consciously call to my mind. So if I’m hovering like a humming bird before a step is taken its normally because I’m trying to work out how to start (or it could be a little pain has given me brain stagnation). The fairly simple and inherent ability to walk is further rocked by the fact that I’m left footed and right handed so the brain is entirely flummoxed by having to get the right foot moving first. Oh, I’m exhausted just explaining that.
I cannot swim but we have a hot tub in the pool, just perfect in 80 degree heat, because the hot water gives me instant relief. Much like my fellow travellers seeking the coolness of the swimming pool I’m in the hot tub about 8 times a day just for some reprieve from the pain. I cannot reach the tub without my sticks which are fascinatingly now amphibious and have become as frequent a feature of the poolside furniture as cocktails, floats, and loungers.
I have found, and catalogued previously, that missing meds just won’t wash. Even self medication, mainly of the red wine variety, has to be taken in moderation as I haven’t the stomach for it frankly. If I do miss the meds to increase the red wine intake Lord I pay for it the next day. On these days I have constant sharp excruciating pain in my left thigh when I move or stand. Normally this is a dull pain when medicated but without sufficient intervention I’m constantly reminded that I have a debilitating injury and my movement and just ordinary comfort is elusive. Even if meds are re-introduced I’m lagging a day behind and all because I wanted a glass of wine. So lessons still being learned and I cannot do without the pain killers yet.
Even as I type I’m laying here 10 hours good sleep in thanks to Codeine but the pain is already gnawing at me and will dictate any activity I’m able to achieve in the day. This leads me rather awkwardly into other natural bedroom activities. Normal service cannot be resumed there, they have been severely curtailed and are currently off piste. So we are all piste off about that.
However, there are so many positives for me to regale at this point, mainly that we got to our holiday despite it all and lying in the sun rather than fighting back the winter frost is glorious. I’m going to be a little bit tanned more on the front as laying on my belly causes the hamstring to sink and sting like misery. Ah the joys, 3 months down and 6 months of recovery to go……………….