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Story from the stairwell

January 14, 2014

We had a lovely day yesterday, we visited a friend I’d made in hospital in the weeks before two little girls were born.

There we were, nervous in our nighties on the maternity ward. She was ‘leaking’ amniotic fluid and they were worried about the safety of her unborn baby, I was being monitored as my baby (The Spaniard) had stopped moving inside me. She 15 years younger and spectacularly beautiful, me a geriatric old cronk with seriously bad roots … but we got along so well. Impending motherhood is a great equaliser. She had a girl (naturally and with absolutely no pain relief) the day my baby started to move again, and 10 days later (via cesarean section) Hope was born.

We are chalk and cheese, she can bake, I can’t, she has an eye for fashion, I don’t, she didn’t want to breastfeed, I was desperate to, but we’ve remained friends and are both deeply fortunate in having healthy thriving and very mischievous daughters. We don’t see each other that often, but we both love watching our small folk grow up and sharing stories of their adventures. The girls were christened a week apart and it meant alot to both of us that we were able to share each other’s joy.

We had a happy time yesterday, the girls had their lunch together, and squabbled over toys, they made pretend cups of tea and they kissed before the crayon wars broke out, we went to the park and laughed as they ran around together. Evie took her boots off and ran away from her mother giggling, Hope then did exactly the same thing. They both slept in their push chairs as we walked back to my friend’s home, chatting, wondering about schooling, talking about baby tights, nappy sizes and men.

We had a cup of tea, the girls woke up, ate gingerbread men and played and then it was time to go home. All warm in our coats, Hope was with our friends playing and I decided to carry her bag and bits and bobs to the bottom of the stairs and get my boots on and load the car before going back for her.

I slipped on the stairs and fell with a crash and a crack and landed at the bottom in the stairwell with my foot facing upwards instead of down. I couldn’t move, the girls started to scream, I started to black out. My friend came to me, and spent the next 20 minutes running up and down the stairs between the girls and I. We called her mother who said to ring an ambulance, I thought that was a waste of ambulance time and just sat there trying to clear my head and then shuffled on my bottom up the stairs. The girls were both howling, locked behind a stair gate in Evie’s bedroom. I reached the top, my friend bought Hope to me and I fed her at the top of the stairs until she calmed down, “Mummy foot, Mummy HURTING” bless her.

Then I managed to hop to the bed and sat there, with a cup of tea, shaking. Hope came and sat quietly beside me, she kept wanting to stroke my sore foot. We gave her a Mr Tumble magazine (needs must) to distract her. Evie sat on the floor looking perplexed and tearing up another magazine. My friend’s mother arrived, more tea. I called Hope’s father. He had his brother in law staying, they drove over to come and get me.

I sat to get down the stairs, but it was getting along the corridor and then up the path that was horrible, I couldn’t put any weight on my foot so the two of them had to almost carry me to the car and I hopped the final bit.

Now, I’ve talked about hopping a little here, well a few weeks ago I had a flare up of my auto immune condition and had to have my knee aspirated … they drained off about half a pint of synovial fluid and stuffed a steroid behind it. I have, it seems, a condition similar to rheumatoid arthritis which means my cartilage is eating itself … so all my joints are going to be affected in time but for the moment it is my knees (in the main) that are bad. So … hopping, isn’t so easy.

We dropped Hope off with my mother, and then went round to A&E where I was put in a wheelchair, burst into tears and was seen very quickly. They were very helpful. They confirmed they thought it was broken and sent me off for an ankle Xray … I sat there wondering how on earth I was going to cope, how to get Hope here and there, how to get her dressed and in and out of bed … and so on. I had the Xray and was wheeled into the consulting area. Not broken. Thank God… but perhaps broken in another place. Wheeled back to Xray and photographed, wheeled back.

Thankfully that too was all clear, but it seems I’ve severely damaged the tendon and ligaments all round my foot and ankle. The crack I heard could have been something popping. They also checked my Achilles, that is fine it’s more the side of the foot that’s bad. The only really annoying thing was that they found traces of the same bone issue in my foot and ankle that has caused me problems in my knee.

So, back home for more hopping with instructions to rest and keep it up and iced, and to flex and bend it with the expectation being that for the next week walking will be painful and it will take 6 weeks to heal.

All in all a good outcome… but still very painful and now turning all sorts of interesting colours with a rather worm like vein popping out on the side of my foot.

In the night I needed the loo and had to shuffle on my bottom to get there. I woke Hope up and she was very concerned, “Mummy hurting, Hope open door, Hope help Mummy”, which made me cry, which made her more concerned. She then offered to wipe my “botton” with some loo roll and headed off back to bed only to turn suddenly, run towards me and clutch my ankle and hug it. “Hope cuddle Mummy”, then she scampered off leaving me wincing from the cuddle onslaught and shuffling back to bed.

Once I was horizontal again she demanded milky and had a slurpy loud snack before passing out. She woke a couple of times in the night, “Mummy careful, Mummy foot” and then fell back to sleep holding my arm very tightly.

This morning she woke up and when she saw me shouted, “Hurrah Mummy”. Bless her, that cheered me up and now the pain killers have kicked in I’m feeling much more cheerful and can manage a kind of shuffle walk. Hope’s father came and took her off to her lovely child minder, “bye bye Mummy, careful”, and I’ve been working with my leg up.

Granby set off to go and do some shopping but her car wouldn’t start so her friend has come to take her out …

still, we’re lucky it could all have been alot worse, we had a wonderful day with our friends and now the sun is shining!!!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2014 1:06 pm

    bless you – i’m reading this while on my lunch break and it took every ounce of control not to splutter my soup over my screen. Hope seems to take good care of you – very sweet story – apart from the nasty fall.

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