So on Monday I spent over 10 hours in A&E. Turns out I’ve broken my ankle in two places (“weber b fibula fracture” for the medically minded).
I’d love to share an elaborate story of too much champagne and dancing on the tables – but no – after getting baby up and changing his nappy (it was about 6.50am) I suddenly became overwhelmingly hot and fainted. I fell like a rag doll (so mum says, she was in the same room). I hit my left shoulder on the door frame, hit my head on the floor and ‘came round’ to the most excruciating pain in my right ankle. My fiancé shortly face timed me as he was boarding his flight. We haven’t seen each other (and he hasn’t seen baby) for 17 weeks now and on Wednesday 1st November we are all flying back to Adelaide to start our new family life together. I tried to laugh it off with him and he boarded thinking it was just a sprain or badly bruised.
It soon became apparent it was much worse, when I tried to stand up from the toilet and heard a crunch and nearly dropped to the floor. I phoned 111 and they sent an ambulance round. They were very kind and efficient and they gave me gas and air and protected my leg with a blow up contraption which meant it was safe during transit.
As X-rays followed and pain relief was administered (although codeine caused me to faint again in hospital…typical!) it wasn’t long until the nurses looked nervous and the orthopaedic consultant returned to tell me I had a nasty break and they were looking at options for surgery. I naively explained that was fine, but requested an appropriate cast as I was flying for 24 hours to Australia next week. He shook his head and said “no chance… I’d start to look at cancelling that flight”.
Panic and pain swept over me and I wanted to cry. 19 months we’ve been in a long distance relationship. We’ve sacrificed normal couple stuff like date nights or cozy evenings in or just simply going to the supermarket together. I’ve single handedly gone through labour and brought up our son for his first 5 months. We’ve persevered with FaceTime and WhatsApp messaging, knowing that the date was set to finally realise our dream of being together in the same country. In fact I’ve started this blog with excitement for my new adventure to experience all Adelaide has to offer. How the hell can this be happening?!?
Then it dawned on me that I’m incapable of looking after our son. The doctor explained he was putting a boot on my leg (not a cast) and he didn’t want to operate until I’d gone back in a week for further X-rays. However, I was to remain non weight bearing on my right leg for that whole week. So, as Ben’s only carer, it hit me like a brick…that I couldn’t carry him, make his bottles or change his nappy or push his pram. Although I have a fantastic and supportive family, they all work. Omg. I had to tell Dave whilst he was 39,000 feet above the Indian Ocean that we weren’t going back home with him. I messaged him. It didn’t dawn on him properly until he saw me incapacitated when he landed the next day in Manchester.
Anyway, I got my positive head on and decided the show must go on. We had daddy arriving imminently and family from New York, Ireland and Australia were on their way too, to join us for Ben’s Christening. I spoke to Dave and we agreed that we will just see what the next set of X-rays bring on Monday and hope that by some miracle we can still make the trip together as planned to Adelaide.
I got practical. I’ve just about mastered my crutches, and I’ve been tackling the stairs by going up and down on my posterior. It’s quite a sight! However, I feel vulnerable with my broken ankle so I’ve even got myself a wheelchair (online from Lloyd’s pharmacy for £69 brand new). The worst thing I found has been I’m unable to shower or wash my hair properly. And just turning a light switch on, whilst swinging my crutches around, feels like a Krypton-Factor Challenge.
Yep, the glamorous send off I had imagined at the christening party has certainly taken a different twist. My perfect outfit will be overshadowed by my big black boot. But I’m determined to put my best (and only) foot forward and celebrate the baptism of our little boy.
So wish us luck for my next consultation on Monday and let’s hope for a miracle. God only knows how we’ll make the trip across to Australia with a newborn, a wheelchair and crutches?! In fact, this time last week my only worry was how we’d transport the Sleepyhead. And even if we make it, Dave will obviously have to take time off from his business but it won’t solve the needs we will have everyday to care for our son. I’m thinking of looking for a live-in or out nanny tbh. And I’m wondering whether anyone has been in a similar situation and has any practical advice on the best way to manage it? Especially with a baby.