Saturday, 3 March 2018

Frugalwench is broken

The wench is broken! I broke my ankle almost three weeks ago when I got lost on the way to a gig at Leicester Comedy Festival. I found myself being led by Google Maps over a scary traffic bridge, where I panicked and fell over. 

No, I'm not sure either, but I keep doing this, especially on tall stairs and footbridges. The temporary stairs at Northampton station were an absolute nightmare to me, and for some reason when I have gone to fall sometimes, it hasn't been in the safe direction. I've frequently ended up having to quickly sit while the crowd flows past me tutting, because my hand-rail is suddenly occupied by someone in the opposite direction who won't let go either. People have asked is it vertigo, and I do get vertigo as well, but it's not that.

I just hate heights.

A pants way to end what had been a great day. I'd gone to see the Adventures of Baron Munchausen, starring my mate Nig Lovell and others - a fantastically funny improvised storytelling event, which was a real hit with the grown ups as well as the kids.

We spent some time with the storytellers before heading off for food, and then Lucy Thompson's show "Shake it Off", except I went and broke my ankle in between.

We did make the gig eventually, through much pain for what I assumed was a mere sprain, but only after reaching the wrong venue first - a skate park called Broom, instead of a bar called Broood.

Broom looked like a cool skate park, and I winced at every skilful landing the skater kids were doing as though they were about to do what I had just done, while OH and the attendant worked out where we should have been and tried to sort out how I might get there, as apparently it was not the sort of area where the taxis would go.  Uh oh!

Massive gratitude to the attendant who went and ran for a taxi for me, and we got to the venue okay. The show was really good too. But... ow!

The next morning, my ankle was looking distinctly odd, so we looked for the details online as to where was best to check it out. Very important you do this as sometimes it will not be your A&E .

It was very quickly ascertained that I had a broken fibula and I got some crutches and a temp cast before my fracture clinic appointment, and my brill friend Jen took me to that. And so I got a purple cast!

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and indoor
It quickly transpired the crutches were not going to get me to work and I kept having clumsy accidents in my house, so I have had to splash on kneewalker hire. I get lots of enquiries from other fracture sufferers, and I know I'm lucky to have had some savings to cover the cost, as some people have been very crestfallen when they realise it's £23 a week. I think it has helped me lots, and even though I've been in lots of pain, and not slept, I at least have this which helps me maintain my balance to cook, wash up, or even pursue the crumbs OH leaves on the floor with a broom like some demented polo player. And of course, go to work... as I don't get sick pay.

It's not perfect, I have hurt my knees using it, and some basic things are still beyond my power, like carrying a plate or cup. To get round this, I have a screw-top thermal travel mug, which I still need to be very slow and careful with, and a screw-top lunch pot that I can out in a bag hanging off the bars.

Some tips if you are going to use one of these to get to work on a train. It's not common knowledge, but you should arrange for ramp assistance 24 hours in advance of when you need it, and turn up to the station 20 minutes before you need to travel. Try to travel in quieter times if you can, as people walking through the train can be oblivious.
Image may contain: shoes and indoor

I've been accommodated by work to work from home this week, but that has to change as I have classes. I've been spared the need to walk in the snow (I am out of food, chocolate and ibuprofen though), but I am worried about coping next week. Big time.

Also, the other bones in my foot keep relocating themselves as gravity pops them, which is a shocker. And cramps.... ai ai ai!

What's it like to have a broken ankle, apart from painful and sucky?

Well, I've had to cancel gigs, signings and weekends away. I've got addicted to social media just to feel like I'm keeping in touch with things. I can see great swathes of housework not being done and feel antsy. I'm having to sleep downstairs as my bedroom is inaccessible due to a danger landing. I have to make sure OH is on hand with my cast cover to help me shower as the danger is getting up our Victorian stairs. Our Victorian lean-to toilet is my accessible toilet. Yep, in this weather, I'm practically going outside. I'm not wearing my Fitbit because it's depressing. I have had to throw lots of defrosted fruit I was going to make into jam because I am not capable of that. Thanks to a slow and careful removal of the foods OH was blithe to, at least the fridge no longer looks like the one in  Minority Report, but I'm very frustrated at not being able to go shopping for things we need now. I'm eating Christmas Panettone, I'm that desperate!

A lot of convenience food has been bought to save my poor overworked OH the bother, and I'm neither feeling healthy nor frugal. I am beginning to see the point of Wiltshire Farm Foods.

So, what's to come? Six weeks in this cast (2 weeks down), then a boot, then crutches alone. This is gonna be sloooow.

And my X-Rays don't really show healing, but they show I'm still aligned. I have a sliver of bone that was cracked before , and now wedged out like a triangle, but apparently that's okay. It just means my fibula will be thicker there.

Oh great. Asymmetric cankle!


  1. You poor thing, I bet you've had an absolute nightmare especially this week. Heal quickly. x