Dumped in the slow lane – How an injury ruined my life overnight, and how to not want to kill yourself while recovering.
I love my life when it’s hectic. Like a typical young Londoner I am always unapologetically busy, enjoying restaurants, bars, work, projects, birthdays, sporting activities, the gym, coffee, alcohol, loud music, and very little sleep.
However that all came to an end in mid July when I accepted a sporting invitation to help one of our clients beat a rival team.
In addition to playing netball for the first in a long time, I had been walking in a festival over the weekend and chased Pokemon through the city of London, ignoring my muscle aches as usual, because that’s what silly young people do. We don’t stretch, rarely warm up properly and then we stroll onto a netball court assuming that everything is fine, because it usually is.
I would like to describe an enthralling flying interception that lead to both the winning goal and my injury, but that would be a complete lie. Although I still save this story for those that think netball is boring because “you don’t move”. My left ankle and I can assure you that there is plenty of action involved.
A very anticlimactic run for the ball in the last few minutes of the game resulted in a pop to my left ankle, and the feeling that someone had taken a baseball bat to my foot. Fairly sure that I hadn’t pissed anyone off this time while going for the ball, I quickly dismissed the pop as my imagination, and waited for the pain to subside, but it didn’t.
Assuming that it was just a sprain, I was piggybacked off the court to the sound of the final whistle. Jubilant that we FINALLY BEAT PINSENT MASONS LLP*, I ordered an uber home, texted my manager to say that I MAY not be at work tomorrow, and advised that we won, which is all that mattered. Silver linings.
The reality of the situation started to sink in once I was on my way. Sick of the outrageous life dramas and tragedies that my uber driver shared during the ride home, I decided to change course to the nearest hospital just in case my foot really had fallen off and I hadn’t realised. This lead to the discovery of a complete Achilles tendon rupture, resulting in me being out of action for the foreseeable future (3+ months), with my leg put into plaster cast. Dire situation. I will welcome all violins and various other string instruments if you wish to create an orchestra at this stage.
Whilst my friends (as well as being disgusted by my description of my injury) were so very jealous of my impending months of Netflix and duvet days, I however was NOT impressed. There are only so many programmes I can watch before I’m itching to get up, and I really, really missed my gym.
The first week of my injury was spent lying in bed feeling sorry for myself, being taxied around by my boyfriend enabling me to play Pokemon go (this is a serious thing), and accepting that life as I knew it was over for now.
Upcoming weddings, birthdays, carnival weekend- these all had to be reworked or cancelled completely. Luckily I’ve been able to work from home on a project, so I’m not clawing my eyeballs out just yet. But accepting that I cannot live my regular life has been as difficult to swallow as the oversized Naproxen given.
Having a friend that has the same injury a year ago playing netball (evil, evil sport) has been a great help to me, from absorbing all of my worries, to showing me a Facebook group for tragic people like us. I love a good Facebook stalk, so I’ve spent countless hours comparing injuries and recovery routes. It is also nice to know you are not alone in your despair over a ruined summer.
My advice to anyone with an injury or illness rendering you useless for the next few months, or even years – Don’t try to replicate your old life. It will just frustrate you, and it’s exhausting. Create new experiences. There are still so many things that I CAN do. Like talk, laugh, and use the Internet (the latter important of course). I have the time to get in contact with old friends, organise my life, learn new skills, research, read and relax. And hopefully these are things that you can do too.
Life in the slow lane takes some adjusting to, but in time you WILL feel better. I’ve been out to restaurants, the cinema, and even bars with little difficulty (people are so much nicer to you when they see crutches and a cast!) which has kept me feeling positive.
I get offered free tables at bars, chairs appear out of nowhere and people fall over themselves to help me get anything that I need. I’m also extremely grateful for my wonderful friends that have picked me up and taken me out, and just generally kept me cheerful so far. Navigating crutches following a bottle of wine and more than a few glasses of Prosecco may not have been a grand idea, but the less said about that the better.
Uber is great for getting out and about on crutches and Karhoo are very generous with their free ride codes when you sign up. Being unable to walk hasn’t stopped me from doing as much as I had feared.
This post was inspired by a book (and film) called “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes and I would recommend you all read and/or watch it. It definitely made me put things into perspective, and I had an appreciation for my temporary situation. Life is for living, and I aim to make the most of any situation I am thrown in to.
Outside of the dramatics and inspiring quotes however, this is a really crappy injury with a stupidly long recovery period, and I can’t wait to get back to work, my hobbies and general ambling around in the city of London without having to rely on cabs.
I’ve told my regular Fitbit competitors that I’ll be beating them with 20k daily steps once I’m out of my cast, and my Pokedex will be complete by December. I’ll even walk to my corner shop for once. Never again will I complain about taking the stairs, and I may just run for the bus one day.**
Until then I’ll just have to take it slow. Any Netflix show recommendations?
*Law firm. Unbeaten at netball as long as I have worked with my client, UNTIL NOW!
** All complete lies.