Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Every Calamity has a Silver Lining...

To begin, a *Future Blog Warning* - subsequent posts will not contain passages of doom and gloom, misery and frustration and I hope never to write about an accident again. So, please don’t give up on me just yet. However, it is still Day 20 of the potential 40-Day Sentence so I’m afraid I’m not quite there.

I am, nonetheless, in a more reflective mood and have realised that the last few weeks have been, ahem, a journey; allowing some downtime, a bit of thinking time and some 1-handed doing-time. It is time to reflect on some of these things, both good and bad, in no apparent order...

Accidental Achievements:

• I have not drunk a drop of booze since the breakage in fear of going a*** over t** again. I am hangover-free, alert and a little more cash-heavy. (I am also boring as hell).

• I have caught up on emails (apologies if you finally get an answer to that email from July 2007), dull paperwork and most importantly people and exciting events such as wedding planning and festival organising.

• I have read 2 books, started a 3rd and have watched 2 films – an achievement considering I usually avoid sitting still for longer than, well, about 30 minutes.

• I am studying again, a Marketing Certificate with my new job to be precise. My plaster and I have an exam on the 22nd Feb. Wish us luck.

• I am slowly learning Spanish (que es un idioma hermoso), and could ask where the nearest Zara is without too much difficulty.

• I have increased my iPhone apps from 4 to 17 and can carry out ‘Impossibly Accurate Barcode Scanning’, find my nearest cash point and order a top from the comfort of my own phone, all while listening to yogic wind chimes.

• I have rediscovered old passions – watching a good old game of mid-week footy with my boyfriend. I am fast becoming the female Andy Gray and could give Jamie ‘we dream about it’ Redknapp a run for his money.

• I can do CTRL/ALT/DELETE with my on-the-mend-must-be-exercised left hand. Yes! Woo! (I really need to get out more).

Highly Annoying Hindrances:

• Left hand out of use means I can’t get the lid off jars, add much-needed volume when blow drying hair, tie my hair back or use a knife and fork. I can’t get a glove on it, even a mitten, and I have to be careful that my constantly upright arm peeking out of my coat is not mistaken for a weapon when entering a supermarket or post office.

• I am not running but, it would appear, everyone else in London is. I hear snippets of conversations on the street, in supermarkets, on the tube. ‘'I got up at 6am and ran along the river, it was marvellous, so refreshing!'’ I fight the urge to shout 'At 6am I was in the shower with a carrier bag over my vile cast washing my hair with 1- hand and trying to stay balanced just to give me enough time to get to work when I need to. It was NOT bloody marvellous'.

• I have lost my ability to multitask. For me, to multitask is to exist. I like speaking on my iPhone while emailing on my Blackberry while reading Vogue and waiting for my nails to dry with my dinner cooking in the oven. Now doing one of these tasks zaps me of energy and makes me want to lie on the floor. All I want to do is sleeeeep.

• I am not shopping. I think about fashion, I read about it, I talk about it, I even dream about it. I do not buy it as I am forced to wear big-sleeved jumpers. Sob.

I’m on the way to recovery of course and the best thing ever about this unfortunate episode is that is I get to spend time with Alex. It is bliss. I'm sure it's not for him. I am a shocking patient. (Sorry).

In fear of sounding smug though, please don’t be fooled. Most people will know this is slowly doing me in. A famous pre-eminent political and spiritual leader once said ‘there is more to life than increasing its speed’.

Mahatma, you have a point. However, I quite like the fast life myself. Roll on 3 weeks time.

N x

Friday, 8 January 2010

A pain in the wrist...

Hello and welcome,

Firstly, I honestly didn’t think I’d be writing my opening, and long-threatened, blog entry typing slowly with one hand with its partner in plaster but regrettably that’s the sad case. Not quite the glamorous image of my favourite fictional New York-based writer I had aspired to, but I’m hoping that some of my favourite non-fictional writers may have written their best works while recovering from some sort of accident. It’s an inspiring thought and I definitely need some inspiration right now...

So, the plaster. It’s been quite a calamitous start to the new decade. That lovely bit in between Christmas and New Year was spent with a busted boiler leading to no heating and hot water for 3 days. NY was seen in wonderfully with my boyfriend Alex in Falmouth, Cornwall and even when I developed flu-like symptoms on NY’s Day I thought I was immune to the January blues as we had such a brilliant time. A stinking cold was never going to get me down! Things were good! Silly pre-plaster me.

Back to work going well, I was certainly feeling blues-free on Wednesday night in frosty Walthamstow and looking forward to a night of rest, food and LOVEFiLM entertainment with lovely Alex. ‘Isn’t it slippery’ I thought to myself cheerfully, laughing as a group of child-free Mums threw snowballs at each other and feeling smug about walking in the road as others slipped on the pavement. Then, disaster. CRASH. One second up, the next down. There I was on the floor, the contents of my Boots bag dispensed everywhere. Feminine hygiene products of course; just to add to the joy.

Quick as a flash, a lovely man and his son hauled me up and got me on my feet. Shocked and with a very sore coccyx, I carried on homebound feeling stable and cautious. Then the dizziness started, I was finding it hard to breath and the snow was turning black before my eyes. Just...a...few...more...steps...and CRASH. On the floor again but this time making doubly sure I’d done some damage by landing on my wrist. Instinct normally kicks in when you’re wearing a leopard skin coat and laying in the road so I got up and crawled to a random doorstep and tried to stay conscious. Next thing I knew a stranger appeared by my side, found my trusted iPhone and helped me called Alex, whimpering at him to please come get me.

It’s all a bit hazy after this. Dash to A&E in a cab, waiting to be seen, a painful X-Ray and a distressing 45 minute wait for the results. Alex was amazing; kept me warm and comfortable and wrapped me in his West Ham scarf (sorry fellow CPFC fans, I was vulnerable and taken by surprise). ‘NICOLA GREENBROOK?’ was my booming cue to be seen by a Consultant who told me that the wrist was indeed broken and would need treatment. Ironically at that moment a boy outside the treatment room fainted on the floor. Yep, my thoughts exactly.

Consultant – Greek, scary, quite terse. My whimpering and severe teeth-chattering were definitely not welcome in his consulting room as he told me I could go under general anaesthetic and stay overnight or be under local and be in and out in an hour. No brainer really. ‘NOW, NI-COLA, ARE YOU GOING TO CO-OPERATE OR NOT? WELL?!’ he boomed. In my head I said ‘No, I’m going to make this as difficult for you as I possibly can, ha ha, cause I’m REALLY LOVING THIS PAIN, you t**t!’ but instead I barely whispered ‘yes’.

Next, re-set hell. Wrist was only mildly numb and I wanted to shout ‘I can still feel pain!!’ but instead accepted the offer of laughing gas (I’m not laughing) and inhaled around 12 times –leaving me absolutely off my face. A good thing really, as
Nicer Consultant pulled my upper arm back with all his strength while Scary Consultant pulled the broken wrist back into place and Alex stroked my head. I fainted twice, thankfully. I came to with a big wail and heard Nicer Consultant say ‘she is clearly calcium-deficient’ to which I groggily responded ‘vegetarian, actually’ and cried. As my plaster was applied the Consultants had a nice old chat about mindless animal cruelty and sport and ignored me when I quietly contributed ‘bullfighting’ as an example. Bastards. Sob.

After 2 very uncomfortable sleeps, I went back today to the delightful and clearly-signposted Fracture Clinic with its professional and helpful staff (sarcasm eases the pain) to be told wrist is recovering excellently, but have to go back in 1 week’s time for another X-Ray and re-cast, with said cast on for 4-6 weeks.

It’s my personal hell. Diary commitments cancelled, including very exciting trip to Amsterdam to see lovely travelling buddy (sorry Lauren, will make it up to you) and now I really do have the January blues. I am being a hideous patient as I hate being inactive, unproductive, and reliant on others to shower, dress me and put on my shoes and I’m dreading the next few weeks. In turn, Alex is being an angel, more amazing than ever and I am incredibly grateful. This must be hard for him too.

If anything, it’s a humbling experience and has made me realise how very lucky I am to be in reasonably good health and that this is a temporary experience. I’ve convinced myself this is Karma for moaning and thinking the grass is greener recently, but that’s another blog for another time.
It’s quite astonishing that in 31 rather clumsy years, including hiking the Inca Trail, climbing a few New Zealand and UK mountains and jumping out of a plane in Oz, the first time I break a bone is walking home from sodding work, 5 minutes from home.

So on Day 2 of my Sentence, it’s just me, my plaster and my laptop with the Foo Fighters in the background watching the snow and ice. Bitterly I may add. Winter Wonderland? I’m over the snow. Timely, a Topshop Style Notes email has just popped into my inbox declaring ‘Spring is on its way’!’ Can’t come bloody soon enough - I have an itch under my plaster.