Well, I did get the cast off as promised, along with the joy of seeing my wasted, pale and hairy leg. Unfortunately I’m not “good to go” in terms of walking. I have this ridiculous boot thing that I need to wear for the next six weeks. Six weeks! It appears to be a cross between old-man flip-flops and hiking boots. I try not to be vain but my vanity rebels against this strange footwear. It is also angled at a height, meaning that my right leg will be on perpetual tip-toe. The idea is that it allows for some weight to be put through my leg without placing all of it there. If I rebel and slip into trainers, it could misalign the bones, starting me off from square one and, vain as I might be, I could do without that. So here I am, mid-British-summer, dressed in a ludicrous boot that comes to just below the knee of my skirt.
The pure stupidity of what I did has hit me again. But so has the pure luck through which I only broke my ankle! It could have been so, so much worse and I have to be grateful that it wasn’t. What’s a stupid moon-boot to a broken back? Or neck? I was gifted with a relatively minor injury and, for six weeks, I will be paying back the price of that luck. When I tell people what happened, their usual response is first: “Ouch!” and second, to tell me how lucky I was to escape with a broken ankle. What I did was dangerous and stupid and, however “high” I was at the time, it would not have happened without alcohol. Despite the above, I don’t necessarily believe in “paying things back” in those terms. People do not get what they deserve, not always. But in this case I do believe I was saved from worse damage, and am learning a lesson from it.
At the hospital I got off at the wrong bus-stop and needed to ask for help getting to where I needed to go. A Helpdesk man in a mobility scooter took me all the way down to the Fracture Clinic. He told me about his cerebral palsy and how, as a child, he had to have his leg broken and re-set and spent a summer at home in bed, staring out to sea. He told me that at the time he was bored out of his wits, and envious of the children playing in the sunshine but that, looking back on it now, he can only see the beauty of the sea.