My Stage is the World

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive

Oops I did it again

Pink cast for my broken arm24 hours in A&E

So ice-skating is slippery? You’d think, after my excursions in Brussels, that I would have realised this, but no – yet again I found this out the hard way several weeks ago.

I didn’t feel well and was hungry, but didn’t want to miss my lesson.

So I enter the ice hot and bothered with a fuzzy brain.

Practise: turn on one leg, backwards arabesque. Repeat. Blunt skates, rough ice.

A fall, a crack, intense pain and embarrassment.

Left wrist swollen, pale, throbbing. Stand up, dizzy, nauseous and skate off the ice followed by a doctor in the group below me. She declares the arm broken. Ice pack, bed.

Two lovely paramedics provide a sling and water and a ride in the ambulance to Kings College Hospital.

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here

Homeless people, hypochondriacs and the lonely gather inside, ignored by all until they’re asked to leave, clutching their possessions, imaginary ailments and life stories close.

I’m bundled inside, my forms lost in the hustle and bustle of A&E, into a waiting room of injured people.

Gunshot and stab victims raid the vending machines, children run riot and nurses take verbal abuse in their stride.

Nobody notices me clutching my skates, swollen arm, pale face until I demand some drugs and sit alone waiting…

…and waiting. Nobody’s moved, people are frustrates and I’m in serious pain. It’s been two hours and I’ve had enough so I ask when I will be seen. Seven people in front of me, two people going in per hour… I’ll never get home!

Journey to the centre of the earth

I act quickly and jump into a taxi in front of the smoking pregnant woman in pursuit of the tube. The driver chats away on his mobile phone and drops me too far from the entrance so I run…

A small girl with a sling is ushered through barriers without a thought and I reach Waterloo… one minute too late.

My luck turns and my train is late so I get on it and get a seat, surrounded by sympathetic people offering me help, love and assistance. Commuters have never been friendlier; I’ve never been so mollycoddled.

Everyone is eager to share their own stories, offering me their number or a lift in case I am stranded in the middle of the night.

A night to remember

At the Royal Surrey the wait is short, yet inpatients steal my X-ray slot and my tears fall as I remember a previous trip for another’s broken arm. Those waiting for relatives comfort me and tell amusing stories to cheer me up.

Around 2am my worst fears are confirmed – one broken wrist, two fractured bones and surgery likely.

There’s nothing for it but to try to get some sleep…

…but that’s a silly idea as my arm has to be half plastered and I have to be swabbed, stabbed and squeezed. The ‘nil by mouth’ sign goes up and at 4am I’m left alone.

Except that the other patients are intent on keeping me awake as one brought in starts to scream and hit out at the nurses who are trying to kill her.

I’ve never felt more alone.

Oh what a beautiful morning

Sleep comes eventually until I’m woken at 6am by the hoover and a nice nurse telling me she’ll sit me up for breakfast… which I’m not allowed because of the possibility of surgery.

Books are brought but I can’t turn the pages so it’s tiring and all I want to do is scream and sleep.

My body is exposed to radiation several more times as I am wheeled around the hospital and a new cast is put on.

Nobody tells me anything and I still don’t know if I’m having surgery.

I’m tired and starving and annoyed that they’ve reduced the amount of morphine in my drip.

Despite my polite frustration I’m still a favourite of the nurses (I’m young and sane), so I do get extra drugs and am promised food once they know more.

At the end of the day

Finally just before visiting hours finish I’m told that surgery won’t be necessary and I can go home.

It’s almost 4pm. I’ve missed three meals and am edgy to say the least.

A wonderful nurse brings me sandwiches, tea and biscuits and I’m so hungry I don’t even mind that it’s fake bread with butter, cheese and tomato which normally I wouldn’t eat.

As I’m discharged and everyone hugs me and waves me goodbye, I have only one thought in my mind:

I’ve definitely got my money’s worth out of the NHS this year!

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With nothing but my T-shirt on

Running t-shirtSo I’ve signed up to the 10k London race and started training. I get a race T-shirt, plus a special Diamond Jubilee shirt and I also got an email from Nike saying they’ll give me one too as I’m wearing their trainers…

Then yesterday I got a huge parcel from my charity KidsCo… containing two T-shirts!

Now I have to say that the logo on the shirts is pretty awesome and matches all my running gear. This may be because their logo is pink, grey and indigo – naturally I am happy to run in these colours.

My only concern is which T-shirt do I wear for the race? I’m also doing the Royal Parks Half Marathon (for the same charity), so no doubt I’ll get another top to wear for that one.

I’ve also decided to apply for the London Marathon 2013. I’ve always wanted to do it and now is as good a time as any… hopefully I can race for my charity so I may get a place that way which would be good for them and me. Will I get another T-shirt? I hope so!

At this rate I’ll never have to buy another pyjama or running top ever again!

Run today was pretty good as I went before the thundery April showers and did 5k in 25 mins (and had a skin test on the way back).

General fitness has been mostly walking – no chance to go cycling(!) as the weather is threatening to be horrific all weekend – but I am ice-skating on Thursday! It’s been almost two months (tore a ligament in my wrist) but I can’t wait and hopefully will meet a new circle of people to hang out with when I move to London.

I keep bumping into old friends actually – including one in Fez Club last Saturday (more on that to come) and one on the Tube yesterday.

Tonight I’m seeing a few more old friends at a gig at The Fox and Pelican in Grayshott – an awesome band called The Son are playing and I’ve not yet seen them so I’ll review them at some point.

In other news the gluten-free diet is going fairly well… so far I’ve eaten yoghurt, salad and a rice cake. Next up vegetable lasagne with ‘special’ lasagne… Not had coffee for a week either, which could explain why I’m so tired.

The only question left now is WHICH T-shirt do I wear tonight?

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Reach out for the sunrise

When I was six I had a wonderful teacher. She taught us about the Titanic, Penny Farthings, birds and the Duke of Wellington. Formidable she definitely was, but not in the sense of Miss Trunchball. My school report that year was, as ever, glowing, but one comment has stayed with me. She said that I needed to loosen my corset strings and relax.

Twenty years later I’m finally taking her advice. I’ve taken life far too seriously, worrying about this and that and not embracing the moment. So this is my quest to find the moment, take it and catch it. No regrets. Life’s too short to live by a rigid schedule, planning your life around age or incident.

So here we are – I’m embarking on a journey of self-discovery, although I’m not trying to find myself. I want to find everything else, open my eyes and see things. No judging, but delve beneath the stereotypes and pre-conceptions of people.

I’m starting to catch myself before I think things I have no right to think. I’ve had a lot to deal with recently and I know it made me out to be a horrible person, out of control, crazy. Maybe I am like that, but hopefully my challenge will help me to start letting my hair down.

I got through the last six months by laughing at everything, because it was either that or cry. Now I have no need to cry, but I can still try to see the funny side of life, and laugh about it.

Goals for April:

  • Write at least one chapter of my book
  • Find a drama society and join it
  • Start ice-skating again
  • Sign up for a 10k race
  • Start training for said race
  • Do something that scares me

This week I’ve had dressing on my salad and eaten mayonnaise. I still don’t like either, but I tried them. I’m also enjoying my family – it’s not perfect, and at times quite dysfunctional, but it’s mine and I intend to make the most of it.

Wish me luck!

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