One day last summer, I manoeuvred awkwardly around a jigsaw on the landing and ended up accidentally throwing myself down the stairs at alarming speed. With this excellent display of skill I broke my big toe and, as it turned out six weeks later, wanged up a muscle in my already exceptionally creaky left hip. Almost six months and a lot of physio later, it’s not much less wangy and the crutch that I got out to use temporarily has become almost surgically attached to my arm.
When my hip was at its worst, I had a glimpse of Life On The Sofa, and it was not pretty. Unable to do, well, anything, I had a couple of weeks lying on the sofa in a fog of Diazepam. Seeing what Holly Willoughby was wearing on This Morning was the highlight of my day. And whilst I shouldn’t admit this, after a while, I kind of enjoyed it. I am naturally quite highly strung and I felt relaxed – it was a novelty. When, after almost two weeks, my physio appointment came through – and instead of feeling pleased I felt worried at the prospect of leaving the house – I realised that my new sofa dwelling persona might have a teensy problem.
A few days and a pep talk from the physio later I was up and about and off the strong painkillers with a renewed understanding of how easy it is to develop a dependancy. How I could so easily have slipped into a habit. Another few days, a week, who knows and I’d be one of Those People You Read About. I’m making light of it, but it did scare me at the time. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes miss that state of calm. Particularly on school mornings, parentings answer to official torture.
These days, I have become so used to walking with a crutch that I’ve completely forgotten it’s not normal. I find myself wandering around Bluewater and then wondering why I can barely walk the next day. I almost signed up for a Zumba class. I thought about hiring a bike on our spring holiday. These are not especially brilliant ideas.
Here’s the bright side – I do not need a functioning hip to draw pictures. Hooray for invalid-friendly careers! It would have been a real shame if my one talent had been the triple jump or something.