01 June 2016

wild


If you live on the east of the country, the last few days will probably have delivered storms, and rain, and temperatures sufficiently uncomfortable to make you unpack  the woolies you have so carefully stored away from moths or even light a fire. You may even have been aghast to see the snail population emerge. Here they crept from beneath the ravaged acanthus leaves to make a bee line (wait, is that possible?) for the ends of fig tree prunings where various members of the troupe are showing off their circus skills .

If only I too could show off even a semblance of the snail's agility. Clowning might be a possiblity, but anything involving the least bit of contortion or strength is off the agenda. Here is a short version of the saga. Sometime in early March I fell down the cellar stairs, landed chest first on a newel post, summersaulted with a crash onto my right side and lay there winded and shocked. I suppose adrenaline kicked in, because once I was rescued and got my breath back I felt battered and bruised but thought as nothing seemed to be broken all would be well. And apart from some interesting Just William style bruising, it was, for a while at least, fine. Then, gradually, something went in my back and despite various consultations with osteopaths, acupuncture, homeopathy and, finally, a visit to GP who was happy to prescribe painkillers and give me a number for the local NHS physiotherapy service which never answered the phone but not investigate further, I am still decidedly lopsided and in pain. I resorted to some interim private physio (nerve gliding anyone?) and, after a 10 week wait montht, look forward to seeing what the NHS has to offer at the end of this month.

Now one of the things I learnt earlier this year when I did this interesting little Futurelearn course was that the speed of walking is a useful rule of thumb indicator for healthy ageing. My walking speed, and coverage, has diminished considerably, so not good. And who knew that discomfort and lack of sleep sleep was both debilitating and demotivating? Over the last few months I've managed to keep up with other existing commitments - managed a break at the seaside, visits to the allotment and friends, a bit of volunteering - but beyond that it's all been a bit hit and miss. Sadly this little space seemed to be just out of reach. But a half term break, Sian Williams Radio 4 piece yesterday on resilience, and a reminder in my inbox about 30 days Wild  have prompted me to get on and get out. That and missing what goes on here and the visitors who drop by. Virtual visits, often invisible, to your own domains have been a pleasure and now it's payback time.

Stepping outside the back door to observe an acrobatic snail might not be the wildest thing I've ever done, but one small step and all that.

17 comments:

rusty duck said...

Get well soon Colleen. The fall sounds horrendous but the aftermath even worse. Take care.

tut-tut said...

Good lord; I hope you find someone who can help you truly and fully mend. I manage to fall once a year on an icy sidewalk in full view of passersby, but nothing as terrifying as what you experienced.

Joanna said...

How lovely to see you! That fall sounds horrendous. I am also attempting '30 days wild', though the weather here in Sheffield (partner is lighting a fire in the living room as I type) does not encourage venturing out of doors.

rachel said...

What a terrible experience; the "what might have been" is awful too. I hope your acupuncturist treated you for shock as well as the fall? I suspect you just have to listen to your body - if it tells you to go slow, then it's probably talking sense. Meantime, watching snails massacre your garden is perhaps not the most encouraging thing to be doing! (Our snails don't seem to have minded the sudden brief spell of warm weather, but as we've gone back to cold, wet and gloomy, they'll be mustering their armies for an even greater effort.)

carolbaby said...

I am glad to see you back here. The fall sounds dreadful - I hope you find some relief, that kind of ongoing pain is not very conducive to great mental health.

Thanks for the link to futurelearn, I'd not encountered it before - some very interesting stuff there.

Mag said...

Very sorry to hear of such an horrendous mishap and trust you are recovering steadily, albeit slowly.
I was fortunate to find a good osteopath to help sort out my back problem, 9 years ago. I had to work at it as well, with daily stretching and exercise. I found walking was of real benefit. When my back was painful, I had been cautious of moving and making it hurt; what I learnt was that moving was, in fact, the way to heal it.
Best wishes.

VP said...

Sorry to hear you've been in the wars Colleen and hope all is mended soon. I love your picture of the snail - it shows we don't have to venture too far to find the world is an amazing place.

Liz said...

Oh, blimey, poor you. And there was me thinking you'd simply fallen off the blogging wagon. Here's hoping you're pain free and properly upright soon.

annjennyg said...

Oh no! That sounds awful. I do hope you are soon fully mended.Great to see you back :)

colleen said...

Thank you all for your concern, kindness and patience. Lovely to hear from you all.

Gina said...

Really good to see you back here Colleen but so sorry to hear about your fall. I totally sympathise having fallen and broken my ankle. Although I am now off crutches and out of my walking boot I am alarmed at how much it has slowed me down and how demotivated I feel. I shall take inspiration from you... Onward and upward!

Blue Sky And Tea said...

Welcome back dear "virtual" friend, your posts were sorely missed. We are having a wild weekend in Sydney weatherwise but I cannot complain because the garden is loving the rain. Take the best care and get strong soonest. Denise.

shandy said...

Oh dear! And I nearly didn't read your post as snails make my flesh creep. I had wondered whether you were going through some kind of relationship issues from an enigmatic phrase a little while ago, but never guessed at something like this.
I second those who suggested walking as therapy for the back issue. And try a different private physio if the first one did not help.

colleen said...

I did wonder whether the snail might be a bit OTT for some, so chose what I thought was the least slimy shot.

My GP has finally agreed to an MRI scan so at least it will be clear what the problem is. I agree about staying active, but good pain control and fo attempting to relax the spasming muscles has been a bit of a challenge. There seems to be a few triggers like driving the car that spark it off.

susan hall said...

sorry to hear about your awful fall and painful aftermath and I hope you soon start to feel more like your old self. It's very hard to adjust when something like this comes along and whacks us out of the blue and difficult when we don't make the swift recovery we expected to. it is very important to find out what damage you actually sustained , you can't put it right without that .so good luck with the scan.
you were missed on this blog and though i don't comment often enough i am very glad to find that you haven't gone for good .
for what it's worth i'd say lay off exercise and rest a lot until you are sure about what is wrong and won't be causing further damage .
here endeth the lesson !
get well soon

E15 kids said...

Have only just read this and was really sorry to hear about your accident. It is five years since I was hit by a car, thrown on to its bumper and then landed on the road. Walking has been a problem since the accident (about a mile has been my maximum) and is beginning to get even harder, signalling that the threatened future surgery is probably not that far off (I'll need surgery to remove all the metalwork from my leg and then a total knee replacement). It has fundamentally altered my life not least because sleep has become problematic in a way that it wasn't before the accident.

The important thing, I think, is to try to be easy on yourself and try not to get frustrated at your limitations. Easier said than done, I know! My eldest son's headteacher (a very sporty 30 something) has recently had a very bad snowboarding accident and has been presented with a list of things he has been told not to be able to expect to do again. None of this is easy. Hopefully your MRI scan will reveal something eminently fixable and you'll be back to normal soon.

Good to see you back,

Joan

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

The fall sounds terrifying and the 'recovery' exhausting .

Everyone's right ... you have to push yourself every day to avoid seizing up altogether . One of my uncles ate a kipper for breakfast every day and took a series of hyperactive Great Danes for endless walks . It kept him fit till his late nineties . Mind you , I think you have to be really keen on smoked fish and huge dogs for this to work .
Hope that your G.P. can help you find the best combination of exercise , therapy and pain relief to speed your recovery .