Monday, March 19, 2007


So there I was, enjoying being back playing badminton for only the second time in, ooh, more than seven years (I played last week) when back I went to smash the shuttlecock which had been lobbed in my direction and BANG! Simultaneous loud noise and pain in the back of my ankle.

As happens, the slow motion playing out of the incident meant that my thought processes went something like:

The floor's collapsed; no wait, what's that pain?; I've broken my ankle; no, I didn't go over on it; I think I'll fall to the floor like a 15 stone sack of potatoes; and now maybe I'll scream like a girl; AAAAHHHHHGGGG!

As I hit the deck I think I realised that it was my Achilles Tendon which had gone PING. My playing partner, CG, heard the noise it made and said later that he also thought for a split second that it was the floor breaking until he saw me hit the deck hard. And scream. I'd be prepared to accept that in fact I did scream like a girly, but RM and NG have assured me that there could be no doubting it was a man roaring! I'm also told I didn't swear, which isn't like me at all.

Anyway, along came the staff of the Kelvin Hall with a little bag of ice (Remember folks - RICE, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and this was applied to the back of my ankle while a wheelchair was brought to the court. I was wheeled out to NP's car and he took me across the road to the Western Infirmary A&E where the happy staff (!) attended to me. After the triage nurse assessed me out in the waiting area (saved having to wheel me away I suppose but I'm glad it was a physical injury and not an STD, 'cos it was a bit public) I was taken in to be seen. This was actually fairly quick considering that the little poster in the window of where I was booked in said there was a four hour wait. All in all I think it was round about half an hour before I was taken through.

The next nurse I saw opined that, since I had most of my pain at the bottom of my calf rather than in my ankle, it was more likely not an achilles tendon injury, but rather a tear of the gastrocnemius (calf) muscle. When the doctor came and looked though, he diagnosed that it was indeed a problem with the achilles tendon.

He didn't actually say what he thought I'd done to it, and as I realise now it could be "just" a tear, or it could be completely ruptured. Anyway I have a lightweight cast (or stookie as they used to be known in these here parts for some reason) from toe to knee. I have my toes pointing down (think ballet dancer on points, although not that severe an angle) and it'll be like that for two weeks then the cast removed and another one put on at a different angle, bringing my toes up a bit, then two weeks later changed again, etc. The first estimate is about 6 weeks in plaster. Whoop de do!

Having spoken to a colleague at work this morning, he told me that his next door neighbour had the same injury playing football and, because he had separated the tendon from the calcaneus bone (heel) he had to have surgery to repair it, and he was off work for four months. I have also been told by RN of the choir (he of the medical bent) that when I attend the fracture clinic (at 1307hrs today - what the hell kind of time is that for an appointment? - as soon as it gets to 1308hrs if I haven't been seen I shall complain!) I am to ask for an ultrasound examination of the injury in case it is indeed fully ruptured in which case I should ask for surgery to have it repaired.

On the way out, the nurse who had thought it wasn't an achilles tendon injury said something like "it's very unusual to have the pain so far up the calf in an achilles injury" in a vain attempt at redeeming herself, but I wasn't fooled!

So anyway, I actually slept very well last night. The foot is cast in the position it would naturally fall when I sleep (sort of the recovery position for those who are first aid trained, and for those who are not first aid trained - get trained, you never know when it'll come in useful. Or at least buy a first aid manual and read it).

While I remember, the loathsome racist low-life wanker in the next cubicle with an equally loathsome ned female was there because on Friday he damaged his fist while punching someone and because it broke the skin it's now infected and he can't open or close his fist. Hopefully it is very very painful. I say this partly because I don't like neds, partly because I don't like people who punch other people, partly because I don't like tossers using mobile phones in a hospital where it clearly says that such devices must be switched off, but mostly because I heard clearly what he called the doctor once he had finished examining him and had gone off to get the orthopaedic person to look at it, and I DO NOT like racists.

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