December 22nd 2016
This was the night I was out with some work colleagues and managers and suffered fall as a result of a few seconds blackout...the first time EVER that this had happened to me.
Due to the area I was stood in at the time of the fall, my knee took the worst of it and I suffered a TOTAL KNEE DISLOCATION with varying degrees of damage to all 4 ligaments around the knee and the layers between the two bones...I also had a dropped foot and a lot of nerve damage in the lower leg and foot.
After being rushed to hospital (on a silly amount of painkillers and Gas & Air) I was told in no uncertain terms this would be "Life Changing for the knee".
I also experienced the worst pain I have ever felt in my life when they had to x-ray the knee to get an idea of the damage. This was due to the nature of the dislocation....my thigh bone was in my lower leg and they had to put a wedge UNDER the knee to x-ray!
HOWEVER...what they were most worried about was the artery that sits behind the knee and goes down to the foot. If i had damaged that and lost the blood flow to the foot I could have lost my foot!! But i had faint pulse and warmth in the foot so it was just monitored for the next few weeks.
I then spent the next 3 weeks in hospital, what should have been my 1st Christmas and New Year with my Boyfriend...plus his birthday!
I spent 6 weeks with the "mechano" in my leg...which everyone seemed to enjoy decorating at Christmas...3 of those were at home sleeping in my living room as my bed was too low for me to use.
At the beginning of February I had the pins removed. I was told that ONE ligament had knitted but the other 3 hadn't and this meant my knee was still highly unstable, so I now sent home with a Leg Brace on to try and offer some support to the knee...it didn't! It wasn't suitable for my leg but I had no other options from the hospital, so I bought my own from Amazon (and have done all year when i need to replace it)
During this time I had to seriously think about what I would need to do to get by going forward, what I would need to help me get on with life and help me do things I could no longer do easily.
My injury is severe enough and uncertain enough in its recovery to mean I am now registered as disabled and have a Blue badge for my car.
This whole year I have had to get my head around no longer being able to just do something I wouldn't have even given a 2nd thought about previously.
Learning my new limits was easy...my injury let me know what i could and couldn't do now.
ACCEPTING my new limitations however was the hardest thing, and was a big cause of a lot of mental and emotional ups and downs, depression and brain wobbles.
I think a major factor in adopting this mentality was the 5 years I spent in the disabled campsites at Download Festival...noone there let their injuries or illnesses hold them back from doing things (the majority of them much more serious than my stupid knee).
So I have everything in place I could possibly need and the only thing that will prevent me from trying to do what I want to do is myself (either my brain or my physical limitations).
You know who your best friend is when they bring you a little MECHANO SCOOTER as a reminder of your year...and for a future Christmas tree decoration hahaha
Love you too xxx
Without my boyfriend's support, my family and my friends, I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through this year as well as I have so far.
They are all amazing and I love them dearly xxx
My workplace and management have also been amazingly supportive throughout this year, couldn't ask for a better company to work for really.
I worked from home a few hours a day from January-June.
It was 5 months post injury before I was able to drive again.
Once driving I finally went back to work part time.
7.5 months post injury I am now back at work full time
I am now fully registered as Disabled....but I still hope it is just temporary.
It was almost 4 months post injury before I got a flicker of movement back into my foot.
Now 8 months post injury I have about 90% of the movement back to my foot.
I use a crutch or walking stick to get around (1 now instead of 2 though)
I wear a knee brace constantly when I leave the flat or have to stand/clean the flat.
I still have to uses a bath stool and rail to help me get into the shower.
I use a stool in the kitchen when I can't stand for extended periods of time.
I had to use a wheelchair for the first few months of the year with my boyfriend pushing it.
I now have a mobility scooter for when I want to go out for a day but can't walk the distances.
I had to sell my car (manual) and I bought an Automatic (lucky it is my left leg I can't use).
I still struggle climbing steps/stairs.
I still can't stand for long periods of time.
Any kind of walking hurts after a short distance and I struggle so have to rest regularly.
My knee aches when I use it a lot and it grinds and "pops" badly.
I lost a lot of feeling in my lower leg and foot due to nerve damage...that now has a constant tingling sensation through it but is no longer "dead".
Nerve pains are EVIL and can strike at any time...usually when you are trying to sleep!
I still can't move my foot upwards properly (couldn't drive a normal car any more)
I still have 2 fully torn ligaments (outside and rear of knee)
Ligament inside of knee knitted while my leg was pinned.
Ligament at the front of the knee has healed up to a degree during the first 7 months.
I was told I had to give the knee 18 months natural healing time (til June 2018) after that they will consider surgery
I am still me and haven't had to change too much.
I have a lot of independence back once I became mobile again.
I have amazing friends, family, work colleagues.
I am able to go out places and see things...just research helps me plan better and know my options in advance.
I have an amazing boyfriend who moved in with me at the start of the year so he could look after me when I needed him most...we have now been together 14 months.
I am now starting to bake again and regaining my love for it and experimenting once more.
At the end of July I had my new ink done at Darkside Tattoo in Waterlooville.
I chose Polynesian inspired turtle design to cover my upper right arm to mark my journey through this year.
The symbolism of the turtle is that it doesn't rush, it travels at its own pace, one step at a time. EXACTLY what I have had to do this year