Tuesday, 7 December 2010


I drove home from school a few days ago, my head throbbing. Not only did my head throb from teaching all day but my foot was crying out in defeat too. Last week, after another long day at school, I’d arrived home at 6.30, removed from the fridge items that were to be, in twenty minutes, a delicious, nutritious meal for my family and arranged them on the kitchen counter whilst giving instructions to Hubby as to what I anticipated the final dish to be. I then ran upstairs, changed into my keep-fit gear, ran back downstairs, kissed everyone, got in the car and drove the very short distance to the gym. Running late for my BodyMax class, I stumbled down the precipitous stairs to the dance room and landed in a howling heap, at the bottom.
My roars could be heard from upstairs and within seconds the proprietors of the gym were upon me, issuing me not only with ice but advice. My fellow gym mates, alarmed at the noise at the bottom of the stairs, also ran to see who was making such a racket. They were all talking to me at once and, not wanting to be rude, I tried, valiantly to describe what I was feeling.
Was it broken? No, I smiled reassuringly through gritted teeth. Could I stand? Just give me a minute, I wanted to scream. Just leave me alone to concentrate on the pain. Like when in labour, one does not want to be lambasted by 20 questions but to get on with the job of trying not to die from the pain. That takes concentration.
“It just bloody hurts”, I wanted to shout, “Leave me alone”. But no, they got me to my feet. I felt terribly pale but it was bearable. I was able to walk. I might be able to do the class after all I thought. I stepped gingerly into the weights cupboard and chose my usual kilos and then I stepped oh, so gingerly into the dance room, set up my aerobic step and then thought, ‘What the hell are you doing Alice?’ A weird and alarming vein was bulging over the trainer on my right foot. It was time to go home.
I made my apologies graciously to the others more intent on squatting rhythmically with a bell bar over their shoulders, went slowly back up the stairs, bought milk from Sainsbury’s on the way back to the car and drove home.
By the time I reached the sofa and Hubby had tenderly removed my trainer, I was a funny colour. “I’ll get you a glass of wine”, he said.
An hour and the best part of a bottle of Pinot later and I was feeling much better. My foot had been elevated and the edge had been taken off the pain. I went to bed. At some point in the middle of the night, I needed the loo. I went to the bathroom but on my way back that morbid feeling when one is about to faint overwhelmed me and I fell to the floor with a thump. Hubby was by my side in seconds and heaved me back onto my side of the bed. I clutched the duvet like a man drowning. The rest of night passed restlessly. I could hardly bear an inch of duvet cover resting on my foot let alone the full on tog rating.
By the time dawn broke, I was more tired than I’d been when I got into bed. I stepped onto the carpet and a searing pain ran up my leg, “Yeoaw”, I yelped. Calls were made and within half an hour, Mags was in the building.
“C’mon”, she instructed formidably, “I’m taking you to hospital”. We drove to Liskeard where she found me a wheel-chair, and wheeled me into the waiting room. It was still very early. The x-ray lady had yet to put in an appearance. I waited. I was x-rayed.
“It’s not broken but you’ve torn a ligament”. I breathed a sigh of relief. “Which is worse”, she added.
“I have to go to work Mags”, I said, “I must show willing”. She drove, her lips set in a very stern grimace. She dropped me off and I hobbled, now accessorized by very fetching crutches, into school. I barely made it to reception before I was ordered off the premises, “Health and safety”, said a very uncompromising fellow. Mags zoomed us both home in a fury.
I stayed put for three days. It bloody hurts but it is not a torn ligament. My attendance at the cenotaph on Sunday will attest to that.
My efforts at going to work this week have been further stymied by the adverse weather conditions. It took 3 ½ hours not to get there. Thank God for Prince William. Had he not got engaged this week we would not have a Royal Wedding to look forward to and without the promise of bunting and street parties and a day off in the Spring, I might have thrown the teacher training towel, well and truly, in.

No comments: