Six From Six!

 In Broken Ankle

Six weeks ago I had my leg operated on under local anaesthetic. I had my tibia and fibula bones plated, screwed and bolted, I had the tendons and ligaments in my foot reattached. I spent 2.5 hours under the knife, drill and hammer and was conscious for the duration. I couldn’t feel pain as such, but I could feel the pushing and pulling and hear the noise. Towards the end of the operation, I could feel pain, like my leg was on fire and they were zippering up the skin. I guess this was as they put the 44 staples in the two wounds and closed me up.

Brutal was one word that springs to mind, especially as I was expecting an easy general anaesthetic, to drift off to a death like experience of nothingness and then to come back with my foot reattached to my leg a few hours later. Instead, it was all fun and games, horrific as it was terrifying it was a lonely place on that operating table in Bourg with my arms stretched out and strapped down in a crucifix position.

I’ve compartmentalised it in my head, I can hardly remember the details now, the indentations in the ceiling tiles, the requests to be knocked out, telling them I was terrified. Apparently, it is better for the recovery to have a local, and I’ve spoken to a few people given similar treatment overseas. In the UK this only happens if they have to keep you awake, brain surgery and cesarian sections for example.

While the operation itself feels like a lifetime ago now, the six weeks since it happened have dragged. Everyone tells me it has flown by, but everyone hasn’t been sat around with their leg in the air administering daily Clexane injections and trying to keep the mind positive. Six weeks marks the halfway point in just part of my recovery. I have an appointment in two weeks to see if I can start to put weight on my foot, and then a month after that I should be able to take the boot off and start to walk normally, if everything has healed as it should.

Another six weeks of not driving, not riding my motorbike, not skateboarding, kiting or mountain biking seems like a lifetime. However, the reality is I won’t be doing those things for a lot longer than six weeks. All I really want to do is stand on my own two feet, have a normal shower, be able to walk on the beach and to the pub. Those are my six-week goals, the fun stuff will have to wait, but it’s nice to dream.

In another six weeks, it will be three months since that fateful day in Les Arcs, the day that felt weird right from the start and ended with a pretty average crash by MTB standards that just happened to result in me disconnecting my foot! I’m not sure at this stage when I’ll be back to normal if normal will ever be achievable even. I’ll be happy with 80%, but I’m aiming for 100% OK I’ll settle for 98%.

When I tore all the meniscus in my knee I was told I would suffer from arthritis and never run and be able to get full mobility out of it. Before the crash this summer, I was running further and faster than ever before. I was posting times on the MTB that were quicker than I’ve ever been, and my kiting was at a level higher than ever before. Yes my knee ached at times but it wasn’t holding me back. I’m aiming to get my ankle back to a similar standard. I’ll have to wait to find out if I can get back to those levels again, but that is certainly the goal, to be a better version of myself athletically and mentally than I ever was before.

Keep on improving, keep on learning, and keep on trying to be happy.

For more leg adventures and updates follow the Instagram account owned and run by my very own leg! 😉

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