When you suffer with arthritis, the one thing you dread more than anything else is a fall. All right, so it’s the one thing I dread. You might have other horrors which preoccupy you.
Y’see, your joints are already on the way to the scrapyard, so if you fall and injure yourself, you’re just going to do even more damage. With that in mind, I’m careful going up and down stairs, walking on ice and snow, crossing the kitchen floor after the missus has done mopping it.
But I never thought about the garden.
Backtrack two weeks, and Joe, our crackpot Jack Russell was in an out of the garden all day, and every time he came in, he dragged a field of mud with him. So we set about laying bark chippings on the worst of the mud. We’ve done it before and as a temporary solution, it’ll do until the drier weather comes and we can re-seed the grass.
Our garden slopes towards the house. I’m coming back that way when I slipped on a mudslide and went down. My right leg shot out at an angle, the world spun crazily above me, my foot twisted and bang went my ankle.
You can watch a summary of it below.
After a screaming fit which had the neighbours complaining about my language (again), I hobbled into the house and stripped off my mud-soaked clothes in the kitchen. This brought a fresh howl of complaint from the neighbours who had their binoculars, cameras, sound booms, etc. trained on the bedroom.
After telling them to get their kicks elsewhere before I kicked them, I examined the busted ankle. Nothing broken. A bad sprain. I wouldn’t be kicking anyone for a while.
But it was on my right foot which, from an arthritis point of view, is the worst one. By the time I’d had a calming cuppa and a calming cigarette (I’ve always been able to prioritise) the pain was already making its way up my leg to my knee.
Twenty-four hours on, the ankle felt quite strong. It could bear my weight, but the strain on my right leg was intolerable.
Two weeks on, it’s getting better, but I’m still limping like Long John Silver minus parrot. Mind, it didn’t help when Her Indoors rattled it with a supermarket trolley cos she was not watching where she was going. The air turned blue and that’s another supermarket I’m banned from.
I pass a lot of time with my foot raised, but the ligaments and other gubbins in there, and especially my knee are throbbing. If I could get other appendages to throb like that… well, I don’t need to draw you a diagram, do I?
The leg needs a lot of support. A bit like Oldham Athletic, but without the noise. As I write, I’m wearing an elastic stocking from foot to above the knee. And I’m sorry guys, but there are no suspenders or frilly knickers attached to the stocking.
I gave up wearing them after finally admitting that the pair the missus found in my pocket were not mine. I was looking after them for my mate Jim’s wife.