Facing my fears

ok, so those who know me know that a few years back I had a fairly awful accident which caused a lot of pain and work, recently there’s been snow and ice down here and this has been a real growing moment for me.

For those who don’t know, I was in Paris on holiday for Xmas, I feel at the time it was a kind of make or break holiday for the person I was with at the time, I had covered the bills of our life for over 2 years and this was his “thank you” to me.

I love Paris, always have and despite everything, I always will. My parents were also there for Xmas so it seemed like a wonderful idea and for that matter a well needed rest. There was a light dusting of snow in the Uk when we flew out but I wasn’t too worried, I mean, what was to be worried about?

Anyway, fast forward to actual christmas day, we had planned another day exploring then meeting my parents at the Eiffel tower and then off for dinner. Unfortunately, this happened but what happened certainly did not go to plan.

As we were walking around Paris on that day, the temp had dropped and there was a large amount of ice laying in wait.

 

So, we arrived all together at the Eiffel Tower, we came up via Trocadero, which is still to this day, one of the best ways to come across the tower as far as i’m concerned! We were wandering through the markets and over the bridge to the Tower itself, waiting for the lightshow, unfortunately, as we were walking towards the beautiful tower, I managed to fall, slip and twist all in one motion, as I fell I felt a pop in my knee and pain like I have never before experienced.

Thankfully, my mum had her walking stick back in the hotel and my dad was sent to get it, whilst myself and mum and ex tried to get me as close to a metro as possible. My leg almost instantly swelled and I could put no pressure through it. Now i’ve known knee pain before but this was just unreal. Not wanting to ruin Christmas, we made our way to the restaurant we had booked into for dinner……which was closed. We sat and debated what to do next and we eventually decided to just get something and start pumping me full of wine (well, that was my decision, im not sure what everyone else thought). We ended up in a restaurant just over the road from Gare Du Nord and I’m happy to say, I drank so much red wine, I have literally no idea what (if) I ate.

As we left the restaurant, I had already decided to take a taxi back to our hotel as the walk/public transport was just not an option. I can remember the ex moaning that it would cost a fortune and I can also remember thinking that I would have paid ANYTHING to get home and not be in pain…….in actual fact it cost less than a tenner, for a taxi, on xmas day, across a capital city – not bad if i do say so!

Waking up on boxing day was horrific, not only did my leg hurt (and had swelled so much I could only wear my fat jeans) but also my head from too much wine and also, my wonderful companion spent the first 2 -3 hours of me being awake, telling me I had “ruined his holiday” and to use my money to get him a flight home, as i’d caused so much of an issue. In tears and feeling pain I asked him for help to get to the (thankfully open) pharmacy over the road, and was pretty much told to do it myself, which I did, slowly and in a lot of pain, with tears rolling down my face, I can remember the concern of the lady in the pharmacy when I simply asked for the strongest painkiller I could find, she recommended seeing a doctor but having no travel insurance (yeah, that’s never happening again, get travel insurance kids, otherwise this could happen to you) I declined and took my nurofen like a good girl. My mum and dad were brilliant, my dad taking the man off to explore and leaving me and my mum sitting in a Mcdonalds on the street corner as I couldn’t walk any further.

I was lucky that we were due to leave the next day and therefore would be home in the Uk ASAP.

Unfortunately the weather had other ideas.

We were trapped at Paris airport for 2.5 days waiting to travel, which is never fun but my knee was by this point merely a part of the hatred I felt for that holiday, once my parents left I was alone and stranded with a selfish person whose main concern was the fact I had been such a bitch to do this to him.

When we arrived back in the UK, and I got to the hospital for tests, I was told this probably wouldn’t be much but they would do X-rays/MRI and other checks before worrying me unduly. The tests were done and sure enough, a keyhole surgery was recommended. This duly occured and then the real news was given to me, I had snapped the cruciate ligament, torn the anterior ligament, crushed some tendons, broken some cartilage and when the doctor showed me the pictures they had taken his words were “this is the worst knee i’ve ever seen”.

It was decided I would need an ACL reconstruction, which was daunting but would improve the strength in my knee and make life easier. I had this and in total had 6 months off work, months of physio and I developed a crippling fear towards rain and snow, I kept having nightmares where I felt it happen again, where I didn’t dare get out of bed in case when I went to stand I would have lost the support. My closest living friend had a key, and she was simply amazing, coming over to check on me, getting shopping, listening to me moan etc. I will never be able to repay her, or my family for the support and love they showed me, made me feel very special overall.

During this time I also split with the guy who this occured with, I realised I wasn’t going to get any help from him when I asked him to climb up 3 steps and change the main bulb in our living room and was told “nah, you do it”. So I did! I still remember getting a very angry call from my brother telling me off for being so foolish to climb a ladder with a crutch but it needed to be done……I understand where my bro was coming from but what would you do? Sit in the dark? Anyway, he was trying to make me feel guilty and sad for him but after the first op, I was glad he was gone, I needed to be by myself, to do things for myself and to not be worrying about looking after a grown toddler. I feel so much freer now it’s unbelievable, just a shame I have this scar and issues to remember him by!

Anyway, as I was having so many issues with nightmares and the weather, I went to my doctor, who prescribed me with anti-depressants and also recommended some therapy, as he felt I had PTSD (a diagnosis I am reticent to repeat, I mean, it was only a fall for cripes sake) and would need some kind of help overcoming this. I can remember feeling brave one morning on my way to physio as it was raining and I still went outside…..my dad had already offered to come and support me but I knew I needed to do this alone and grow a pair as it were. Unfortunately that was the day Bournemouth had serious flash floods…..yeah, not ideal but a great way to face your fears!!

bournemouth flodds

This is Bournemouth Gardens, but this is how Bournemouth looked for the day, which was not fun to come out of physio to.

So after a few months of therapy and medication, I felt more secure. Still scared of snow but hey, it almost never snows in Dorset right?

Well, that was true for over 5 years so that’s pretty good right? I know every year we get the threat but it’s only ever really been that or a really light dusting, which scares me but is dealable with. Last week however was a new high of terror for me.

I woke up on the Thursday and got ready for work as normal and it was only when I glanced out of the kitchen window that I crumbled. There was snow, and ice, everywhere…….ok, not everywhere, there was smatterings but the sky hinted of more to come. I was stood in the kitchen crying and panicking when my wonderful boyfriend walked in, held me, kissed me and offered to walk me in. I declined as it seemed babyish but did promise to come home if it got worse (I only live about 5 mins from the office so all good really). My boss was brilliant as he knew about my fear and kept saying I could go as the snow fell throughout the day, he even offered to send someone with me to walk me home. I eventually left at 3 which meant I got home, via a shop before everything went mental.

Here’s a photo of me in the snow, I don’t think I look as terrified as I feel which is another excellent example of not believing everything you see……

snowselfie

So, that was Thursday, the snow got progressively worse and deeper but as I was home, I was safe and so longs as the man got home safe, that was all I was worried about. About 8pm, the freezing rain happened.

I didn’t get any good shots of the ice/frozen area as when I woke up on Friday, I was too scared to go anywhere. Both my lovely man and my dad offered to come and help me but again, i didn’t want that, I dont want to be constantly relying on other people…..it’s just not practical. Again, the boss was brilliant and telling me to stay home but I knew there was a report only I can do, and that is always done on a Friday so the drivers have things to actually follow on the weekend…….this still needed to be done and to avoid more stress (not from my boss, but from my own mind) I decided to slowly, walk to work, with my stick and just do the report, turn round and go home again.

I left my house as normal slowly with the stick and almost instantly slipped, which scared me and again, I felt another panic attack brewing. This is just silly, I mean, it’s only water, cold water but water nonetheless. I had to do this, both for myself but also to prove that despite everything, I will always get up and try again.

Overall it took me 35 mins to get to the bridge I go over to get to the office, I had to keep stopping when I felt my feet slipping and I know by the time I reached the bus station, there were tears all over my face and I was hyperventilating. I was so lucky as I saw one of the local homeless guys I feed, Lee. He asked if I was ok (while countless others just walked past with no concern at all) and although I said I was, he replied with a really lovely thing “it’s the first time i’ve seen you not smiling, so something is most definitely wrong”…..this made me cry again as I feel such a loser, I mean, who gets scared to the point of tears of snow? but I got us a coffee each and he walked me to work. Not gonna lie, without him not sure what I would have done as I was too scared to keep going or retreat! He got me to work and also helped show that karma can be positive as well as negative. I’m not saying he wouldn’t have helped someone else in the same circumstances but to know he was helping me as i’ve helped him made itso worthwhile!

These are from my walk home….the ice covering the deep snow was scary but also weirdly fun, I felt stronger knowing that I had my stick and just took my time.

I know it seems pathetic to be so affected by this but I honestly do feel that, although I dont want it to snow again anytime soon, I know I can do it. Walking back to my house was still scary on Friday but there was a sense of achievement, I have fought back and it wasn’t glam or classy. but it was me, very scrappy and the way I handle life. I am pleased that I did it, and pleased that I live where I live as this may hopefully be a very rare event! I am also so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family, I lost count of the amount of people who showed love and concern for me, people who I haven’t even met in the flesh messaging me with support or offers of help, it really blew me away.

If you were one of those who supported me, thank you, you’ll never understand how your messages and comments made me feel safer and loved and i’ll never be able to help people in the same way but it was invaluable.

If you were affected by the snow, I’m sorry, I hope things have become easier now and please remember, you are not alone. Am always happy to offer support if anyone needs it, trust me, you might feel alone, or foolish, but you really aren’t.

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Facing my fears

    1. Thank you, I’m actually fairly grateful it happened (weird though that sounds) it made me change a lot in my life and also believe in myself more…..it’s what prompted me to start doing stupid things for charity every year – skydive, walking on hot coals, zip lining, colour runs) all to prove I can, despite everything. Thank you for reading though, means a lot 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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