Injury stops blog – now I know what it’s like for an athlete

IMG-20151014-00278Firstly, in no way would I call myself an athlete.  I would like to be – even at my advanced age – but my realistic side says it’s never going to happen.

That’s why, when I knew I was going to have to have foot surgery, I didn’t worry unduly.  I wasn’t that bothered that I wouldn’t be able to move properly for 6-8 weeks.  A legitimate chance to be lazy, I thought.

Wow.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Three weeks ago I had surgery – I’ll spare you the details – on my foot.  Enter crutches, pain, rattling from taking so many pills and seven days of self-administered injections.  For three days I wasn’t allowed to go further than the bathroom.  But as it happens, I didn’t really want to as I was in so much pain I couldn’t even put my heel down to walk with the crutches so I had to hop everywhere.  No-one at the hospital had said anything about hopping.

So I wasn’t prepared for hopping – causing my “well” leg to ache like hell.  Neither was I prepared for the strain on my shoulders hoisting myself upstairs on my bottom to get to bed.  My hands and arms also ache from the crutches.

But this is nothing to the boredom!  During the first week I read four books.  But after that, I wanted to get out and about and not being allowed to has driven me to distraction.

And, going back to my original point about being an athlete, I miss my thrice-weekly bout at the gym.  I miss my 12k steps a day.  I don’t drive, so I walk a lot, and not being able to is incredibly frustrating.

I’ve not even been able to write.  And I know if I can’t write, it must be serious.  Can’t concentrate, focus, think or do anything helpful!

Now I have experienced it, I have a different view of sporting injuries.  There are times when I’ve seen a premier league player limp off the pitch, that I’ve thought – “he’ll be happy, he’ll still be being paid without having to do anything.”  Now, I think anyone whose living (and therefore, hopefully, passion) revolves around sport, must be absolutely gutted by any time they have to spend on the sidelines.  I can only imagine the frustration suffered by any elite athlete with an injury.

As an Ipswich Town fan, I was sad to see Tyrone Mings sign for Bournemouth in the close season.  But I was absolutely distraught for him when an injury early on put him out for the rest of the season.  He must have been so excited about playing in the Premier League, and would have been itching to get involved.  To have this snatched away at such an early stage must have been devastating.  I hope he’ll be back better than ever next season.

So, three weeks in and the foot is improving.  Two rather impressive scars, but no more dressings and the stitches are out.  Still on the crutches, but at least I can now leave the house and have a totter down the road.

It has taken quite a lot for me to be able to get to this stage to write about it.  It has had a profound effect on me, both physically and mentally.  But, like Tyrone Mings, Steven Finn, Laura Robson, and anyone else who has ever had an injury that has put them out of action for a while, I will be doing everything I can to get back to fitness.  Now my foot has finally been operated on, I’m toying with the idea of getting into running – but that’s easy for me to say when I’m sitting here with my leg up on the sofa, unable to even walk for any length of time!

I’d like to thank all at Loughborough Hospital for their outstanding care and my husband Michael, who has run around after me without so much as a murmur, even when I’ve vented my anger and frustration most unreasonably at him.

Hopefully I’ll be back in blogging harness soon.  I am aware that I have part two of my resources for people interested or involved in women’s sport to write.  Watch this space!

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