After months of anticipation the FIFA Soccer World Cup begins. It is Tuesday 14 June and the hosts open the competition against Saudi Arabia. It is the start of a drawn out campaign that causes the England fans to falsely think that the “Cup” is coming home. As it happens the only cup that returned apart from … for God’s sake … good old English pride, was basically a hiccup! Oddly the cup is not a cup, but in fact a trophy. Perhaps they should rename the competition “The World Trophy”, but that doesn’t sound quite right. As a bit of trivia when Spain won in 2010, the “Trophy” was engraved 2010 Spain … in english, not spanish!
Although it is still early days … as my foot is still bad we decide to extend the trip back to La Marina Alta and do the drive in 3 days instead of 2. This is because Sarah will need to drive the whole way and we do not want to leave too early each day as we need to capture the early morning business time slot with Australia. Most of the return route will mirror the journey up, except we won’t be going back to Le Peyrail in France any time soon …! There are still 4-5 weeks yet until we leave, but it is the start of the high season and ferries and hotels will start to fill up.
The surprise change in the english weather from grey to very hot and sunny is not helping my foot. The ankle remains puffy, almost invisible. Again it throbbed in the night. So I decide to ensure that I don’t put any weight on it today. It’s not easy. It means using both crutches just to cross the room. It’s innately frustrating not being able to just get up and fetch something. It is a lesson in gratitude for good health and I sympathise with my Mum who has 2 swollen feet and mostly confined to bed. Perhaps it’s the universe telling me that I shouldn’t run any more. I don’t bloody know! In comparison I am in a bad way, but it pales into insignificance when I think of how my 80 year young Mum is coping. I wander outside for 5 minutes for fresh air and sanity. No chance of rushing to the phone. I can’t carry stuff as both hands are on the crutches and my arms locked in the clasps.
By Saturday I sense that the swelling in my foot has gone down. Despite that, I am still sliding down the stairs on my bottom. It has been a long time since I did that. Bump, slide, bump. Going upstairs I grasp the banister tightly and heave my leg up. Sometimes I use a crutch, but I get half way…totter on the brink of falling, sway and fall against the wall. I can’t bend my foot and on the few occasions that my foot catches the step, a pain shoots up my leg like a hot iron. The weekend passes. I have lunch with Mum and Kim at the Boathouse in Christchurch. Monday is a restless night. The pain in my ankle is as bad as it was 8 days ago.
By Tuesday it is very painful. In the end I am persuaded to go back to A&E. I don’t want to go. The thought of all that mindless waiting is not encouraging me, but the pain forces me to get back in the car. Sarah drops me at the A&E entrance. I shuffle out of the car, juggling crutches. They seem to have a magnetic pull to the hospital and point up towards the sky. I need to sort myself out. I lean back against the car to steady myself and close the passenger door. But Sarah pulls away before I am ready and I move with the car, sliding, nearly going arse over tit. Am I, is anyone, surprised!? Always in a hurry, always 10 miles ahead of everyone else. The waiting room is half full, or is it half empty? I anticipate another long wait. It is 4:45pm.
I go into Triage about an hour later. The Nurse takes notes and I return to the waiting room … to wait.
6:50pm and the Doctor calls me. This time the 10-year-old must be doing her homework. In her place a middle-aged indian gentleman smiles sympathetically and I hobble forward.
I am bombarded with questions. More questions. Further questions. It’s like he is trying to picture himself sat in the middle of my foot. It feels like he is! He doesn’t like the look of the swelling and starts to squeeze various parts of my ankle. As he does this I am asked if it hurts. No. There … no. There … no. There … f*ck, f*ck … yes! There … no … and back there? Ahhh …yes, yes, bloody yes I already told you!!!
He studies the x-ray from my previous visit. Apparently I should have been given some ankle and foot exercises to do. The young doctor obviously had not covered this off in her training or indeed learned how to prescribe painkillers. I now have some drugs to relieve the pain and I end up with more hospital assets. This time a black boot and a referral to a specialist. It could be a tissue fracture that the x-ray can’t reveal. Using my crutches I walk out of the hospital. Well I loosely say walk. Like the crutches there is a knack to walking with an orthopedic boot. It becomes easy eventually, but in the interim I walk as if dragging a log behind me.
On Wednesday we have an outing with Deidre to Wimborne St Giles. Just a chance to see the location for the wedding. On the way back we stop at the Horton Inn for a spot of lunch. Another old haunt from my youth.
Its entertainment week. Another lunch at the Boathouse. This time with Kelly Lucas. Sarah and I both know Kelly from the Portman where we worked. I recruited her during a merger crisis as I remember, but she became friendly with Sarah before we got together and has remained in touch all the time we have been away, exchanging letters when we were in New Zealand and later on through Facebook.
The week like me, hobbles towards the weekend. Tomorrow another event that has been long, long in the planning. The marriage of Mr Richard Peter Watt and Miss Lily Elizabeth Rose …
Until next time 🌏