More Bones

Travelling has added more opportunities to view foreign emergency departments. My least favourite was the crowded Richmond Hospital, London, after I fell down a marble step onto a marble floor at Hampton Court. The result was a broken right ankle which wasn’t diagnosed until I ‘d hobbled on it for a week. At least, the cane and bandage gave me the occasional underground seat and I saved a euro in the ladies at Harrods where handicapped people can pee for free. Something to remember when you visit that store.

My favourite waiting room was in Ireland after I had hit my left knuckles on the side of a bus. It really happened and was very painful. At a hospital north of Donegal, I was amazed to enter a completely empty waiting room. As a foreigner, I paid 100 euros but everything was included and Doctor Joe was lovely. I was diagnosed with the boxer’s fracture and fitted with a brace. This caused trouble in Frankfurt Airport after an officious security official told me to take it off.When I refused, I didn’t get a mere pat down; it was more of a slap down.

I did other things like falling at Stockholm airport and taking down a helpful Australian with me and later slipping beside a train which was inside a ferry. And I managed to badly bruise a big toe in Copenhagen. I think it was the other big toe that I broke at the Honolulu airport by tripping over a suitcase. I finished that trip in pain and in a wheelchair. On our latest journey to Spain and Portugal I disappointed my Canadian family by not injuring any part of my body despite walking throughout Alhambra with its multiple levels and uneven steps.

Currently, I am nursing a broken left wrist which got me started on this whole topic of bones. I did a face plant on the road in Gisborne, New Zealand outside our house. I broke my nose, my wrist, a rib and scraped skin from my elbow and knee. Everything mended okay except the wrist with its displaced bone. After four casts and a truly horrendous episode of manipulation, my wrist is still not right. Nerve damage caused pain inside and outside the cast and bent several fingers. I am having hand therapy at the vast, new Oakville Hospital. The function of the wrist will improve but its movement will be compromised.

A little story before I end. In Gisborne, everyone asked what had happened to my arm, and especially at the fracture clinics. I was seated beside a very large Maori guy who had a broken bone and cut tendons from an argument with a window. He wanted to know what I’d done. When I admitted to tripping on the road, he asked.’ Were you pissed?’ I was equally amused and indignant. ‘Of course not It was four in the afternoon.’ He just raised an eyebrow.