Wednesday, 15 June 2016

A Bump in the Road

As I type this, slowly and rather halfheartedly, I should be lying on a sun lounger, engrossed in a cheesy romance novel, dipping my perfectly painted toes in a swimming pool, eating paella and attempting to string together Spanish words (potentially all at the same time, but unlikely). Instead, I am sitting on my sofa, in Britain, sweating my way through this rainforest weather, wondering when this throbbing pain in my finger will stop.

Yes friends, 'Accident Prone Eleanor' has struck again. Quite spectacularly, if I may say so myself.

The first Saturday of June started tremendously well; my car passed its mini health check with flying colours (and the guy even discounted me a whole ninety pence so that was exciting), I then spent three hours sitting in a hair salon getting blonde highlights put in my hair... Only for disaster to strike fifteen minutes after hair flipping my way home.

Eleven days ago I had zilch idea what a tendon was, but today, I not only know what they are, but also that they hurt like a biatch if you accidentally cut through them with a sharp knife. That's the most un-grusome way of saying, "I was trying to remove the pit from an avocado and the knife slipped". My left index finger never saw what was coming.

I spent four hours in A&E on that Saturday afternoon, sobbing on my mum's shoulder like a real adult does. After plenty of poking, prodding and bleeding (on my part), the nurses told me that I'd need to be referred to a specialist plastic surgery hospital so they could properly check out the damage I'd done. So the next day, my parents and I travelled almost two hours to East Grinstead for more poking, more prodding and ultimately, a five hour wait for reconstructive surgery.

Even now, I can't say I ever envisioned spending a Sunday evening lying on an operating table, while a renowned plastic surgeon stitched one of my tendons back together (with just a tiny part of my hand anaesthetised). As I was awake for all of this, the surgeon generously offered to give me a tour of the inside of my hand; but needless to say, I declined. I may've been running off adrenaline for the full seventy-five minutes, but I'm not sure my stomach could've withstood such a sight... (And shout out to the other member of staff in the theatre who held my good other hand while this all went down; I feel we're now bonded for life).

A week and a half later, I'm one-hand down and slowly losing my patience. I was in the beastly post-surgery plaster cast with strict "do not move your fingers at all" instructions for three days until an Occupational Therapist cut me out and replaced it with a not-at-all fetching hand splint and new instructions to use my left hand only to do a bunch of physiotherapy excercises four times a day for the next four weeks to get the tendon back in working order. (This also meant I was unable to fly out to Alicante this weekend for my two week trip to EspaƱa).

I'm not entirely sure what happens after the first four weeks are up; but I do know that I can't drive until week nine and that even though tendons generally return to 'full strength' after twelve weeks, the stitches are permanent. So for the next three months I'm taking baths with one hand dangling over the side of the tub, awkwardly shimmying into skinny jeans, cutting all my food up into cubes before I can eat it and trying not to tell gawking strangers in the street that severed tendons aren't contagious.

And the worst part of all this? I still really crave avocado.
~ Eleanor xo


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