I’m on an, enforced, hiatus from my blog. On the 7th of this month I was heading into the city to get some Euros and buy a couple of last minute things for the Barcelona trip. I parked up near Chorlton tram station. It’s Autumn. Leaves are falling. We get annoyed when the train companies cancel trains due to ‘leaves on the line.’ They now have my sympathy. I was crossing a damp pavement, in new shoes with perfect tread, and my feet went from under me and, before I knew it, I was on the ground.

No pain but looking down my leg and the weird angle my foot was at to it, told me that things weren’t OK. Two guys from a local car workshop heard me shouting and came. They called the ambulance and I was taken off to Wythenshawe Hospital. I’d obviously dislocated my ankle. People complain about our health service but I couldn’t fault it. I was in the resus dept in minutes and being seen to. A young looking doctor said ‘you can say ‘No’ as I’ve never put a dislocated ankle back in place before but I’d appreciate it if you would let me do yours.’ A more qualified doctor was on hand to watch and advise. It’s seems a dislocated ankle is either rare or fun to watch and I gathered quite an audience to see the procedure including the two paramedics who brought me in. I was, by now, high on gas and air. I heard myself say ‘They’ve broken out the good stuff now!’ The young doctor went to work. At first there was no pain, but, as the ankle slipped back into position no amount of gas and air was going to shield me from that. The second doctor found himself firmly gripped and I suspect he may have suffered bruising. I think I may have assaulted a National Health Service employee!

X-Ray revealed two fractures and the following day I had an op. My ankle is full of plates and screws and I’m dragging a huge weight around on the leg. The surgeon declared she was happy. Doctors never say stuff like that unless they really mean it. The anaesthetist gave me the impression that I would be lucky to wake up at all. As it was I woke up in a recovery room with a wall of luridly coloured landscapes and thought that was what heaven, or the other place, looked like.

The next morning they had me up on my feet getting about on crutches. I wasn’t brilliant and they tried me on a Zimmer frame, the kind you see be very old people using, and decided I was having one of them. I blame the drugs. No way was that Zimmer frame coming home with me! I’m 50 years away from that as far as I’m concerned! I got them to come back the next day and convinced them I was a lot better, and cooler, on crutches. 

I got out last Wednesday. I was in a little room with an interesting guy called Duncan. Duncan has an infection in his foot, a bad one. He has no idea where he got it from, the most exotic place he’s been recently is Wales! He’d had an op and they were washing the wound through with a constant drip of antibiotics. He has an office job in Warrington but also helps run a well thought of tattoo parlour in Manchester and is a musician. We were in there together, two guys used to doing stuff for ourselves suddenly having to rely on everyone else for the simplest thing. That’s difficult for a guy. We did a lot of talking and I got to see, those hospitals gowns are totally inadequate, all his tattoos and good much more besides. No doubt he saw more of me than I’d usually show a guy on such a short relationship. But being in a place like that you soon develop an intimacy that might take months or years outside. I escaped first but, hopefully, Duncan, won’t have been far behind me. When we are both back to normal I’m going to one of his concerts. In the meantime here’s some of his music. He does have a great voice.

So I’m home and my world has telescoped to my bedroom and the adjoining bathroom for the moment. Travels are well and truely restricted. And the Barcelona trip had to be postponed of course. Next week I go back to the hospital to have my ankle looked at. I’m hoping this restrictive cast is taken off and they give me a cool Moon Boot thing so I can walk again.

So no travels and no pictures so my blog will be on a hiatus for a while. Cheers for bearing with me.

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