Monday, 29 August 2011

The end of the season: Adjustment

Nice addition to the tattoo, and getting stitches out hurts.
So, home. How's it been?

Hard, to tell you the truth. The first few days, as I adjusted to doing everything on my own, the toilet being (at first) a good five-ten minutes away by crutch, nearly falling down the stairs a few times, and eating most of my meals at the kitchen worktop because carrying my plate was impossible, were definitely the hardest. I slept a lot. I could manage about twenty minutes of activity before I became physically and mentally exhausted, and as I came off the last of the tramadol and morphine, I was on a bit of a downer to say the least. 

You really do get a sense of how much of a privilege it is to have full operation over all your limbs when that operation is taken away. When you can only carry one cup, one plate at a time (and then really slowly, because your gait is buggered and you spill), or when you stand and battle with a heavy door into a shop for several minutes because the shop assistant is a cheeky bastard who thinks it's funny and you can't operate the door, two crutches and a bag all at once, you get a realisation how how lucky you have it the 99.9999% of your life where you've not needed walking aids. Not that I'm pretending to understand AT ALL what it's like to be permanently disabled (this is bugger-all in the grand scheme of things) but yeah, a new appreciation has been granted. 

I had the best nurse ever, the woman had VISION
I was just getting used to this new routine (being off work's been weird too), when I got another smack in the chops. At 4am on Sunday morning, I was woken up by a phone call. It was the police, asking me if I knew where my motorcycle was? Of course, when the police ask you something like that you know that the correct answer what you thought it was, and so it proved. Someone had wheeled it down the drive, smashed the dash on it, cracked the ignition and taken it off round the block. My pride and joy, ruined for some drunken fun. 


I like to think that I'm a pretty positive person. I make mistakes, poor judgements, bad decisions. Sometimes it feels like I take a bigger hit for those poor decisions that other people might, but I refuse to give in to cynicism and bitterness. Since I started this blog (maybe it's YOUR fault,!) my life's been, well, tough. Physically, emotionally, socially, mentally (that's the four pillars of health according to my lesson plans), but I've always tried not to let it get to me. I haven't cried once this year (actually, that's a bit worrying), and on the whole I like to think I'm not too much of a whiny fucker to be around. 

Sunday morning, I lost my sense of humour. I lay in bed, having slept for about four hours (in two lots of two hours). I was in real pain from my leg. My hands hurt where the crutches had impacted into my wrists. My precious motorcycle was lost to a police lockup, with an unknown amount of damage wreaked on it. People had been less than 2 metres from where I sleep (in the converted garage downstairs remember, no front door between my bedroom and the elements, just some sliding glass doors and a blind), who had malicious intent on me and my stuff. (they must have scouted the place earlier, which made me want to throw up a little). I felt so sore, so alone, just....just fucking sad, really. Sad that this had happened. Sad that I couldn't seem to catch any kind of break. I was tempted to just lie in bed all day and flip the bird to the world. I felt like giving up. 

I didn't though. I got out of bed. I posted about my woes on the Urban75 message board (where I've been a member since 2004), and someone posted if they could be annoying and ask if I'd learned anything from the experience?

I thought my reply was worth putting here.

"I read this (your post) last night and gave it some thought over today. Today, I phoned the police and insurance companies, drove out to the lockup where the bike's been kept, took photos of the damage, went to the hospital, got my stitches out, got a new cast put on, went to work, picked up my exam marking and laptop so I could write reports, went to the bike garage, got a rough quote for the repairs to the bike, came home, lodged my insurance claim, and made my dinner. All on crutches and in a fair amount of pain.

I'm of the opinion that when all is said and done I am pretty fucking unstoppable. I'm pretty incapacitated, getting very little to no help, dealing with all this shit and managing not to have a breakdown. This year I've broken a bone in my hand, been knocked out, been in a car accident, split up with the man I thought I was going to have kids with, broken my ankle, been punched at work, wrestled with issues about my sexuality, and just GOT THE FUCK ON WITH IT. It's making me realise that, to be perfectly honest, I don't actually NEED anyone in my life. "Want"? Yeah, sure if they can keep up. But "need"? I think I can handle life on my own just fine, thanks :cool:

For context, the original thread was all about relationships and dating, hence the bit at the end. It's true though, that's been the main thing I've learned from this. I am pretty damn resourceful when I need to be. I can and will thrive,l regardless of what happens to me. I'm not reliant on other people for support or validation. I can look back on a day like today and know that I managed to do it all and still crack jokes with the nurse at the clinic, and thank the guy at the petrol station for serving me. 

Right now, I'm sore and waiting for the painkillers to kick in. I'm still jumpy at noises outside, and sleep is not going to come easy. Tomorrow I have to wrestle again with insurance companies (the bike incident looks like it might cost me about a grand if I'm very unlucky), the police, ACC, the marking and the reports. But I'll get through it, because the alternative just sucks too hard to even contemplate. 

The doctor said I could go to the gym from tomorrow, as long as I was careful. I think I might just do that.Because I am fucking unstoppable.

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