Back blowing bubbles

Well I certainly spoke to soon!. The day after I wrote about having no set-backs my leg, the one I broke, started to swell up. There was no bruise or redness, just firmness around the area where I had broken my femur. It was 4 inches more in circumference than my right thigh. The doctor came to review the situation and asked me to “lift my leg” which annoyed me a little, but anyway it was considered that I may have had a blood clot. An injection was given to thin the blood. The following morning I was brought to Loughlinstown to undergo an extensive ultra sound to review the situation. The ultrasound did not detect a clot which was a relief. On returning to the NRH the doctor met me to explain the next step. It was now feared that the bone on the femur was continuing to grow outwards from the broken area. An x ray would reveal a case of what is called heterotopic ossification where calcium deposits on the joints and muscle tissue and can solidify forming new bone. If the calcium solidifies in my hips it would prevent the joint from functioning and would need to be surgically removed. Like many aspects of spinal cord injury, they do not know what the exact cause of this is, but I’m hoping they caught it early enough to prescribe the right medication so it does not become a serious issue.

In the last few weeks I have been getting out as much as possible. I have enjoyed a trip to the zoo where I decided my favourite animal is the penguin, not monkeys as I once thought! The day went incident free until the bus journey back to my rehab home! I was braked in securely in the wheel chair bay provided on the bus, the 46a to be precise. Everything was fine until the bus came to a sudden grinding hault. The chair lurched forward with the wheels sliding across the floor, and I was thrown forward in the chair! I landed on top of an elderly man who was sitting opposite me, with my head buried in his chest! As I was quite tired after my busy day and my upper body balance is not very good at the moment I remained stuck to the poor man’s chest and could not pull myself back in the chair. He was quite shocked and puzzled as to what to do! Fortunately Aine came to my aid and pulled me back off the unfortunate man! Apologising, I was repositioned back to my original spot. He reassured me it was fine and he wasn’t hurt, but he still looked a bit shocked! I can’t blame him really it’s not every day a disabled man in a wheelchair launches upon you. He jumped off at the next stop!

Last week I was lucky enough to get a chance to go scuba diving in the hospital pool. I was assisted into the pool as I am every week before my hydro therapy sessions. This time was different though, I was rediscovering the underwater world with limited mobility. The scuba unit was secured to my back as I hung onto the side rail. The regulator was placed in my mouth and with the mask tight around my face, I was ready to descend into the pool. I took my first breath and immediately I felt the same comfort I always had while under the water. Although, I had forgotten about the underwater silence. All I could hear were my deep breaths and then the long exhales as the bubble bounced away from my cheeks escaping to the surface. I was at peace again!


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