My wonderful family have been incredibly supportive since I had this accident, in the beginning doing all the cooking and washing and in general helping to keep my spirits up. In our family this generally means humour; when I first had the plate put in I had a lot of fun as I managed to convince them all it was magnetic. I got a fridge magnet and pretended it was stuck on my arm. ‘That’s really cool’ they decided. George then thought it would be funny to walk me past a scrap metal yard and see if I was attracted to the big magnets.
This was closely followed by my new nickname – Strike. Why Strike – well because I have got ten pins in my arm. My previous nickname was Tiny Tempah so I suppose it is an improvement.
Last week I was told I could swim again. The first time I went I was a little bit nervous of drowning despite previously having been a strong swimmer. ‘You won’t drown’ said George, ‘you’ll probably just go round in circles’.
For the last 9 days I have been every day for a swim and to do the exercises in the pool that the physio has given me. I have been arriving at 6am and have discovered a little gang of about 6 people who swim every morning at about this time. Like travelling on the tube there is no conversation, just the odd ‘ Cheerio’. The first time I got in with some trepidation and discovered that whilst my arm was very weak and not really going in the direction I wanted, I could pretty easily make it up and down the pool.
To begin with, I just did a couple of gentle lengths, enjoying the peace and the early morning quiet. Then my competitive side kicked in. I was being overtaken! I sped up a bit, but conscious of wanting to really push my arm forward, despite my best efforts I couldn’t quite keep up. In addition, every few lengths I was stopping to do my exercises which consist of letting my arm float up in front and to the side.
I know in my heart that no one else there could give a monkey’s what I was doing; they were each just doing their lengths before work or the school run, but to me it didn’t matter. I felt self conscious of my arm when I was swimming as it wasn’t anywhere near straight and odd when I was doing my exercises.
It was all I could do not to break the blissful silence by saying’ Just in case your wondering this forms part of my physio, I fractured my shoulder and am trying to get some movement back in my arm’.
Can you imagine.
They would have probably drowned me!