One of the aspects of breaking an ankle which you don’t realise until it happens to you is how much independence you lose. Breaking my ankle didn’t just mean I couldn’t run (incredibly frustrating though that aspect was). It also meant I couldn’t walk; couldn’t carry anything from place A to place B; couldn’t get from my house to anywhere, pretty much, without assistance, as I couldn’t get very far on crutches, couldn’t cycle and couldn’t drive. Simply fetching something from the other side of the room became a major, and painful, undertaking. If I’d left something upstairs and was alone in the house, I had to think seriously about how important it was, whether it was worth the expedition up the stairs and down again – and whether I would be able to carry it anyway.
By 10 weeks post-op, I was able to walk around the house, and even outside, without crutches, and with that increased mobility I gradually regained my ability to do things for myself. I could carry mugs, plates of food etc. across or between rooms without the laborious method of “lean down and place mug on the floor in front of you, use crutches to move past the mug, reach down and pick up the mug, turn and place it down in front of you… repeat until you arrive at your destination”. I could even walk, slowly and with one crutch for increased comfort, to the local supermarket and carry some items (not too many) back again in a small backpack.
I started being much more able to do my fair share of the household chores, from cooking to washing up, feeding the cat to hanging out the washing. And I’m very aware how much harder these last weeks would have been without my husband, and without my in-laws taking me to hospital appointments.
Three months post-op and I’ve finally been able to let my husband have a lie in on a Saturday morning. Ever since the day after the accident, he’s been driving me to Lloyd Park for 8am on Saturday for Lloyd parkrun, carried equipment and water bottles from the car to our registration area, sorted me out with chairs to sit on and rest my injured leg on… generally enabled me to continue in my Lloyd parkrun volunteering. He’s been wonderful, but it’s great that I can now get to the park and do everything I need to do without that extra help – and he can get an extra hour or two in bed!