Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Older, certainly no wiser though!

I've just turned another birthday older.  [36 - shhh!!]  Mixed feelings - really still don't feel like 'an adult' whatever that means.  Still enjoy celebrating my birthday with my friends; and this coming weekend I shall see my family too.  Not massively taken by the 36 thing - no longer in my mid thirties then!  Hey ho.  Anyway, due to my work I had to spend the morning until 2.15pm sitting in our accommodation blocks booking new students in and repeating the same info over and over again.  Truly joyous when it's sunny and lovely outside!!  [I'm well aware that sounds whingey but having done over 7 years in retail I've done my time working weekends and when the only weekend day of the entire year I have to work is my birthday...well frankly that's just insulting really.]  After this however we took a wee bike ride down to The Double Locks, a picturesque pub on the canal about 3ish miles down river from us.  We had a few bevvies, more people came, some left and soon enough it was time to head back up river to the second designated meeting spot of The Prospect on the quay.  Which is the point it went a little bit pear shaped for me.  I totally admit that this was entirely my own fault as well.  I will also at this juncture warn you that if you are a nervous disposition, or dislike the sight of blood scroll no further, or avert your eyes from the pictures.  This picture here i (it's ok it's safe!) is your last line if you like, with my injury-appropriate mug and sunny (and messy) back garden this morning it's your barrier between here and what lies beneath.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

Being newly aged [in my head the difference between 35 and 36 is fairly vast due to the aforementioned perceived leave taking of my mid-thirties] I guess maybe I was having a mini crisis moment, or possibly (and more likely if I'm honest) it was my natural 'why not try that' compulsion coupled with a couple of pints that led me to think as we left the 'Locks that it would be a good idea to pedal until I was going as fast as poss on the flat then pull a massive skid on the gravel. I think there was a certain amount of 'I never did this as a kid so why not do it now' going on as well.  What I missed out on by not doing it as a kid however is the small but vital piece of information that you don't suddenly jam both brakes on, oh no - just the back one as The Chap later informed me.  Oops!!  Bike and I came to an abrupt halt and fell over in as undignified way as possible with me ending up on the floor intimately entwined with said bike and covered in gravel dust and pine tree needles.  Hey ho - get up and dust yourself down, no worries.  As I turned to that chap I said to him 'That's gonna bruise' simultaneously patting my leg where the handlebars had clipped it a beauty.  Er - thinks I, that's wet - bring hand to level with face - my fingers are red.  Hmmmm....  that wasn't really the plan!!  Quick investigation reveals (remember my warning - I'm gonna make these pics small though) that I appear to have smacked into the handle bar with such force I've  ripped a big gash in my leg.  Which now has the underlying subcutaneous layer of fat coming out of it.  (Sorry - I really did warn you though.)  Also it's bleeding somewhat. 
Luckily one of our party is a trained nurse so she got the pub's first aid kit and stuck me back together with plasters and bandaged me up with strict instructions to get it sticky stripped back together properly in the morning.   Another friend took my bike back up the river path and we got a cab and all was ok.  Met further friends at The Prospect and took it easy until the fatal moment another friend (who shall remain nameless) forgot my injury and launched herself onto my lap.  Seconds after which I thought to myself - I can feel blood dripping down my leg now.  Quietly let The Chap know and skeddaddled into the ladies to check it out.  Yep - blood now dripped off me onto the floor all over the place; somewhat less clever than earlier.  The Chap had at this juncture unbeknownst to me dispatched another friend after me who in turn got the second qualified nurse in our party to come and have a look.  Long story short (though tbh this won't really cut the entire post by much at all) against my wishes (and without my knowledge) an ambulance was called and I was bundled off to A&E in it.  Tsk - pesky friends eh??!  [I don't mean that - they were great!!]
The ambulance peeps were fab, and suitably impressed at the amount of damge done considering my jeans hadn't even ripped.  They patched me up and got me safely delivered to the hospital where the staff there inspected me, cleaned me, left us sitting for so long I had to wrap myself in a blanket and stumble bare foot across the ward to use the toilet and could also take a pic much to the Chap's disapproval, then eventually got me seen by a doctor who injected the entire area inside and out with local anaesthetic and sewed me up.  Firstly 2 internal stitches then 8 external ones.  Which I found fascinating though the chap less so I feel - he kept telling me not to look away anyway!
So - I've now been signed off from work for the week and I can hardly stumble about the place (stairs are particularly troublesome).  I've been for the dressing to be changed yesterday and will be going again later today, then again on Thursday then in theory all being well to get the stitches removed on Saturday.  For now though I'm just entertaining myself by checking what colour my gargantuan bruised and swollen leg has got to so far. 
Moral of the story - it's the BACK brake only when you want to pull an impressive skid.  Must remember that for next year...
Edit: Went for the wound to be rederessed and this is what it now looks like.  Hmmm - did it good and proper didn't I?  'Proper job' as they say this end of the country!!!
PS - I will make this the last pic (probably) of this I share and try and return to more interesting, useful, informative and hopefully recipe / frugal/ upcycling based posts soon.  :-)

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