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Eastern Europe Trip

A year of adventure and misfortune - the story of our Eastern Europe trip, the accident and subsequent recovery, and our lives up until September 2008... For the latest blog, click on Blogs in the header...

Friday, 23 November 2007


Three Months On...

Today is exactly 3 months since the accident, and it’s a good time to reflect on how we are progressing…

First, in her own words, here’s Tracy:

“To be honest, I feel as though by now I should be up and about and not still in so much pain, confined to a chair or bed all day. Apart from the constant pain in my back, which is made worse by having to wear the back brace, and the lack of mobility in my right arm, the loss of independence has been the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with. Normal everyday things, like taking the top off the toothpaste tube in order to clean my teeth, putting my socks on and cutting up my dinner, have become impossible for me. These are all things that we normally take for granted, but when unable to do them, they take on a much greater significance, and the inability to do them brings me down. Sitting in bed watching people walk by, getting on with their normal lives, seemingly without a care in the world, where I am totally reliant on someone to put my brace on so I can even get out of bed, is pretty hard. I try to remain positive, but don’t always succeed, and if it wasn’t for Paul being my counsellor and helping me out of the pit, I’m not sure what I’d do.

All of this sounds like I’m a miserable sod, which I probably am for most of the time, (ed: no you’re not!) but there are positive things too. I’m able to walk up and down the stairs by myself, one step after the other (not having to put both feet on every single step as I had to at first), I can get out of the chair without having to be lifted, I’ve been outside and breathed fresh air again, and have put on 3lbs thanks to Paul’s cooking!

Most of my injuries have now healed and if it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve read about them here in the blog then I’d not have believed I’d had them. My back is getting stronger, although because of the way the spine has healed I now have 3 prominent vertebrae that stick out all the time, which is one the reasons for the pain. My right arm lays limp and lifeless beside my body, but the graft is healing – especially when compared with photographs taken 5 weeks ago. This a very slow and frustrating process, especially for someone as impatient as me. The infection that I had before I left hospital has returned, meaning yet more anti-biotics, and I still need regular pain killers to combat the pain. I keep trying to move my hand and fingers but because of the injury the joints and tendons are still too tight and I have no grip strength and very limited movement.

I’m looking forward to next Wednesday, when I’m off to see the spinal specialist and hope that he will tell me that I can chuck my brace away and start becoming more independent. I’ve also got the go-ahead to arrange an appointment with the physiotherapist to find out how I can exercise my arm and hand in order to speed up recovery.

Looking ahead, I’ve been promised a trip to Vietnam in late February and am determined to have my back strong enough, and sufficient movement in my arm, to be able to fully enjoy experience… to be comfortable enough to sit on a beach and watch the sunset… and get the top off the toothpaste!”

All of which makes my story pale into insignificance…

The past 3 months have not been the easiest I’ve ever had, as watching someone I love in so much pain has been pretty difficult. My own injuries have long since been forgotten, although I still get the occasional twitch from my knee as a reminder that it’s probably not fully healed just yet. As far as I’m concerned, Tracy’s progress has been fantastic. It seems like only yesterday that she was flat on her back in hospital, unable to eat, unable to move and with her right arm still wrapped in bandages whilst the skin died off to the point she could have the graft done. Now, she’s up and about, and apart from having a pretty useless right arm, is getting back to her old self. We keep getting parcels delivered as her Christmas shopping shifts up a gear – the Internet has a lot to answer for – so she’s already much further ahead with that than anyone else I know!!

I’m also looking forward to her seeing the consultant next week, as that will hopefully be the turning point that allows her to start working more on her independence.

This weekend I’m escaping the house again, as tomorrow (Saturday) I’m off to the bike show at the NEC and on Sunday I’ve booked some advanced motorcycle tuition. The girls are rallying round to help me get out, as I think they see me going stir crazy being stuck in during the week!

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