Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Bad Karma Monday ...

Is It Voodoo?

On the 15th of December, 2014 one of our good friends, David Billings, a fly fishing guide, was up on the Central Plateau at London Lakes with some clients. They were going cross country when David put his foot in a rabbit hole, as you do. (Aside: we can thank the colonising Poms for this: rabbits are not native to Australia.) He felt a bang in the back of his leg. Sore it was, as you can imagine. Nevertheless, the professional he is, on into the boat they went where he managed to carry out his duties and found a fish for his clients to catch. Upon return to Hobart it was confirmed that he had ruptured his Achilles tendon and would need to have it surgically repaired. Bad luck, eh!

I too sustained an injury on the same day, whilst up climbing on Mt Wellington with my friend Tony. As it turns out, along with having a badly sprained ankle, like David I also have a fully ruptured Achilles tendon, which was only discovered today (8 days later) after I was referred for an ultrasound by my physiotherapist.

To cut a long story short (yes, this is an act of which I am capable!) I was attempting to do the second ascent of a sport climb, pulled off a loose handhold, took a pendulum fall, hit my foot - badly  twisted my ankle and, apparently, totally ruptured my Achilles tendon. Not the best thing to happen at the start of the summer.

Here's a very scrappy graphic representation of what happened ...

Smack goes Doug, Snap goes Achilles
I knew I was in a bit of trouble; by the noises I was making, so did Tony. I worked out pretty quickly that it wasn't going to feel better any time soon, and Tony lowered me to the ground. We slowly made our way back to the car, with Tony doing a fantastic support job. Home for a rest, to the hospital the next day for an x-ray, nothing broken. Big sigh of relief. Still kinda sore though. Here are some lovely pictures of why ...

Some bruising occurred ...
... which extended well up my calf
The next photo provides a fairly good indication of the swelling ...

Which foot was it ... ?
After a lot of faffing about today visiting various medical establishments, it looks like I will be having a little repair job done tomorrow and then in hospital overnight for monitoring. The GOOD NEWS is that I will get to go home on Christmas Day.  You beauty! (At least now I know where I'm at and where I'm going.)

Isn't this all a bit weird though? Two friends have Achilles tendon ruptures on the same day, within an hour or so of each other. Interestingly enough the Achilles tendon is the strongest but most frequently ruptured tendon in the human body. Both David and I will be having somewhat different summer holidays than what we anticipated ...

Anyway, wish me luck with my surgery and we'll see you later.

Merry Christmas
Joyeaux Noel


Postscript: 7:35 p.m. Christmas Eve


Home now after what appears to be a successful operation. Di has fed me a delicious, healthy stir-fry with squid and vegetables. Feeling a bit dozy after having only about 3 hours sleep last night and a full anaesthetic today. I wanted to say how wonderful all the staff at the Royal Hobart Hospital were to me today. There was no sign of low morale as far as I can see, despite the abysmal way they have been treated by our government. Which takes my to a nice little metaphor I just came across on a climbing website. I hope might bring a pre-Christmas chuckle. Here it is:

An elderly farmer was in the Emergency Ward having stitches put in his hand, due to an accident with a piece of machinery. The doctor carrying out the procedure struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Politicians and their role as our leaders.

The old farmer said, "Well, you know, most Politicians are 'Post Tortoises'.''

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him, what a 'Post Tortoise' was?

The old farmer said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a tortoise balanced on top, that's a post tortoise."

The old farmer, seeing the puzzled look on the doctor's face, continued to explain. "You know he didn't get up there by himself, he doesn't belong up there, he doesn't know what to do while he's up there, he's elevated beyond his ability to function, and you just wonder what kind of dumb fool put him up there to begin with."

Don't get me wrong: I certainly don't think that all politicians are useless, but I did like the analogy. And quite a few of them could do a lot better. But so could we, the electorate. A start would be a groundswell movement to change the voting rules for the Senate so that voting above the line was done away with and the possibility of allowing one to vote just for the number of vacancies: i.e. either six in the case of a half Senate election, or twelve in the rare case of a full Senate election.

Anyway, it's great to be home with the surgery behind me and on the road to recovery. What with Di's efudex treatment and recovery, and the physical limitations I'll have over the next few months, it's going to be a different kind of summer than what we'd planned. Not to worry: we'll find something to do with ourselves. And one always has to look on the bright side of life, nest-ce pas?

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