I’ve written out variations of this story in various media (try using SMS or twitter) several times over the last 2 weeks, so thought it was worth just putting a batch of stuff down and pointing people here to save my fingers…. (and memory).
Please be aware that I am being slightly circumspect about some aspects as potentially there is a legal element involved.
I’ve also just written this straight out. I may come back and try and fix it up somewhat to improve it – but that lack of concentration I mention further down is starting to bite again!
I was hit by a car when crossing a road. My left leg is broken and 4 hours of memory is missing. I’m getting better but while its going well, its going to be a while.
I spent the evening of Tuesday 29 September in the theatre I volunteer at stage managing (or in this case simply overseeing my very competent assistant) a production which was having its final pre-dress run. We finished early (before 21:00) and at this point I lose my sense of time – I should have worked around the building locking up, checked out and left, but I did exactly the same the night before so I have no real idea as to whether my memories are of the previous night or of this night. The two of us (Stage Manager & Assistant Stage Manager) would have locked the main gates, and set off in opposite directions – me towards the car park after crossing a slightly awkward junction by a roundabout.
The next thing I remember is coming to in A&E – the final stages of a large temporary pot were being applied to my left leg (coming up to my underpants), and the doctor (or more likely Nurse Practitioner) started getting me in a good position to stitch my scalp. The time was somewhere around 01:00.
Oddly I felt pretty good – not much pain (probably high on all sorts – I guess they would have wanted me reasonably sedated to deal with setting the leg). I seemed reasonably lucid, although I may not be the best judge of that.
The staff filled me in with what had happened from their point of view – ie they had contacted my wife (I found out later I gave them the wrong number – so I was obviously not unconcious, but maybe not too with it). I was taken along to X-Ray to check the leg was OK in the new cast – from my point of view I had never seen the technician before, but she had done a full set of X-Rays and a scan on me earlier on in the evening – which all seemed wierd!
So then I was moved to an Orthopeadic ward – being reunited with my posessions (yay – phone still in perfect condition, trousers and boots much less so) on the way. Thankfully York Hospital has a relatively low key mobile phone policy so I fired off a text to my wife and one to the theatre management team (odd sense of priorities).
The 3 days in hospital are all a bit of a blur – I had surgery on the Thursday (deferred from Wednesday as the surgery list was full) – a tibial nail put in around my knee running the length of my tibia (I have 3 small incisions from the surgery). There are strange images from those days – the first morning trying to wash off the dried blood and mess, finding that I was supposed to be collecting my daughter from a different theatre (thankfully that had been sorted out). The ward staff were outstanding people, but it was a confusing, disruptive and noisy (especially at night) place, and I was glad to be able to arrange my discharge for Friday afternoon – as long as I could get through the physio training to use crutches.
So I got home – and it did feel something like a break-out. The house was rearranged for me – a chair bed moved to the ground floor, although I have actually been OK on stairs with crutches so have slept in a real bed (with no pings, overnight admissions and other interruptions – bliss). The family have all been really good – I can move round the house OK (slowly, and given notice) but I can’t carry anything so need things to be set for me (ie wash things, drinks, meals etc).
I didn’t see my leg until after surgery (prior to that it was wrapped in the temporary pot). It didn’t really feel as though it was mine – swollen with the skin tighter than a drum. The foot is oddly deformed – just due to swelling. My upper thigh had a glorious red/purple set of mottling and bruising – since faded to a yellow. There were 3 small surgical incisions under dressings – 2 around knee level and one down by my ankle. Additionally I had some gravel rash type wounds on the outer back side of the leg. These have all improved in the subsequent week although there is still significant swelling.
So as for the future, I’m likely to be off work for a couple more weeks and impaired for a couple more months. I’m carefully doing my physio exercises – which really help, but if you sit down for an hour the leg seizes up and its painful to start walking again. The type of surgery means I have no cast on and can put full weight on the leg, but I have to take it carefully and slowly.
Mentally there have definitely been some effects. There is definitely a 4 hour hole in my memory. My concentration and reading speed is lower than normal, although I think they are improving. I had one horrid night with strange nightmares and illusions, but other nights have been pretty good.
And as to what happened. It appears that a car did a U-turn, which I presumably wasn’t expecting – and he wasn’t expecting me to be there. It was not a sensible thing to do, but you would normally get away with it. This time he – and I – didn’t. If I had been at a different point in my stride the car would have swept me onto the windscreen – a shock but most likely much less damage to me. In this case the bumper hit my outstretched leading leg, knocking me backwards and then running over the leg.
However I’m feeling lucky to be here, and don’t have energy to work the blame game. I want to concentrate on getting back to something close to normal, retaining my sense of humour, and trying to make sure I treat all of those helping me with respect and courtesy even if I am feeling bad.