Well, where to start…

Clay at the top of a tree during our trip to Font
Clay at the top of a tree during our trip to Font

Regular readers of this blog might remember a post in which I mentioned a friend of mine who is currently in hospital after a rather dramatic fall from a tree at work.

After much pestering on my part he has very kindly written a post for me about his experience and his first (metaphorical) steps on the road to recovery.

I hope this inspires you as much as he inspires me. 


Well, where to start…

I don’t know if there’s a particular technique to staying positive that I personally follow, in fact I’m not yet convinced I’m a person who stays positive all of the time anyway. I suppose I get told I smile a lot, and many of the photos taken of me feature my smile or some ridiculous face or other, but who doesn’t want to smile for a camera for crying out loud.

I’m lying in my hospital bed, the same one I’ve been laying in for the past four and a half weeks now, never leaving the confines of this bed. I’ve two broken heels, one smashed so badly there’s little left of the bone itself, they have replaced bone with live muscle tissue from my thigh. The idea is that the body recognises the muscle, realises is should be bone and grows bone to replace the muscle, this is a surgical procedure I never knew existed.

On top of that I’ve broken my fibula and tibia in two places and my femur in two places. They have put one long rod through my femur, making a grand total of 5 metal pins in my right leg! I have screws in my pelvis to hold it together and a broken vertebrae – that’s no big deal only a small break – and lastly I had surgery on my shoulder to put it back in place and replace the floating piece of bone that broke-off.

I realise this sounds all rather dramatic but at the end of the day I will walk again, maybe not at 100%, although I don’t believe the doctors when they say that. So although things are a tad grim for now, the future looks bright and there is the challenge of a long road to recovery.

So I suppose for me staying positive is more my reaction to a challenge; so long as I can see a way to complete the problem I chase the success of completion. I absolutely love a challenge especially a physical one, so for me sure having this accident was a bad thing, but the future brings constant challenges and difficulties that I must overcome.

I’ve always liked change in my life, usually I prefer moving towns, countries or jobs. However this is what life has given me so I will embrace the change to my life; it’s a new pace, a new sporting challenge, a new way of living. This is what makes living enjoyable, challenge, change, success and failure, experiencing new and different things, anything less is the mundane and I’m not a person comfortable in the mundane.

I must now ask myself what goals to set, what do I want to achieve on this journey of mine? What do I need to achieve to be a normal person contributing in society? What about sporting achievements, am I able to return to the sports I love the most? This is the hard part, how does one stay positive when faced with the potential loss of a sport you’ve grown to obsess over? My foot may never even fit into a climbing shoe again, my ankle may never roll again, making footwork impossible. What about running, once upon a time I would run over 100 kilometres a week, now my poor old ankles may not handle any form of running, not to mention the multiple pins in my leg.

These situations and set backs are riddled with ifs, buts and maybes, on the flip-side the surgeons are some of the best in the country and are most likely going to be able to clean the huge lump on my foot. If I work hard and stretch I’m confident I will get full movement back in my ankle… I already have some side to side movement, even with the huge amounts of swelling.

Again more challenges. Me versus my body. Me versus what the doctors say is possible.

It’s about being determined it’s about being stubborn it’s about pushing your limits no matter what life throws at you.

What will I learn from this? I’ve no idea, hopefully patience, hopefully training techniques, most importantly I want to learn to relax in my work environment, no more pushing my limits 55 feet up a tree with a chainsaw. Life is too short to be taking shortcuts with safety in my line of work, especially with chainsaws in hand, there’s a time and place to push limits, I have decided work is not the best place for that.

It’s taken me a couple of days to write this entry and already I’ve made some baby steps on the road to recovery. My mood is getting ever better because of it, so I will continue making short and long term goals to keep me dedicated and keep my mood positive…. Perhaps this is the key?

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