I’ve managed to injure my wrist – I’m not really sure how. I was fine when we left work on Friday – apart from the usual aching muscles that can be expected at my age, after cleaning classrooms for a week. About an hour later – as I put on my coat to go on a supermarket run – I noticed a few twinges and by the time we came home with the bacon, I could hardly move my fingers without uttering sharp expletives.
On Saturday the lovely young doctor at A+E quickly deduced that, as I can rotate my arm and wiggle my fingers, it probably isn’t broken. Given the nature of my day-job, she suspects that I may have handled a vacuum cleaner or mop and bucket awkwardly and – after I’d chugged some extra pokey anti-inflammatory medication – she handed me a couple of leaflets and discharged me, urging me to take over- the-counter painkillers every four hours and visit my G.P. if my hand began to tingle or if I’m still experiencing high levels of pain, in a couple of days.
The fact that I came away with nothing more dramatic than instructions on how to exercise the affected joint doesn’t disappoint me. I have no desire to be exposed to needless X-rays, can obtain ‘own brand’ Ibuprofen, easily and cheaply, from any store and I’ve found a suitable scarf to use as a sling to keep my hand elevated (as directed in one of the leaflets). The calm and professional reassurance that, although inconvenient, the injury isn’t serious was well worth the early-morning trip to hospital, where I didn’t have to wait as long as I’d anticipated to receive attention. I hardy had time to open my library book (‘Of Bees and Mist’ by Erick Setiawan – a quirky and magical adult fairy tale,) before my name was called.
When I phoned The Artist – much sooner than either of us expected – to come and fetch me, we agreed that we are lucky to be living in a country where medical aid is accessible 24/7 – and in a number of different formats. Ironically, as we were driving home, Isle of Wight radio was advertising a free three-digit telephone helpline service – 111 (one, one, one) – for non-emergency medical advice, which is now rolling out across the country to replace the 0845 NHS Direct number, which can be expensive. It’s a pity that dedicated health-care professionals, along with other public sector workers, are having their terms and conditions of service eroded in this troubled economic climate. They deserve much more respect (and money!)
Luckily for me, I am already on the mend and can manage to tap away on my iPad keyboard, which requires but the slightest pressure. I’m not sure how well I’m going to be able to crochet but – given that it’s my left wrist and I’m right-handed – I should be able to finish my Christmas present projects in time for Santa to deliver them. I’m not going to be able to get the decorations down from the loft – my son and his family will be arriving from the mainland shortly, so maybe they can help me trim the tree.
Talking of which, time is pressing and I’m still in my dressing gown, so I must go and make myself as presentable as I can, with one hand tied up in front of me!