The Awful Accident!!!!
The accident where I ended i Naestved hospital is described below, the latest news is added at the bottom.

The accident story
The actual accident happened on Monday afternoon the 20th September 2010 when, prior to going on 2 weeks holiday in England, we deliver our 4 Canaries to a friend who will look after them whilst we are away.
We got them installed in her guest room and then Svend drove her to the local garage to pick up her car, which had punctured in the morning and was now fixed and waiting to be collected.
So I was alone for about 20 minutes with 2 restless dogs that hadn't had their morning exercise due to the unfortunate car puncture! It was slightly drizzling so one dog wouldn't go out but the other, an extremely large, heavy dog, was happy to run after his balls and toys when I threw them down the garden, so I exercised him to do my friend a favour.
He was bouncing about enjoying himself and so I thought I would move to the carport and throw from there, as I could see he could easily knock me over with his pent up energy!
I got through the narrow pathway and a few feet into the driveway (of pebble stones) when the dog bounded at high speed past me - no doubt with his ball in his mouth - and knocked me off balance, so that I started to fall sideways (to my left). Normally I would be unharmed, but to complete the action, his big, strong back legs, tramped hard down on my right lower leg as he took off on his next flying bound. He leapt on my leg, I felt and heard the cracks of my breaking bones and KNEW straight way that my lower leg was broken. I am normally quite strong, but I swear no one's leg could withstand having a 47 kilo dog tramp hard down on it in this manner.
So there I lay on my left side unable to move. I screamed and screamed in shock and pain for several minutes until I told myself to shut up!!! It was raining slightly and no one to help me for miles! The dog howled in concern over what peculiar thing had now happened.

Luckily for me, I was still wearing my belt-bag with my iPhone and many other things including my camera in a separate case of it's own. (Which later enabled me to pull it out and photo things whilst in the hospital.)
Shielding the iPhone from rain drops with my other hand, I desperately (and I was shaking all over), tried to operate it. Only now I was lying down, and when you tip an iPhone, it accommodatingly tips the screen over 90 degrees. As my head was on one side I wanted to hold the phone also on one side and this caused endless trouble until I got the hang of it. Finally I could ring Svend and with a desperate, squeaky voice told him to drop everything and come back straight away as I was lying out in the driveway with a broken leg!!!!
Then I rang 112, which is the old 999. Trying to sound as calm as possible, I explained what had happened and roughly where I was but I didn't know the house number and guessed wrongly, as it turned out. But I did say that "my husband" was coming soon and could stand outside so if they just drove up the road, they would quickly spot him. They came after about 15 mins. or so. Two pleasant young men. One examined my leg. Although I promised everyone that I KNEW it was broken, no one would believe it - but he said it "grated peculiarly" when he moved it, (and I moaned in pain!) so they placed it on a plastic inflatable "leg protector" that they pumped up hard like a balloon so that it held my leg stiff and immoveable in a very good way.
They lifted me up on a trolley and into the ambulance and off we went.
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Left: End of my stretcher. To the right I lift the camera and made it look back over my head so you can see the driver in his mirror - and my hair at the bottom!
I took a few photos - see above- and the one who stayed with me checking blood pressure etc. entertained me by telling me that all depending on what the patient is suffering from, they decide which hospital is the best for precisely that ailment! They then ring and alert the hospital with full details as to who is coming and what is wrong, so the staff can prepare. All of them can fix broken legs, so I went to the nearest one to the accident spot, Naestved Sygehus - unfortunately a whole hour's drive away from where we live! He kept the conversation going in a good way.

I was wheeled into a room in Emergency and lifted onto a bed. After a few lonely minutes, 2 nurses and a young woman doctor were soon fussing around me, and asking questions, not least who I was. (To avoid things going wrong they check and re-check all the way. Everyone living permanently in Denmark is given what they call a CPR no. and most people know theirs in their head and this is used for EVERYTHING. I was given one when I first came here and reported to the police as one should in those days -1970 - before the European Common Market included Denmark.)
They unpacked my leg and took away the now deflated plastic cover. See photos below. They had just cut my black trousers off me and thrown them away - luckily they weren't my best ones! The atmosphere was very lighthearted and pleasant.

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The doctor straightens my broken leg.

We all laughed loudly when out rolled two pebbles from my friend's driveway that had somehow got trapped in the plastic cover! We made quite a few jokes about whether she was missing them and wanted them back and if so when - but I have kept them as souvenirs!
Then the Dr. straightened my leg and they together applied a kind of leg jacket of course material that apparently was impregnated with plaster. Unfortunately I forgot to photograph the plaster "jacket" due to the trauma of the whole thing. They had hoped I could be operated on straight away or later that evening, but were told that I was a waiting list. Actually the time was nearly 18.00 and I was not operated til around 13.00 next day! Accidents kept happening that were worse than mine and so I moved on down the list all the time and so no one could know anything for sure.
It put them out when they found out I can't take morphine. I found this out after an op. about 25 years ago. I became extremely dizzy, felt VERY ill and just threw up everything, both food and water. After a nightmare day like this where I got very weak and thirsty, a clever nurse clued up as what it could be, put me onto Panodil and whoopee, I was cured!
So with this in mind, I warned them - although they later on up in the ward, couldn't resist experimenting up in the ward later with a pill that is a "relative" of morphine. One of them didn't work at all, 2 made me feel not very well and totally unable to move (a good thing perhaps!) and I became very dozy and a third that they later on enthusiastically pressed upon me that worked for 12 hours, started me off being very ill and sick again. Also, the next day, two Panodil plus a "weak" Ketogan was too much and I threw up again and felt simply terrible - even tho' it was a combination they highly recommended!
I stuck to Panodil, (which unfortunately are not very strong), and I had to really keep an eye on the nurses as often other pills were sneaked into the little container they give you, depending on who the nurse was and what shift - I really had to mind out and always ask about each single pill as they kept on giving me morphine every day I was there!!! Once, all that was left after I asked what the pills were, was a vitamin pill!
Then it also caused a big problem that I must not eat gluten or lactose!
The last hospital (Glostrup) took it in their stride and within hours had organised my meals and very delicious they were too. No problem! But here it took two days before I was off grated carrot and bananas with the odd apple and some of my own bread that Svend provided - oh, and one tiny slice of ham that a nurse "found left over" that I could put on my own bread on the second day! (That was all I had for dinner after a day of fasting!)
On the third day just as I was ready to leave, the gluten-free meals came rolling in. Here are the only two from the last day.
Very tasty!
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My first real food for over 48 hours! Left: Glutenfree lunch with 3 different toppings I could lift over onto the glutenfree bread, plus broccoli salad which I love that was part of what the others were having and a dollop of risotto!! Right, a delicious Goulash, spuds and broccoli and strawberry dessert that was nearly as good as I make it!!!

Danish politicians have gradually run down the National Health here and constantly demand savings and cut downs, so everyone is suffering, not least the staff of all hospitals. They are simply so overworked it's a wonder they don't collapse. This gives of course a bad/slow service at times, even tho' everyone's doing their very best and everyone is very nice and clearly dedicated - they obviously have trouble coping with the work burden.
So this meant that I (and all other patients) suffered from fantastic long waits for just about everything.
The staff were all brilliant, all as if fresh from a week's intensive course on how to get on with others, be charming and make things swing! They all presented themselves with first name and were as friendly as if we had known each other well for many years! I am like this myself so it suited me fine and I cracked as many jokes as they did, so we were always laughing at something or other.

EXCEPT for the dreaded night shift:
A nurse and her down-trodden Muslim assistant. We all called this nurse "Pony-tail". She never smiled nor could one ever get a kind word from her, even when one did a bit of her job for her to be helpful. As soon as the lights went out, the pair turned up, looking at us with disapproval, never returning a warm smile or greeting and Pony-tail often telling very helpless patients off just when they were most vulnerable. With a massive effort, I could occasionally get the pretty brown eyes of the assistant to look friendly and her mouth to turn up in a tiny smile, but not often - and she too was badly treated by Pony-tail.
I asked for two glasses of water the first night (the glass-size was very small!) and Pony-tail forgot and I dozed on and around mid-night when I got hold of her again, she said it was now too late! I asked for a renewal of some good, moist serviette-wipes - the hospital had an all-purpose type, (hygiene is non-existent when you are bedridden) - but no, I must manage with the half a roll of toilet paper, that she unfortunately spotted that another nurse had kindly left with me. But you can't wash your hands on toilet paper! These requests and others were only made when she was seeing to one of the others in my ward and therefore running to and fro past my bed anyway. I wouldn't have dreamed of "putting her out", not with her attitude!
She also let me lie for about an hour on a wet protective sheet, as the bedpan had tipped back! It is SO difficult to pee lying flat down, the force of gravity is out of action so it takes ages and we had good, soft beds so either the bedpan rocked around with messy consequences - and some of us peed by the litre, what with our "drop" stuck in the hand and masses of water/juice/tea/coffee etc pressed on us all day long - and the worst was, the bedpans just loved to leak backwards out between one's "butt crack" as Americans so aptly say - entirely unfelt until the bedpan is taken away...then..oh ugh! It's just another instrument of torture right when one feels so ill anyway.
I was at this stage, bedbound from the afternoon I arrived to the next evening after the op. This unfeeling nurse also got two of my "cell mates" to break down and cry with frustration with how she treated them with her harsh words and total lack of sympathy or understanding for their helpless situation. I ignored her "strictness" but we were all new, and newly operated after traumas from various ghastly accidents, all of us in a LOT of pain and the nights are always the worst, so Pony-tail makes sure that no one enjoys their stay with HER! It's the survival of the fittest with her around.

The first to break down was the woman opposite me, Annette.
She reckoned her spine was "falling down" and her hips were collapsing too and they couldn't bear her weight. Maybe the result of some arthritis treatment that has weakened her bones, she said. She was in extreme pain whenever she moved and she warned me that it was SO bad, she couldn't help but give little screams. So the nights (and days) went with her trying to sleep for a while - two hours if she was lucky then having to move for some reason and she was squealing in agony. Doing her best to keep it down and whimpering terribly in the most awful pain and also breathing deeply like she was giving birth (maybe this is good control for her pain?), and she could go on in her agony for ages. It was SO hard for me to bear, much less sleep. Just using the bed-pan was a nightmare of extreme pain for her, every movement of her body was total agony. I wished I could help.
She was first in the ward, then I came and later the other two arrived. She was in her late 40ties and had a lovely young son and daughter with boyfriend/girlfriends too - and a nice, caring husband of course! They all came every day and stayed for ages. When I came up from the operation late afternoon the second day, I had to wait outside as the whole family were holding a meeting at her bedside. When they left, several were sobbing, so she must have got some bad results from the x-rays and scans. While I was gone the next morning for a check-up x-ray, I came back just in time to see her being wheeled away on her bed, red-eyed and crying and with all the nurses stroking her hands and wishing her luck. It was terribly upsetting to see. It was a real ordeal for me the first sleepless night, to hear her agonies all the time. I can still shed tears thinking about her plight. They told me she was going to another ward - I hope she got a room of her own, it's unbearable hearing another person suffer so.

Photo: Waiting for an x-ray.(I never had to wait for very long - good service here!)
Then she was quickly replaced with Dorthe, who had fallen head first down her house steps outside whilst doing energetic spring cleaning. It was mainly some big spiders she was after, she said she had a plague of them!
She fell down the short flight of stone steps hands stretched out and more or less drove her hands into her wrists/arms and there she was in great pain and with both arms from elbow and to the start of the fingers in thick, heavy plaster.


The ward with bed opposite where first Annette and then Dorthe were put. We had the two window positions!

She'd been fasting from the accident the afternoon before as they weren't sure whether to operate or not, a couple of small bones in the wrists had hair-fine cracks. But after a lot of consideration, they decided to "straighten her out" and then "freeze" her hands and wrists in plaster and she said it was UNBELIEVABLE AGONY while they did this so she said she had screamed uncontrollably. Now she was totally handicapped and couldn't even scratch her nose or pull her own panties down etc. Worst was the dreadful pain, she said, as the medicine so far had little or no effect. In the morning, where I had now learnt to hop with a walking frame - the broken leg mustn't touch the ground for 3 weeks - she was very hungry, but was devastated to find that she couldn't feed herself.
So the morning shift nurse grudgingly agreed to cut the two slices of bread with cheese on top into small bite-size pieces, as one does for young children - but still Dorthe had a problem. She could almost get a piece to her mouth, but not QUITE get the food INSIDE it. Also, her fingers were extremely swollen, half trapped in the plaster and so clumsy she could barely use them for anything at all so she dropped the food just as she got it up to her mouth.
The nurse stood firm and said that it was "outside of her job" to feed patients and "we are not supposed to do this" and that we patients must manage by ourselves. After a small argument, the nurse left, repeating that Dorthe could manage by herself if she just tried a little harder! (The nurse refused to believe that Dorthe couldn't manage and hinted at this several times.)
Dorthe was in great pain, very hungry and at being deserted, she just broke down into tears and sobbing uncontrollably and was so frustrated and unhappy that I piped up and said if she'd just wait a second while I got my own food down, I would hop over with my walking frame and feed her! I found that she couldn't even wipe her tears away by herself!
So I came over to help. Not really my cup of tea, but there was no escaping the obvious. I lifted her 3 different juice and water containers up to her mouth when she said, (they had a special "feeder top"), so she could drink and I'd helped her eat about the half the food when in comes this nurse again on some new errand!
The nurse protested loudly at my helping Dorthe, gave us a talking to about how, as a qualified nurse, it wasn't her job and patients are supposed to manage by themselves and said grudgingly (seeing there wasn't much left on the plate) oh, alright, she would take over then, but only just this once!
It obviously bugged her to see me on one leg, one hand gripping the walking frame and doing a job that also was "outside of MY job" as well!!!! (She was probaby madly busy as well - they are were.)
Then there was a big altercation where Dorthe was angry, demonstrated yet again WHY she needed help, said she wasn't a lazy person, was normally very independent and used to doing everything herself and she would normally never dream of asking for help, that the constant pain she'd had all night was really getting her down, that she hadn't eaten since lunch time the day before and that she really and truly could NOT get the food into her mouth. She got herself all upset once more and dismissed the nurse and said she was to go away because she was SO upset by her meanness that she didn't want to see her for a while!
She said over and over: "No one believes me"! I said "I believe you Dorthe!" Otherwise I let them sort it out and just stood waiting to see which of us would help Dorthe eat finished. The big row ended as the nurse, very humiliated in front of us all, had to leave and I finished feeding Dorthe.
One of the other patients piped up and said actually it is very unusual to hurt BOTH arms equally, that usually one has ONE arm that works a bit! We all agreed, it WAS very unusual circumstances.
Well as I fed her, I told Dorthe that the nurse was actually very good, clever and a very nice person - as experienced by ME. (I had no idea if this nurse could hear what I said or not, so I was a bit careful, but I meant what I said!) Also that I thought the situation was this: That she (Dorthe) was physically and mentally in a trauma and shock from the whole painful accident yesterday and the helpless state she was now in, but that she would get over this in a day or two and adapt - I know it from myself and others. That the medicine was not working because of course they start with giving as little as possible and that I was sure that when she spoke to them about this, they would find out what was best for her and it would work well. Also that she would start to feel a whole lot better very soon.
Lastly that she would indeed find a way to feed herself. She was so nearly able to do it, that just a bit of practice and the swelling going down a bit on her fingers and she can! She told me all the details about the accident and I just kept pulling it around to how much better she would feel very soon and be able to cope better in just a day or two as she gets used to the new situation.
She was greatly cheered.
The nurse and others came in and out on various errands and I made a point of smiling a lot as if the incident was forgotten. A little later on, this nurse came up to me with the banana I had wished for as part of my breakfast, apologising for having forgotten it. I thanked her and laughed as I said, actually I'd forgotten it too so it was good she'd remembered! Slowly we three got back on good terms.
I told them both about that I had seen special spoon and fork set for very young children who were starting to feed themselves that were bent 90 degrees so the child could get the spoon turned to the mouth with ease. This set the nurse off thinking and she later on came in with a slightly bent fork but it wasn't enough, but then she thought of someone she could ask and between the two of them they were now working together and good friends! No one wanted the bad situation to continue.
Later on, this same nurse also agreed to help Dorthe ring to her husband - we all made lots of rude jokes as to whether he would hear it as now HE had to vacuum-clean and we all agreed how bad men are at cleaning and housework and Dorthe did get through to him while the nurse assisted in dialing up and also switching off and Dorthe was just about able to press it to her ear with two swollen fingers. We were all listening in and giggling in the background about the complicated instructions she gave her husband as to which drawer or cupboard to get what item of the many things he was to bring to her later in the day! The poor man doesn't know what is awaiting him with an armless wife!

Eight floor view from the window by my bed.
This same nurse, having now got well out of the ugly morning situation was extra nice to us all and we to her and as she took off my operation dressing and we could both see my stitches for the first time, she even wanted to pose for the camera that I whipped out eager to get the chance to see my leg! I didn't want a photo like that so I photo'ed her as she worked, smiling nicely! She was absolutely "good enough" and really a very nice person but some people find bending the rules that they have rigidly learnt, very hard or even impossible. (Or maybe she was working under awful pressure due to lack of time?)

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Before and after! Left, the dressing put on straight after the operation. Right: I am also stitched just as much "around the corner" out of sight to the right, where they put a second metal support in in my smaller Fibula bone. This photo is less than 24 hours after the op. I look like the Sunday pork roast!!!!

The lady called Linda who was diagonally opposite me, had broken her ankle and was very overweight so she said she could not hop about with a frame for support as I did, her arms and wrists can't take it. She spent a lot of time staring at me - possibly enviously, which was annoying! Well my arms are aching too and an overstretched shoulder tendon giving hell, swollen left ankle and hip-joint being pulled crooked at every hop - but it IS easier if you are not overweight. I actually lost a couple of kilos those 3 days in hospital due to my grated carrot and banana diet - plus fasting!!!! Linda spoke with a Danish country accent that I couldn't identify and waffled her words like they'd taken her teeth away so NO ONE could understand much of what she said! (Probably a good thing as she talked and shouted out a lot in her sleep!) So we didn't speak much as neither of us could understand the other in full. Even Svend complained when he came to fetch me! She often tried to join in the conversation and shouted across the room, but little was understandable. So we all did a lot of nodding and smiling to her, hoping this was appropriate to what she had said!

Then there was the poor mouse of an older woman who was next to me. Rarely spoke unless she was spoken to first, so we mostly smiled to each other all the time. Turns out she fell in her bathroom only minutes after her son left her after a visit and badly banged her head and dislocated her shoulder. She was frail due to age and unable to get up and lay for TWO DAYS on the cold bathroom floor until she was found. The nurses spent a lot of time pouring liquids down her and lecturing her on the necessity of keeping water flowing through her! (They suspected that she had fallen because of not enough liquids.) She too was operated before me but on the Tuesday, but under the circumstances it was quite right too!

The days were a nightmare of either fasting as on my first day or being bedridden. It was such a relief the night after the operation, when I could begin to hop around and no more bedpans! It was a triumph over the cruel nurse Pony-tail, I didn't need her any more!

Just to add to the misery, we were on the 8th story of a 14 story building and the first two days were a nightmare with strong winds howling like something out of a Hitchcock film. Also in the day, just down below us was an active building site where a new hospital wing was going up and they were unbelievable noisy, (like a motor mower going up and down just outside our windows plus other frightful sounds like angle grinders whining) - from 6.30 in the morning! Said to be hard working Polish workers! The nights were filled with whimpering and small shrieks of pain, patients shouting - also in their sleep, snoring, as we all lay on our backs, the eternal bed-pan being requested resulting in much traffic of footsteps to and fro, all doors creak and bang and when opened at night, great shafts of strong light streamed in from the fully lit corridor - and listening to Pony-tail being cold and unfriendly to someone!

I tried to keep all the curtains around my bed, it was more "cosy" if you can use that word in a hospital! Otherwise it was like sleeping on the platform of a main station! But you can be sure that Pony-tail got them pulled half back - there wasn't much room and she didn't care. There was also lots of very loud talking, even hectic discussions in the corridors and general banging and crashing of instruments and trolleys with squeaky wheels racing to and fro. So one rarely slept - an hour at a time if you were very lucky - so we were all zombies in the day from lack of sleep plus all our painkillers that make our eyes heavy and all intelligent thought became a struggle.
Also the Armless lady was made to cry on her first night there over a telling off by Pony-tail about something or other - she obviously got many patients to "crack up" I'm sure, since I was witness to two, one each night! So awful when everyone is trying to keep a brave face but are most vulnerable and still in shock.


The first night was the worst. Not allowed to eat from midnight on because I could be operated "at any moment" in the morning and the dinner of that evening had masses of gluten in. This put them in a right spot! So my dinner was a small bowl of a sort of Minestrone soup, (the nurse was so proud she'd found a "clear one" with no thickening for me) but overlooked the miniature noodles swimming around in the bottom hidden with the bits of healthy veggies, so I just drank half of the "watery bit" (it was very nice), had one grated carrot with a few raisins sprinkled on top, one apple and one banana! Not what I call filling or strength giving for the "last supper" before an op. I was very disappointed.
Then Pony-tail denied me my last chance of something to drink later on. She just forgot when I asked to 2 glasses of water.
She noticed I was awake yet again at 4 am ( I didn't sleep at all that first night, just half dozed occasionally) so she said she would wash me ready for the operation - even though they don't start before 9 or later!!! "So much to do", she said. I couldn't deny that fact.
Her idea of washing was passing a damp cloth vaguely around over me and it took max.10 seconds in all. I wiped my face and tried to brush my teeth and I like to be thorough but an alarm buzzer rang and she said "oh it's an emergency, I have to go!" and off she went and afterwards I paid particular attention to the bell-buzzer noise that we all made whenever we pulled the cord on the bedside table and it was EXACTLY like all the others, no different and NO emergency! So I am sure she lied and there was no emergency at all - it was just a trick to get rid of me - after all, teeth hygiene doesn't matter when it's your leg they will operate on!
So I laid all morning, bored stiff, feeling ill on the morphine related pills and listening to everyone else until suddenly at about 13.00, I was driven off in my bed for the big op.! At last!
Inside the operating theatre was a fantastic team of the most charming persons you could imagine all battling with each other to shake my hand and say their name and introduce themselves with big Colgate smiles. They explained what was going to happen in great detail and promised that I'd have no pain - and I only had to say if there was any. I was to have the injection in the spine that numbs the legs from hip area and down. (They told me it was NOT the same as women give birth with something similar!) So I had to sit up for this and the male nurse/anaesthetist found the spot he wanted to go in and gave some local anaesthetic then the real one all quite quickly and expertly and it soon worked! It was curious, as they explained to me that I could feel a certain amount of touch, yet if they laid something cold on my leg, I couldn't feel it.
They set up a screen of green canvas - luckily - so I couldn't lean up take a peek - I don't mind seeing my dogs operated on but myself all cut open - well, probably best not to look. I didn't take my camera with me anyway!
Then they set me up with a Walkman and a CD of my choice and ear phones so I could enjoy myself and relax! (Shame that iPods haven't reached hospitals here.) However, I could still hear what they said throughout and their cheeky banter at times or what screw size the surgeon wanted - and how he was told they hadn't got any more that size so he had to choose again, ha ha, so charming to know you're filled with the wrong screws!!! (I think I can see one that's far too long, the third down on the left!) I could hear the scream of the Black and Decker drill as it pushed each screw in, ugh!!!!
At one point they were all discussing the new 4G iPhone and several were definately going to get one! One man said he didn't want to put his name on a waiting list, this was apparently offensive to him! He'll have to wait a long time then. I refrained from piping up and telling them about mine - I thought they should concentrate on my broken bones.
In less than 2 hours, it was all done and I noticed they were printing out an x-ray/scan photo for themselves and got them persuaded to make one for me too - so I could impress family and friends, I said. They kindly agreed to this and here it is:

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A photo of the print they gave me in the operation room. I'm sure "Heavy Metal" now!!! Everyone expresses amazement at the extent of the damage done, if you look closely, you can see many fragments on the little fibula bone on the left where the dog's feet hit me first) - but luckily it's not often that heavy dogs use people's legs as trampolines when doing a flying leap! The diagnosis was: Fractura partis distalis cruris mulitplex. Højresidig.

Then my leg was put in what I called a Gucci boot which I later found out is called a "Walker" - NOT solid white plaster as in the olden days, but a boot made of steel with soft padding and strong velcro! (Made in Mexico of all places!) A brilliant improvement on plaster. They politely asked what shoe size I wore - but took little notice as this one is clearly made for the Abonimable Snowman and no less - as you can see it sticks out and makes it far more clumsy than necessary. Definately XXXL size! Only to be taken off when I am lying flat in bed - and only for a quick peek! (Must be kept on all night too.)

The "Walker" in all it's glory! (Proved to be a HELL that I had to wear for 10 weeks.)

Then I was lifted back on my own bed and wheeled up to the "Waking up" ward, as they aptly call it here. This was the worst of all, waiting for my legs to "come round", lying dreadfully uncomfortably, wracked with uncontrollable fits of shivers that came and went and also there was a peculiar and nasty, strong smell/stink of plastic in the air for some reason. The ward was apparently so full that I was parked outside with no bell to push if I wanted to call a nurse. A very nice, efficient and kind nurse welcomed me and then left me for ages in my misery. I guess I was there an hour or two.
The nurse came back after what seemed like an awful long time and scanned my bladder (they do this all the time, drugged as we are, we can't feel a thing and don't know when we need to "go"!!!) - which of course I couldn't feel at all it was numb like the rest of me and she said it was alarmingly full, half a litre I think she said and clearly about to explode!!! Never knew it was capable! Finally, satisfied that my legs were coming round (but only a little bit, it sure takes a long time), because I could feebly wiggle my toes, I was wheeled back to my 8th floor ward. However, I couldn't get in due to the family meeting held in there with Annette as mentioned above. But luckily Svend turned up and kept me company in the corridor!

NOW I could eat again - but still they had no gluten-free food for me! It was about 24 hours since my last grated carrot with banana BUT Svend luckily brought a couple of slices of my own gluten-free bread and the nurse paced off and came back with ONE single slice of it topped with a small slice of ham - and a banana for dessert! I so badly wanted more! Svend didn't stay very long as I could hardly keep my eyes open. I guess the anaesthetic in my legs had now circulated around to my brain, ha ha! Plus almost total lack of sleep for two days - it is an ordeal, but lack of sleep makes things a hundred times worse.
I had also been given what they call here a "blokade" at the operation area, (which is a big local anaesthetic) which the operation staff promised would last me all night, (a very good idea which I was most grateful for). So trusting them, I refused to take any other pills when they yet again pressed a morphine pill on me - the right hand still didn't know what the left was doing, you sure have to be fully alert and check everything to withstand hospital care! It turned out to be true, the pain WAS held back until next morning.
However there was the usual nightmare during the night where Pony-tail made newly arrived Dorthe break down and sob etc. and all the usual activity BUT no more ghastly leaky bedpans for me - I could hop on crutches across the corridor whenever I wished. (I asked for an escort only the first time - as I didn't even know I was going!!!) and it was "finger up" to Pony-tail from now on and the absolute finish of asking HER for anything.


The next day I felt good, as the worst was now behind me and I was visited by a physiotherapist and an ergotherapist in quick succession and between them I was guided about the "Walker", (how to get it on and off) helped to choose between crutches or walking frame, (I chose the latter as being more stable - as recommend by a nurse I trusted - and I am so grateful to her because she was right!), and instructed in the use of a wheelchair and I learned to hop with the frame instead of crutches. Also there are useful exercises to do - so from now on, I was wonderfully "independent"! I could now wash myself, do my hair properly, take my time doing my teeth, put make-up on and try to be a bit more normal looking plus a whole lot cleaner!!!!!!!

Now I told everyone except the cleaning lady, that I wanted to go home! I started this campagne after the operation and everyone assured me they would set the wheels in motion - but just to be sure that they did, I said it to all of them on every shift!
So this third day went with all the hurdles there were being slowly overcome before I could be released into freedom!

The worst hurdle was hauling a busy doctor up from the operation rooms to me to give his or her permission! I kept on nagging for one all morning and the staff all said how busy they were so I told them to let the word out that they had a DESPERATE patient on their hands, I might even turn violent, ha ha!!! And: Couldn't he/she come up in the lunch break or a pee-pause?
To save time and money, doctors do not any more "do the rounds" of all the wards each morning. They come only when asked to - and if and when they can find the time, poor things!
Finally, a very unsmiling po-faced young doctor came up, clearly expecting a certain degree of seriousness and respect as he had been pressured into visiting the ward and he appeared aghast at my enthusiasm and warm greeting where I told him how badly I had needed him! He was unmoved by my show of good health and energy. His signature was gained as he gritted his teeth and that was yet another hurdle overcome.
A nice nurse dropped by and said I would be needing some pain killers to go home with. I was pleased to hear this kindness and said that Svend could drive to the chemist and get more - as it was only Panodil, (Pinex) so just a couple would do. She was so nice and said she would give me enough for the whole weekend plus Monday, "so your husband doesn't have to rush out to the chemist the minute you get home!" How very kind!
Then finally my dressing had to be changed. I was eager to see the stitches and got my camera out and I photographed the nurse who did this as she was working, so here she is in the picture!
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I could have gone home now but had to wait patiently whilst Svend had lunch at a friend's, the last hurdle to overcome - my chauffor tearing himself away from some good home-cooking after 3 days without, lucky thing!
Finally he turned up, and boy was I glad to leave there.
However, it was exactly the same time as we should have afternoon coffee and tea and so I asked for tea as always and when the same nurse turned up, she had a plate in her hand with some delicious slices of pineapple (to be healthy!) and a generous slice of gluten free cake!
I had not asked for this and no one else got any - AND I immediately identified it as the very special gluten free layer cake from a chain store called Irma! I know this because Gregor's girlfriend Line has often bought it in honour of me coming to them, many a time we visit them. Irma is a smaller supermarket chain that has "a little above the ordinary" foods and is known for it's good quality - for those willing to pay a little more. The cake is frozen and so has to be thawed out - but this only takes about 20 minutes.
Irma's cake is in layers, really juicy, with milk chocolate on top, sprinkled with nuts and crispy, crunchy bits, and various layers of different delicious things for example a kind of cake cream in the middle, a paper thin layer of toffee and a sort of nutty-crunchy base - FABULOUS for me who rarely gets cake - only when I make it myself whenever we have guests!
I thought this just has to be a wonderful and kind gesture from the part of this nurse who got into such a row in the morning about Armless who couldn't feed herself. I was very touched. It was not covered in celophane as all the other food was. Someone must have been out and shopped at the local Irma as NO WAY could this cake have come from the huge catering firm who deal with two large hospitals regarding all food! Mass production at it's worst, as it took them two days to produce some gluten-free food. (I jokingly reminded them to remember to stop the order so glutenfree food didn't keep on rolling in after I had gone!!) You'd think a hospital would be prepared for patients with all sorts of allergies, needing special diets and so on?
Below: Bye bye hospital: Last shots taken on the way home below.

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Now I do exercises every day, as shown me in hospital and am working on getting better. For 3 weeks I must not put the slightest weight on my right foot - after that, I can very carefully step on it a little. At six weeks the Walker will be removed and everything must be returned to the hospital. The hospital has kindly lent me a walking frame, wheelchair (collapsable) and a bath chair! Poor Svend had a job fitting all these things in the car! See photos below.
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So right now we are drying our tears at the horrors of missing our so well planned holiday (as our neighbour said, if only it had happened AFTER the holiday! and I say, if only the dog hadn't jumped on me, as the actual fall did me no harm apart from a muddy jacket, (which has washed up like new) and now we trying like mad to get some of our money back.
The chances are small as Svend misunderstood the wording on our insurance. The two hotels refused point blank due to the special rebates we had got and the most expensive part of the trip: DFDS ship from Esbjerg/Harwich has only refunded 25%, which is their policy.
It's very hard to bare. I just want these ghastly 6 weeks with a "Walker" on my foot that weighs about 10 kilos to go by as fast as possible! It's very tiring on my hips, the good leg, shoulders and wrists - THEN we can see how I am able to walk again normally or I always will limp. I just hope I don't now have one leg longer or shorter than the other...we'll see....

I wrote this for my own therapy - sorry if I have bored you!

The dogs were SO glad to see me and greeted me SO warmly (Magnus to the left was "crying" with joy for about 10 minutes, but then he is exceptionally devoted to me) and this was the photo I took of the guest bed behind me as I sit at the computer! Three VERY happy dogs lying as near as they can get to their beloved mom!!
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Best wishes - Janet

Here, the 3rd of November, there is a new development:
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Waiting room in the entry to the Slagelse hospital.

The 3rd of November I went to a check-up and new x-rays - now in Slagelse Hospital, which is our nearest. The x-rays showed some bone healing - but not enough to please the doctor (or me), so he recommended a month more in the "Walker" boot "to be on the safe side" as the leg is not very strong - yet - ugh! The problem is, that the little fibula bone is so splintered into many fragments that it will take a very long time before the bits will heal to anything that looks like a solid bone. The doctor approved of all my foot exercises that I have invented and said to "go at it" as much as I could bare the pain - so that's what I do, plus cycle on Svend's exercise cycle. Here is a photo of the x-ray machine:
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Below from the waiting room to be x-rayed - my favourite mauve colour tablecloths and pretty (real!) lavender flowers (there were MANY tables and chairs) - and the cleaning lady's trolley was quite colourful!
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A typical corridor:
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PS. Thursday the 4th. November. I went to the rehabilitation centre in Slagelse (no photos!) and learnt to walk with crutches! Either one or two, as I wish, I can really walk well and almost naturally with one. (Just have to mind out I don't take my normal big strides!!!) A pair of crutches will be lent to me for free and will be delivered in the next 3 working days! So I can get out and about a bit more. Meanwhile the hospital that operated me have agreed to lend me all their gear for a further month! They are so kind and understanding. I am upping all the exercises and determined to give the young woman who is in charge of my progress nothing to do as I'll be normal - footwise- by the 2nd of December, when I have a new time with her! There is already an incredible improvement with the movements in my foot, (pointing like a ballet dancer is the most difficult, due to a "seam" of stitches across my foot, but the doctor said the skin WILL get more supple as time goes on....) it's just the bones in my leg that have to speed up their healing - and cycling three times a day for 5 minutes on Svend's machine gives really good blood circulation!

Now Friday 5th and after ringing in the morning to hear if it was OK, the man has just delivered my crutches at three in the afternoon! You can't beat that for good service! I pay nothing for them and I can borrow them for as long as I want! Now I can REALLY walk, just have to curb myself from striding far too big strides as I was used to - and long to do again!

Sunday 7th November and a new picture of my leg, healing but very distorted and swollen still.
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The 1st of December - hurray!!!!!!!!!!
I have just been to Slagelse hospital and after 2 new x-rays, which were immediately sent up to the doctor in charge, (so wonderful in these computer days with no waiting for the film to be developed in chemicals - the pictures can be sent just anywhere in seconds), I was called in to the same very nice doctor as last month, who was smiling and looking positive!
I could hardly believe it was good news!
I have just had two weeks of such increased pain and my foot swelling each day to double the size and I have been almost unable to walk, it is such agony, like a bread knife jabbing up my ankle - yet walk I HAVE to - and no painkillers helped me not even my favourite Codeine. I was sure something was terribly wrong and I'd have to have a new operation. I have been very depressed and the pain is intolerable all day long. The doctor said the pain and swelling is normal!!!
We looked at the new x-ray and there is much more bone development. The shin bone is closed he said, (I could still see the crack though) and this will support me, and the little fibula is definitely knitting together tho' some splinters still are clearly seen, plenty of bone tissue is there and it will in time be about as normal as before, he reckoned. But it is going to take "several months"- and the whole of the winter anyway - nurses have said at least 6 months and maybe up to a year!!! So it's off with the heavy support boot I have staggered around in for 10 weeks!!! I have a wonderful pair of Ecco ankle-high shoes I can wear in the house that fit my feet like gloves, so once I got home, I managed to get the right shoe on and after a battle of wills because my foot wants to swell and the shoe won't permit it, it seems to have given in and feels MUCH more comfortable!
The Dr. has recommended a combination of the Panodil/Pinex I am already taking AND the Ibuprofen, as both, he said, will hit different parts of the pain and work together.
Of course, I walk with great difficulty and pain and a left-hand crutch - but I'm once again on the road to recovery and more cheerful. Apparently the action of walking (and bending the foot, which I haven't been able to do) will in time take the swelling away. Tomorrow morning I'm to go to physiotherapy - although the Dr. was amazed at how much movement I already have!!! Tomorrow, hard working "nurse Svend" is due to deliver my wheelchair, bathing stool and walking frame (plus the support boot for possible re-use) back to Naestved Hospital - who lent them to me. Unfortunately the weather is promised to be a bad snowstorm all day, (already started as I write!) so I may have to ring and ask for another day or two... so another hurdle overcome on my road to recovery!

PS Never made it to either appointments - we got snowed in! Everyone understood so things will happen next week instead.

The 17th of December 2010
I have now been to two sessions of physiotherapy and am working hard to get my near useless foot back to normal.
I have been give just SO many exercises there's little time for anything else in the day, ha ha, and the last ones are quite impossible - as yet - but I have to be able to do them - eventually! The pain is terrible but the Ibumetin and Pinex work together and help - a bit.
I have staggered out shopping on three occasions too, which is quite encouraging - with one crutch as support.

The 17th of January 2011
It's going the right way at long last! Still plenty of pain, but more bearable, many muscles now loosening up
, the severe swelling on foot and leg now minimal and in general I feel much better - at last! It's a question of exercise, exercise, exercise for my foot and plenty of cycling for my leg...I am working hard at it...

The 8th of February 2011
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Since last Monday, 1st Feb. 2011, I have been walking just Dasher each morning, ignoring the pain, trying to walk as normally as possible - which I can't as I cannot take the weight on my right foot in a bent position, so I hobble - but with the help of a cheap second-hand push-chair for a bit of support and extra confidence, (as I am virtually one-legged, and could fall over at the drop of a hat), I can manage a 20 min walk. It is so wonderful to be able to get out after over 4 months stuck inside. I went for physiotherapy yesterday and she has approved of the walk - so long as I don't get "punished” afterwards with more pain or swelling etc.
She has given me even MORE exercises to do and I am moving my foot/leg one way or the other all day long!
So surely it will loosen up soon? I am truly amazed that it is so slow.
The 10 weeks fixed at right angles in the support boot has made the tendons in my foot shorten so I cannot bend the foot how I should. The metal plate in the little fibular bone may have the effect of making it microscopically longer – or shorter than it was before, which explains why there is swelling, chafing and pain under my outside ankle. The joint is no longer the same as it was.
The metal plate screwed on the shin bone is paining the strong shin bone muscle that "flaps around" on top of it (feels like a bread knife being stabbed into my shin!!!) and also preventing my foot from bending at the ankle like one bends like when on skis, so I can go upstairs but not down them again. Try yourself – the leg you leave behind higher up bends a whole lot at the ankle.
I am working on exercises to improve all this, including 20-40 minutes each day on Svend’s exercise bicycle for good blood circulation – but she says I will never be as before - which I don’t like to hear.
She also says that many people get the metal plates operated out again! Because they cause too much “trouble”, pain and disability. Well that isn’t good to hear either - but I think I am starting to see what she means.
Now there’s roughly 4 1/2 months gone and the pain I have is normal, apparently!!! It is nearly unbearable. She says I must wait  6-9 months even up to a year before I can see how far I am going on the road to recovery. So I am full of painkillers in the day – not good.
Today, the company came and collected the crutches they lent me. I only ever used the left one. I rarely use them now – only for going shopping. However, my physiotherapist has lent me a left-handed one – for 2 months – just for going shopping when people need to see the crutch and show respect for my handicap and I get the extra help with balance. I am at terrible risk of falling over at any time – and I walk VERY slowly.
Luckily the swing doors in our mall and the centre have a handicap button to press that slows the doors down, as I cannot even walk as fast as the revolving doors! This will be vastly improved if and when I can bend my foot. It is truly amazing what damage can be done to a prefectly well-functioning foot by laying it off for 10 weeks!
So that’s the situation, I’m on the right road – but it’s an uphill battle!

Now nearly 6 months gone, the 7th of March. I gave my crutch back today! For more news and the latest walk I went on for over an hour the 6th March - and no push-chair or crutches see:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dqxDOyLx6Y
- explanation on my dog's blog: www.sighthound.net/dashersIGblog11.htm
- and I no longer have to press the handicap button on Bilka's revolving door.

The end of August 2011
and we made it to the holiday to Cornwall in England, that went down the drain nearly a year ago. We had a WONDERFUL time. I walk fairly normally now - but the leg is not as good, nor my balance quite right and I can't do so much (I can't run at all and I used to a lot) and it is very painful at every step, the breadknife they left in my shin is still there!!! I am hoping this will improve as I live off 4 painkillers in the morning and 4 at lunchtime, at the moment, which make the pain bearable and I can move freely. From September, I now take the Whippets for a morning walk instead of Svend doing it for me, and then the Italian greyhound afterwards - walking at quite a good speed, tho' not as fast as I used to and still in a lot of pain.

I am on the road to recovery - but the road is a very long one!

Two years late, well healed - only pain left to cope with:
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