Ruptured Achilles Tendon

11.03 pm Wednesday 8th December ! Disaster struck. Just getting ready for bed when I felt a sharp pain near my ankle accompanied by a loud crack. Fortunately I was able to collapse on the bed. And so began a journey into the unknown. One I could have done without.

The next morning we got on the phone for help and eventually struggled up to St Austell minor injuries, a good choice as it turned out. I didn’t have to wait long in reception to have details recorded and not too long to see the Triage nurse who pretty much confirmed my fears. There was a queue to see whoever was on duty and when my turn came it was a very efficient nurse who explained my plight and ordered a plaster cast amid lots of form filling. Plastering then took place – fascinating to watch – and left to dry. Since I wasn’t allowed to put any weight on the left foot, a Physiotherapist was summoned to help me to walk or actually to hop! We tried all kinds of gear with variable success and, in the end, settled on a Zimmer frame with 2 wheels and armrests. Unknown to me at the time the nurse was doing a virtual referral to the Fracture Clinic at Treliske. I was a bit sceptical at the time but it was very efficient as you will see later. Thanks to my wife Jean, we didn’t go to Treliske in the first place, and I could well have still been waiting there!

All in all it was 6 hours in the department, but the staff were fantastic with lots of banter and the charge nurse was an ex dental nurse and paaramedic, so we were able to swop amusing stories to pass the time. Daughter Wendy turned up to take me home but on seeing the size of the Zimmer and the state of my leg, she took her Fiat 500 home and returned with a larger car. So in the pouring rain we set off home. Wendy is a good organiser and on arrival at our house there was a wheelchair, borrowed from a neigbour, and 2 strong men to carry me and the wheelchair down the steps and into the house.

Within an hour of arriving home, an NHS Occupational Therapist appeared with lots of advice and all the necessary gear for a prolonged ‘rest’ in the house. We are now the proud owners of a Zimmer, a special heightened loo, fitted blocks to raise the bed, a commode wheelchair, and the promise of an outdoor wheelchair to come. I had entered a new world!

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