In March this year, I fell off my bike and completely shattered my forearm and shoulder. Three hours of surgery, one metal plate, 9 pins and a stay in hospital later, I was discharged home. Being “fairly young” (surgeons exact words), I was expected to make a full recovery.
Physically, the prognosis seemed likely. I’m fairly healthy (my exact words) and not shy to exercise. But I just wasn’t prepared mentally for the initial helplessness I felt after the injury and the impact that had on me psychologically. I had been confronted with the fragility of the human body. My body. My fragility. My mortality.
I had gone from being a mother and care giver, to needing someone to help me wash, bath, eat, do my hair and help me to look after my son.
In some ways as time progressed things got harder. I walked in constant fear and hyper vigilance, permanently petrified that someone would bump into my arm. With the sling gone, there was no visual clue to say “Please don’t barge me I’m injured” (Which should be a general rule for all pedestrians – but like anyone who has walked the Brixton High Street gauntlet from the Tube station, past Iceland until H&M knows, it’s each person for themselves, buggy or shopping trolley during rush hour.)
Fear and vulnerability become your daily way of life and after a while it’s becomes a tough mindset to get out of.
Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by love and support. Not just from my amazing friends and family, but with small acts of kindness from complete strangers. People would stop and offer to tie my shoe laces for me, even when insisted I was fine, or hold a doors, bags or the bubba. Once a Good Samaritan even carried my bags all the way to my door step. Those acts of kindness made me remember the beauty of humanity and the resilience of the human spirit, inspiring me to find the strength to push past my fears.
So I’m proud to announce that this week was first time since my accident that I got back on a bike. Physically, I could probably have done it a couple of months ago, but we are all on our own journeys and this time mine took a little bit longer.
So thank you 2017 for showing me the beauty of true friendship, humanity, my inner strength and teaching me that it doesn’t matter how
many times you fall off that bike- GET BACK ON! Xx