I am writing this, bewildered, as I contemplate my new reality. Only a week ago I was completing the final leg of the walk and coming into Dwellingup after 22kms: tired, a little footsore, definitely smelly but already contemplating the next leg.
Tonight I lie in bed, fresh out of a three day hospital stint, crutches propped up against the wall. I will be on those crutches for the foreseeable future. The new job I was so excited about, well, that won’t be happening. The 5K race I had trained for next week: I won’t be running that. Our camping holiday over Christmas: probably not.
I got a blister that last day. Unbeknownst to me, the blister rub introduced a bacteria through the break in the skin that generated a deep and hidden ulcer beneath. I got the blister Saturday. Monday it felt like it was getting infected. Tuesday first thing I went to the doctor and was placed on heavy duty antibiotics. I ran a high fever. Thursday morning I went back to the doctor with the blister very swollen, a red foot and swelling advancing up the leg. He sent me straight to the ER.
At the ER they lanced the blister and revealed the presence of the ulcer beneath. I was admitted and immediately placed on six hourly doses of IV antibiotics and effective pain relief. The reality of my situation was brought home to me – I could have lost my foot. Healing will take months.
I was discharged more because I wasn’t acute any more (they need the beds) than because I was healed; I can have some more IV therapy at home with nurses that come in.
Tonight I navigated my difficult way around my home and worked out that this is going to be my existence for a long, long time, a future so much less enjoyable than what I had thought the next six months held in store. Last Saturday was a fork in the road but I just couldn’t see it at the time.