THERE ARE PICTURES OF BLOOD AND GORE BELOW!
EVEN WORSE - PICTURES OF ME WEARING A BACKLESS HOSPITAL GOWN AND DVT STOCKINGS!!
Grandsons Lucas and Morgan drew these pictures of my accident.
On Tuesday 14th July 2009 Sandy went to bed very early and fell asleep and left the bedroom door open. I stayed up and worked in my study. When I had finished I turned out all the lights so that I did not wake Sandy up and set off to walk to the bedroom.
This should have been easy. Turn left, walk six paces and turn left into the bedroom. Any idiot could do that. However, I am not just your run-of-the-mill idiot.
I set off down the landing, lost count of the paces taken and turned left. I didn't step into the bedroom. Instead I fell head first down the stairs.
Unfortunately, Sandy was asleep and not, where she ought to have been, at the foot of the stairs with a camcorder - the video would have been worth 250 quid on "You've Been Framed!"
I flew - more or less gracefully - down the stairs. With my left hand I swept the pictures off the wall and with my right hand I swept all those knickknacks that we had accumulated over the years. The latter included three models of the Great Pyramid of Cheops bought by Sandy in Cairo for seven quid from a very annoying peddler.
"SEVEN QUID!" I hear you cry. Well, yes. Sandy got confused by the exchange rate between Egyptian Pounds and Cypriot Pounds - the difference being about a factor of one hundred in those days.
The annoying peddler was able to feed his family for a month at the Cairo Plaza Grill on those three trinkets.
Having gathered up pictures and trinkets during my flight I then made a very bad landing face first into the front door. This jerked my head back and cracked my neck.
Stunned, I got to all fours just as Sandy switched on the light - I had tried to scream quietly so as not to wake her up.
What she saw was me - naked - on all fours. Blood spurting from my forehead, my broken and split nose and my chin. I was distressed to find that I had no feeling in my arms and that my head seemed to be at a strange angle to my body.
Sandy was in a great state of distress. "You realise that blood is going all over the carpet - I'll never get that out" (That's a joke - OK?)
I rolled onto my back swallowing blood furiously as it ran down my throat and I edged my way into the downstairs toilet where I felt I could bleed uninhibitedly over the vinyl flooring.
As I tried to stop the flow of blood I had a desperate and urgent request for Sandy "Please get the camera!"
This was AFTER I had stopped my nose pumping blood everywhere.
The blood on the carpet - it has not washed out.
As soon as the pictures were safely recorded I was taken to A&E at Dorchester where I was securely strapped to a trolley, had large plastic foam shapes packed around my head and was generally thoroughly immobilised. I understand this is part of the 'Care In The Community' requirements for the restraint of lunatic naked scientists - and quite rightly too!
I spent six hours examining in great detail a ceiling tile in A&E whilst various tests were conducted. I had to tell how it all happened several times because the A&E staff kept saying
"No, stop joking! How did it REALLY happen!"
I had five X-Rays, a CT scan and an MRi scan. I was then fitted with a Hannibal Lecter neck brace as seen in the next two pictures.
As I lay on the A&E trolley I started to get a powerful tingling sensation creeping down my arms. After about five hours both arms were tingling as if brushed with stinging nettles over their length.
After five days I had almost regained full feeling in my arms - only a small area on my left hand was still numb.
I had broken three neck vertebrae and damaged three ligaments but my spinal column was intact.
The X-Ray pictures did not clearly show the damage to my neck. I was told this was because my neck is seriously damaged by long-term arthritis - even though I have never had any problems previously with my neck; certainly no pain. Two vertebrae are locked together by the arthritis and this may have been a reason why my spinal cord was not damaged.
Hurrah for Arthritis!
I spent many days staring at the ward ceiling trying to distinguish the difference between the ceiling tile above me and the ones around it - a boring occupation even to me who normally enjoys boring things - see my really boring Award Winning website - click here.
My ward companions had interesting injuries. One young lad had shattered his ankle jumping from the top of a telephone box whilst drunk ("It seemed a funny idea at the time..."), another had sawed through his hand ligaments and carpel tunnels when he sneezed during a DIY job and a third had fallen spectacularly from a ladder whilst painting his gutters.
We were all straight out of a Charlie Chaplin film.
I discovered that the guy next to me was the Team GB 2012 Olympic Snoring Event Coach. All night the violence of his snoring caused the curtains around his bed to billow out and the blood pressure measuring machines to start beeping spontaneously.
One night all of the rest of us, having given up any chance of sleeping, gathered at 2 am in the night nursing station and had a 'Horlicks and Biscuit' party.
I had one encounter with a bedpan. My bowels were growling - the moment had come.
So there I was dressed in a backless nightgown and DVT stockings. A pretty nurse slipped a bedpan under me as a team of others held me rigidly horizontal. I protested that I was able to walk to the loo but to no available.
"OK - GO!"
Said the nurse.
I knew as soon as I saw that bedpan that it would not be adequate for what I was intending - and it wasn't. I will tell the full story to anyone who refuses to buy me a pint of Tangle Foot beer and otherwise leave it to your imagination what happened.
I had thought of myself as a 69 year old Sex God. I used to wander back and forth past the open door to the women's ward with my bum showing out of the backless hospital gown to wolf whistles from the octogenarian occupants - they put their dentures in especially to show their appreciation of my "Robbie Williams" buttocks.
That was until I was told to wear a dressing gown by Sister.
'Nuff said - I now know my place on the cruel ladder of life.
And so, on Monday 20th July I was released back into the community wearing a solid neck collar, instructions not to drive for eight weeks and not to engage in physical exercise that might harm my broken neck.
The outcome of this interesting week is that I broke my nose - it is now straight whereas it had been crooked since birth - I am scarred over my face, my hands are bruised, I have to wear a neck brace for two months - as seen in this picture - I cannot drive and I am growing a beard because I cannot shave.
Sobering thoughts: if I had swerved a foot to the right my head would have gone through the glass panel on the bottom of the inner front door and I would now probably be in the mortuary.
Also, I was told that the chance of me being paralysed in my arms was about fifty-fifty when I came in to A&E. My God! If I couldn't use my arms how would I be able to pick my nose?
On release from Hospital 20th July The beard is growing - 7th August!
At a 'Day At The Races' themed fancy dress party - Sandy is an 'Ascot Lady' and I'm John McCririck
Pictures taken on August 30th and September 15th - I'm beginning to look a bit like Father Christmas
I didn't let a multiple fractured neck stop Sandy and me travelling to Scotland for a fortnight holidaying and attending a wild Nash Hash weekend of partying and drinking - see pictures here.
|Beard and neck brace - both inseparable parts of me for 79 days.||I've got the neck brace off for ten minutes - my head feels really wobbly.|
|Shall I cut the rest off or leave it like this?||OK! I suppose it had better all go.|
On 6th October I started physiotherapy at Weymouth Hospital and on 9th November I was told to leave off the neck brace and gently start to get the strength back into my neck. Best of all I was allowed to drive for the first time in four months.
There was an odd incident when I went to Southampton General Hospital to have my final check-up however. The consultant was supposed to examine my case and my neck and give me the 'all clear' to continue my life as before the accident.
He first asked me how many children I had and then how many units of alcohol I drank each week!
I was so stunned that I passively told him the answers. It was only on my way home that I realised that these questions were totally irrelevant to my case and I should have refused to answer. Maybe if I had reacted in that way I'd still be in that neck brace...
I want to say that Dorchester County Hospital was excellent in all ways - I could fault nothing - Three Cheers for the National Health Service!
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