Would have been useful these the last couple of days. Taking the alternative meaning, Verbal accepted one, when agreeing to a game of Extreme Leapfrog, before landing in Hereford A&E. For about 30 hours. Having turned eleven only two days earlier, it could be viewed as a belated birthday present that keeps on giving.
I should have suspected the worse when Nick – the long suffering bike mechanic – text’d me on Saturday to say “Your brakes are now fixed……. but the bearings in the front wheel are fcked”. Ying, and bloody yang. Wondering if this rash of expensive failures would ever end, I idly inquired to the world at large, what could possibly break next. On the not unreasonable grounds that everything I owned appeared to be pulling a sickie in the bike shop.
The answer was Verbal. Honestly if this goes on, I’m calling in a priest. I might not even wait for somebody’s head to start spinning round, because it is obvious that some kind of “broken Jonah” stalks my world. Verbal’s initial – and only – leapfrog attempt went up, then sideways, rolled off the top and crashed down directly on her elbow. Which decided it’d make a quick break with the bone it has been recently attached to and play the “arm’s at a funny angle now” card.
Local community hospital suggested dislocation. Not as a remedy, more as a diagnosis. Hereford A&E eventually pony’d up a radiographer and HD digital images showed a gap where once there was none. I received most of this information by text message while being whisked* westwards by the Cotswold Trundler.Â Arriving home, breaking news announced an operation was forthcoming to pin all the broken bits back together.
This triggered a mad sequence of panic involving pyjama’s, toothbrushes, couldn’t-be-more-helpful-neighbours, inconsolable Random child and mad dog. I should have know better – based on my own experiences – and the promised op was postponed, leaving nothing other than a late night clothes delivery and a bit of sleepless night.
Following morning, we received an unexpected call from the hospital promising that Verbal was second in line for the knife. My expectations were quite low as we fought our way back into Hereford, and these expectations were not quite met.Â Typical NHS really, brilliant nurses, great Children’s ward full of light and toys**, aloof consultants and rubbish timekeeping. Carol hung about all day while nothing happened, until – finally – at 2pm, Verbal got the big sleeping draught and a major wiring job to align the wonky bones.
She was extremely stoic and brave all the way through. More than I was after my last big accident. Random and I pitched up about six to find a groggy and in-pain Verbal demanding if we’d brought any food. So not entirely groggy then. I asked if Carbon or Titanium had been used for the repair, but no one seemed to know anything. On those grounds, we decided to do a runner since there seemed to be no interest in keeping her in.
Anyway she’s off school for a week which I’m sure means a) lots of TV and b) some frustration for her mum.Â Next Friday we get to find how “Operation Barbed Wire” has gone and if they need to add a cast to her list of bloody annoying things that you get with a broken arm.
It is amazing what a sense of perspective you get when one of your children is badly hurt. I’m not suggesting you try it for that reason, but it is good to be reminded what is important. On that note, I’m off to unwind my head on some local trails.Â I have sacrificed a twisted derailer to the Gods of Fate to protect me from any more disasters. We can but hope.
* wrong word. If you whisked anything this slowly, it’d just curdle
** They even had a little games room with a Pool table and a Wii. Someone had nicked the remotes tho. What kind of people eh?