Monday, 25 August 2008

Unforgettable summer

It's now five weeks since I broke my arm. I have just over a fortnight left before I can return to Cologne. April and I have really missed Simon and I am looking forward to us all living together as a family again.

It's been very strange only having one functioning arm and asking for help to complete the simplest of tasks, such as cutting up my food or tying my hair in a pony tail. I still bear a 14 cm green and purple bruise where the fracture is and most nights my arm throbs because it is repairing itself.

I don't wish to come across all doom and gloom though, because this cloud does have a silver lining. April has flourished from such close proximity to her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Every day she says new words and seems to understand more. I've benefited from resting my back, which is not a luxury many women get when they are expecting child no 2.

That summer holiday I mentioned back in my last post? Well, that's been quite a success. I've caught up with friends for lunch or down the pub and am planning more of the same. April and I have spent some magical moments with family: we've been to the zoo, petted farm animals, gone to various parks, attended free musical sessions for kids and eaten lots of icecream and cake.

elephant artWe've also experienced Norwich's summer public art event - a display of over 50 artist-decorated elephants placed around the city. This event has been very popular with locals and tourists, especially kids. Here is one of April's favourites. (See for more info.)

Like an archetypal elephant, I'll be unable to forget this summer. It was the first time I broke one of my bones*, but also the first time April sat on a beach and made sand castles.

*Hopefully also the last.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Weekend break

Two weeks ago Simon, April and I travelled back to England for weekend break to attend a christening. April and I are still here.

My weekend break was certainly a break, but not in the way I imagined. So what happened?

Take one pregnant lady and her need to go to the loo in the middle of the night. Add the fact that she didn’t want to wake her husband by turning on a light. Throw in the detail that she was staying with relatives and so the room’s geography was slightly unfamiliar. Finally, put in a heavy Victorian wooden armchair and a very solid wall.

The result? I tripped over the chair and crashed into the wall with a lot of force. The pain was so bad that ten minutes later Simon helped me to dress (carefully) and we set off to join the queue of casualties at Accident and Emergency.

We soon found that Saturday night is not the best time to be visiting A&E and to be sober. We had a four hour wait to be seen because it was so busy. This time probably passed a little quicker for those who were well oiled on arrival, which seemed to be everyone else in the waiting room. There were people there with bloodied heads and hands, claiming they had been beaten up, or boasting about starting fights. There was a bride in full wedding dress, sitting with her new husband and parents. She was holding her arm up like me, so I am guessing it was an arm fracture. I imagine the break was a result of the combination of too much champagne and overly-enthusiastic participation in the 'Time Warp'. A teenage girl was there with her boyfriend. We heard, from their loud conversation, that he had been giving her a piggy back when she fell off his shoulders and banged her head. He had the sense to take her to hospital as she was feeling ‘a little dizzy’. However, she kept saying that she was fine and couldn’t she just go and get another vodka?

I was seen somewhere between four and five in the morning and doctors informed me that I had broken my left humerus. My arm was put in a sling and I was sent home. Being pregnant I was told that I could take nothing stronger than paracetamol. This didn’t prove powerful enough in the first few days. How I suffered - poor me.

Two weeks on and I am still in England. It is going to take six weeks for the fracture to mend and before I will be able to lift April. As I cannot lift her I am having to stay at my parents so they can help. There are positives and negatives. The bad news is that Simon has had to go back to Germany to work and there is a limit to how often he can afford to come back. On the other hand, I haven’t changed a nappy in a fortnight. People have to cut up my food for me, but at least I can still type. I’ve had to spend a lot of time in doctors' waiting rooms, but I’ve also been to the beach and am catching up with old friends as a lady who lunches.

The six weeks I will be off happen to coincide with the school holidays. I have decided to look on the bright side and call this period my school holiday. Translating a weekend break into a whole school holiday - can’t be bad, even if have to enjoy it with only one arm.