Coming off the bike

I fell off my bike yesterday (it skidded from under me when I braked and changed direction on a wet and slippery road) and inflicted a fair amount of damage on my knee, thigh and elbow. Things were made more complicated than necessary when I staged a spectacular faint in the waiting-room of a local Minor Injuries Unit and as a result was despatched in an ambulance and an oxygen mask to the nearest general hospital where an alarmingly young doctor panicked that I might have had a heart attack and was terrified that if he sent me home and I promptly had another, he would be blamed. Exhaustive tests of every conceivable kind produced absolutely no sign of heart attack, and it eventually became the accepted wisdom that I had had a common-or-garden faint, probably due to a sudden loss of blood pressure caused by the draining of large amounts of blood into the gigantic swellings on my leg. So after many hours in the Minor Injuries Unit, the ambulance and the hospital, I was eventually released and allowed to go home, long-suffering wife at the wheel.

So I'm now semi-laid up, discommoded by inability to bend my left leg more than about five degrees because of the swelling, so having to spend most of the time lying down, with or without frozen peas balanced on the offending limb. I'm on a diet of pain-killers and no alcohol (alcohol apparently dilates the veins and arteries and thus reduces blood pressure) and can't do much apart from watching the enormous platitude-fest at the Labour Party conference on television (which at least helps to keep the blood pressure up), with the left leg more or less out of action until the swellings consent to go down. Apart from that, I'm perfectly OK. Messages of sympathy would definitely be disproportionate, to use the current fad word. I'm not ill, just uncomfortable. Nothing is broken — not even the bike.

I can just about use the laptop balanced on my, er, lap, in bed (hence this), but it's not terribly comfortable and I shan't, probably, write any more until I have two legs back, so I beg your pardon for not blogging for a while about the Great Blair Speech at Conference (parts of which I found pretty emetic), "Dr" John Reid's inexplicable triumph in the Newsnight focus group, the Ryder Cup (watching golf on television compares reasonably favourably with watching washing-up dry, but not much else, however gratifying to see the Europeans trouncing the Americans), sundry murders by rottweilers and others, the private life of Gordon Brown, what kind of welcome we should give to hundreds of thousands of Bulgarian and Romanian workers who'll allegedly be flooding in once their country joins the club (few commentators seem to realise that there are an awful lot more Poles than there are Bulgarians or Romanians), or possible explanations for the weird obsession of most of the electronic and print media with an uninteresting remark that Cherie Blair probably didn't make but which would still be uninteresting even if she did.  And now I must strap the frozen peas to my balloon-like thigh again.

It's all a lot of fuss about nothing, really. Bloody nuisance, though.


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