Its Been A Busy Month Or So…

Cant believe I haven’t blogged since 26th April!!

Its all change since then and it seems as though a lot has happened.

3rd May I picked up my leg from the Nuffield; having been counting down the days to get my leg the day didn’t disappoint, I spent some time in the fitting room getting the fit of my socket and the alignment of the leg right, after that I went down for a small amount of physio. The physio had mentioned to me that I was walking like I had the leg a few weeks rather than a few minutes.

Since then I have been having physio four times a week, moving from the bars, to two sticks, down to one and now I am walking around UNAIDED; feels amazing! It is very tiring and I am sure it will take months to get use to the amount of energy needed to just walk and I will always face difficulties along the way.

25th May was a tough session at physio, wearing 6 socks the socket was still too big and it made doing anything hard work, this led to a bit of a down day on the 26th but luckily on the  27th I picked up my new socket which was a much better fit and since then have been cracking on with physio and walking. Last week was a really good week, everything seemed to work and I have been walking more and more outside of physio.

Socially I have been up to a lot really, I had the Bletchley Ladies Awards night which was a lovely evening and it was lovely to get all dressed up. I got given the Grange Award; for outstanding attitude, determination all around doggedness. Truly honoured to receive this recognition from the team/club. My time as a player for Bletchley was short but sweet but I will forever be part of the Bletchley family and I cannot thank them all enough for what they have done.

I have been up to a lot more so please see the below pictures to see what I have been up to, sorry for the short post but I know a lot of you have been bugging me for oneūüėČ I am still at physio four times a week but focusing on different things now that I am able to walk unaided such as uneven ground, obstacles, crossing feet over ect;

 

 

 

 

Adapting To The Real World…

“From today, every business should be more user-friendly for Britain’s 10 million disabled people. But according to a new report, businesses on 80% of Britain’s biggest high streets are ill-prepared.”¬†01 Oct 2004

Im sure that pretty much any disabled person will tell you that it feels like the statistic above has probably not changed much since 2004.

Do you ever drive into Tesco, Asda, a shopping centre, anywhere really and think ‘why is there so many disabled spaces?’ I know most of you probably do, I use to. The truth is, yes there does need to be 30 disabled spaces, okay they are probably not all used at the same time but what if they are, and then you have selfishly parked in one thinking it wouldn’t matter, then that disabled person arrives not being able to park, they are there for a reason!

I went out for dinner the other evening; struggling to get up the step into the first door I had to get out of my wheelchair and hop up. The wheelchair wouldn’t fit through the next door either so I had to hop through, next thing I know I’m on the floor because i tripped on my footplate of the chair, all which could have been avoided if the restaurant was disabled friendly. Luckily no damage done to my stump as I have learnt to turn and fall on my bum to prevent injury.

At the weekend I went to the city centre with Holly to have a look around the shops. Going around a book shop I nearly took a table with me!! People/Companies really do not think of things like this when setting up their shops. Perhaps people should all go around in wheelchairs when doing things like that… Unlikely.

Now of course I know the whole world cannot be disabled friendly but some small thoughts and changes can make it a hell of a lot easier for people. Fortunately I am hoping to be up and fully functional in a prosthetic leg soon, but of course there will be times that I will need to use a wheelchair so these things still matter to me.

I have recently been to my prosthetic leg fitting so it shouldn’t be long until I can continue in my road to recovery and start the new chapter of learning to walk. 24 years old and having to learn to walk just sounds crazy; who would have thought my life would have been like this 6 months ago. Im so sure that everything truly does happen for a reason; positivity, support and love will get my through to find that reason. Right now I am just dreaming of walking and taking on the new challenges life has to offer.

I know its been a while since I did an update and i don’t think even I can remember what I have been doing; please see my recent adventures in pictures below.

 

 

Make Amazing Things Happen…

I had my accident in Olney on the 21st February and I found out the past couple of days that Olney is the Home of Amazing Grace, a Christian hymn written in 1764 and published in 1779. It truly is the home of Amazing Grace because I’m going to do amazing things. The start of my new life. I have spoken to a few amputees, mostly below knee who do amazing things, check out¬†https://onelegdontcare.wordpress.com

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**lets #amazinggrace everything!!**

Friday 1st April No not an april fools, I WENT HOME!! ¬†6 weeks in hospital done, I literally can’t believe its April already, my year is going to fly by so need to make sure I am keeping up and doing amazing things along the way, #amazinggrace

Friday was a tiring day, had a physio appointment with the amputee physio and then went up for lunch and then got the transport home. what did I do when I went home, napped! after a quick snooze in bed Adam and Lucy came round with Erin-Rose and Ivy which was lovely and nice to see them in my home settings. I spent the evening in with Holly eating a Chinese and relaxing on the sofa. how much more perfect can you get than that.

Saturday 2nd April¬†Holly and I went out to get a few bits for the house and then popped down to the club where the famous Jason Robinson was helping to train some of the junior players at the club; what an amazing opportunity for them. I went down to meet him and say hello to the club. Jason signed a ball and a Bletchley top for me, amazing. After this Holly and I popped home, I had a snooze and then we both got ready for a belated birthday dinner for myself and Chris, Hollys dad. Both birthday’s being slightly overlooked due to my hospital stay. A lovely time out. I spent the evening sorting out my 18 a day tablets watching pretty little liars.

Sunday 3rd April¬†I took a trip out to watch one of the key fixtures in Bletchley ladies league, the current leaders playing to win and get their bonus point. This game would set the standard and score that my girls need to meet to win the league. a great game to watch, a really weird experience to go back to the scene of the accident also. Makes you realise that your life can change in the blink of an eye. I suffered a lot of pain on Sunday night and struggled to sleep…

Above everything, including losing my leg the thing that worries me the most is the pain, I’m scared about always being in pain. If this happens I am sure I will have to work through it and make sure that my positivity and strength takes me through. I have decided not to go on my planned holiday (rugby tour) with my amazing Bletchley ladies and my beautiful girlfriend. As much as this is a holiday I feel that it will not be a relaxing time away with the worry of infection and damaging my stump at such a crucial time, where any bruise or injury to it could prevent my journey continuing at the pace it should. We have decided we will use the money to go away later in the year once I have my leg. At the moment my stump needs my full attention and I need to focus on learning to adapt and most importantly; walk.

I am on ITV Anglia tonight at 6pm telling my story. For those who don’t have access to this broadcast I will post the link in this blog post when it is available online.

Do amazing things people.. #amazinggrace

Grapes.

x

A Beautiful Baby Girl…

There really isn’t much to say for the this week; its been a pretty standard week for what is standard in the hospital when you’re not really medically unwell; it is very frustrating being in hospital when you don’t actually feel unwell. I have my own little routine for most days now. I normally sleep in till anywhere between 10-11:30, WHY NOT HEY? may as well make the most of it. Then I have my wash and change from my nighttime pyjamas to my daytime pyjamas LOL. ¬†have breakfast if its not too late or wait till lunch time. my afternoons mainly consist of physio, naps and watching pretty little liars (if you have seen it, god when will it end?! and if you haven’t seen it, don’t. its really not worth it and once you start you just can’t stop watching!!) and this continues until my visitors come in the evening!¬†Thursday my wheelchair arrived! woo hoo, finally felt more independent and able to get around by myself!!

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Friday 25th March¬†The Dr’s and nurses have agreed that I am allowed to go out in the day time which is great. Holly had a half day so my mum and her went out for lunch at the harvester, its was lovely weather and after we had lunch we popped into Holly’s mums for a cuppa and a cake which was nice (Sue’s cakes are delicious!). It was difficult getting in the house as there is a step up into holly’s parents, we had to have an office chair in the house for me to step up and sit on but as i was stepping up it was more work than my muscles were use to so holly had to help me lift myself up to get in, *note to self need to work on my leg muscles.* We got back to the hospital and had a relaxing afternoon and Holly then washed my hair in the evening which felt lovely again!ūüėÄ

Friday night i got a text to say that my sister in law’s contractions had started!! exciting stuff. They welcomed a beautiful baby girl called Ivy into the world at 10.22pm, Congratulations Adam and Lucy, I’m very honoured to become an aunty again. see below my first cuddle with Ivy and¬†Erin Rose giving her a kiss and a cuddle; being a very lovely big sister.

 

Saturday 26th March  WOW what a day, Holly and I had planned to go out for a bit but in the end i was out the whole day! After my cuddle with Ivy (picture above) I went back to my ward and got dressed, once Holly arrived we went out at about 11am to Primark to buy some more pyjamas for me as well as some tracksuit bottoms. After this we went to Nandos for some lunch which was delicious. getting around MK1 shopping area proved difficult, the crossing from M&S and the restaurants has no dropped curbs, how super! after a massive bump down and a pull up we were on our way again. definitely noticing how inaccessible places can be to disabled people, Nandos has a disabled toilet; great yeah but have to pull open a heavy and narrow door to get to it. We also popped to boots to get some toiletries and after this headed down to Manor Fields to watch the 1st team men play in the semi final cup game, which they won 20-13 YAY! After this Holly and I headed up to the club house for a drink, it was great to see everyone and the support I am still receiving is so great and overwhelming, thanks everyone again. the club house conveniently has a stair lift so got in  without any hassle. a long day today, but a really enjoyable one. It was great to back in the real world even if it was only for the day.

Peace out, Happy Easter!

Grapes. x

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Milton Keynes…

Thursday 17th March Beth and Jodie from my rugby team came to visit, this was lovely, we went for lunch in the M&S cafe (again escaping the hospital food) we were very naughty and all had a giant slice of cake. Beth also brought with her a letter of support from Nigel Wray which included a very generous cheque to put in my fund. I am truly grateful to Nigel as well as everyone else who has donated money and gifts to me, it really will help me in the up and coming months and the future ahead. I had a really good day with the physio. I went into the Gym and first off they got me standing at the bars and balancing on one leg, after i had done this for a while i then practiced it with my eyes closed which defiantly proved more difficult. I also had a go at transferring to a low chair and getting back up again and after this I had a go at getting up and down the stairs on my bottom as well getting into a chair at the top and bottom of the stairs. I am receiving lots of positive feedback relating to my ability in physio which is really good.

Friday 18th March was a day of waiting; waiting for the ambulance as I was told I was due to be transferred to Milton Keynes hospital as this was closer to my home. I think I left Oxford about 1pm, I had some morphine before leaving so that I wasn’t in pain on the journey and it took about an hour to get over to Milton Keynes. Once we arrived there was a bed dilemma as the bed I was going into was actually empty; i enjoyed some toast and and a glass of water in the corridor ¬†before eventually getting a side room allocated to me. As much as i wanted to stay in Oxford as it is one of the best trauma units around being in Milton Keynes is much easier for Holly and the rest of my family and visitors as there is less travelling. (my frozen birthday balloon is still going and I couldn’t leave that behind)

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Saturday 19th March I really look forward to the weekend as I get to spend a lot more time with Holly, its really difficult not be able to spend proper time together so I cherish every moment we get together. we had a standard Saturday, relaxing, watching pretty little liars.  Saturday was also a key day as it was 14 days post op which meant it was time for my staples to come out. This was quite painful and in total I think I had about 30 stitches out. the nurse who completed this said how well the wound had healed, as she thought it was 6 weeks post op, and this was a reason why it was so painful having them out. photo of the wound from yesterday, (21/03) it is healing well apart from one bit which they are looking after. Apologies to any squeamish people just scroll past it lol! Its going to be one hell of a scar!

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Sunday 20th March¬†was another day spent with Holly, as well as Adam, Lucy and Erin Rose who came to visit. (Holly’s brother and sister in law and their daughter for those who don’t know.) Lucy is pregnant and the baby was due on the 19th so we are all waiting for the baby to arrive! one good thing about being back in MK and on the ward I am on is its right by the labour ward! I did physio on the parallel bars, stretching and moving my leg, well stump and then some balance work, I then practised the stairs again, I had an early night as was very tired.

Monday 21st March ONE MONTH IN HOSPITAL and my body and brain can defiantly tell, very emotional just wanting to go home, like I have said before its not the losing the leg part that is getting to me its the not being able to go home part, I really miss home and Holly. I was very tired on Monday and when the physio came around i said no to getting up and going on the bars but did exercise in the bed. later in the evening I had a lovely visit from a couple of the rugby girls, Verity and Jennie. Holly came a bit later and we all had a mcdonalds which was nice. Please see below the easter egg that Jennie  bought me without realising, luckily I can take the funny side lol.

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The rabbit on the egg even looks like it only has one leg!! how funny. after the girls went Holly washed my hair for me, doesn’t sound like anything big but it hadn’t been done for over a week! it felt lovely. Overall there isn’t much change day to day at the moment, the big stuff will start once I’m discharged and once I’m doing physio with my leg. photo of my clean, bouncy hair below!

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Grapes x

It’s a waiting game..

Thursday 10th March I was very sleepy all day and really didn’t do much at all. Nothing to report on during the day, in the evening the nurses took my canula out as IV fluids/drugs were no longer needed. They also took my catheter out. Having both of these out made me feel a lot more normal and like I wasn’t ill which was a really nice feeling.

Friday 11th March I started the day with some physio in the bed, doing lots of stretches and moving of the stump getting ready for the more intense physio I have to come in the next few months. As above I was feeling a lot more normal however it is now a pain that I have to get up to weeūüėČ   Later in the day a couple of the rugby girls came to visit, Lauren and Kelly. I had a really nice time with them, talked lots and ordered dominos for tea which was a delicious treat!  

Friday evening I got a tweet from Karl Cross and saw that Danny Care from the England rugby team was auctioning a signed shirt from the squad in order to raise money for my go fund me account, this was so lovely to see and felt so loved and supported. The auction later finished on Sunday evening and went for £950!!

Saturday 12th March … Finally the weekend which means I get to spend more time with my girlfriend Holly. We went up to the cafe for lunch to escape the hospital food again. We later snuggled up with the curtains round and watched the rugby, both the men and then women’s, both great games to watch. Holly brought in a package that had been delivered, it was some stash from the Matt Hampson foundation, that was really nice of them.

   
Sunday 13th March Holly came to visit again, as well as Holly, Adam, Lucy, Erin-Rose (Hollys brother, sister in law and niece) and Hollys dad Chris came to visit. We all went to the cafe (again to escape the hospital food!).    

Tuesday 15th March I had a lovely visit from Kat Merchant, for anyone who doesn’t know she use to play for England ladies and now takes part in coaching, Refing matches and most recently commentary on the ladies game. As well as Karl Cross, Bletchley ladies old coach and all round rugby fanatic! It was so lovely of them to visit and Kat brought along an amazing gift from the England ladies, see below!  

 In the evening Holly came to visit with her best friend and my friend Natalie. We head down to m and s in the main hospital and had a little picnic on the bed which was nice; after they left I was quite emotional and got very upset. I do find it really hard to say goodbye to Holly, this is the longest time we have spent apart and I really just want to be at home now. I really didn’t sleep well last night, waking up every hour.
Today i went to the Nuffield, Oxford centre of enablement to meet the team that I will be working with through my long term physio and prosthetic leg rehab. It was actually really nice just to get out of the hospital and remember that there is a world outside of the hospital. Day to day there really isn’t much change at the moment as we are all just waiting for the wound to fully heal before I  can start proper physio and get going again. 

 
  

THIS GIRL CAN

Grapes X 

A rainy day..

First off in this post i just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has already donated to my fund, this money will be a great help to myself and my girlfriend to help support me in my recovery in the next few months. If you would like to donate or just see a sneaky picture of my original dislocated X Ray or my new little stump the link is https://www.gofundme.com/mqrc7xjg

The past few days there has been massive change, on Sunday I started my physio and I managed to sit on the side of the bed, feeling like I had a few cheeky vodkas as my head was spinning after being in bed so long. It felt very nice to be sitting up and I did some exercises with my leg to get some strength and movement back into that as its all by itself now!


I was very tired on Sunday evening after a busy weekend of ops, physio and lots of visitors (it’s so tiring talking!) I said I didn’t want any visitors Monday day time and I actually slept from 11pm to 11:30am. I must have needed it. After my wash I was excited to see what my physio would have in store. I stood up. I actually stood up! It was obviously difficult as it was my first time, I used my arms to push myself up and then used the frame to steady myself. In addition to this I used the frame to pivot on my foot and got into a wheelchair! I actually cried when I got into the wheelchair and was just thanking the physio’s, I was just so overjoyed to be out of bed. ¬†

Tuesday was much the same as Monday, got up in my chair, however the physio’s want me to use the ‘banana board’ to transfer, basically a curved board that I slide across. My mum came on Tuesday afternoon and we went down to one of the cafes in the hospitals for lunch; how nice it was compared to the hospital food! ¬†Tomato pasta bake and chips! I then had a sleep on the bed and had some visitors from rugby, Sarah and one of the coaches Andy, it was lovely the see them and after they left I had a sleep.

I woke up feeling quite emotional and spent that whole evening quite weepy. Nothing to do with my stump, my back was sore and was therefore missing my home comforts of my own bed! This is the ¬†longest time I have spent away from holly and now that I’m more with it, it has kicked in how much I miss being at home with her. All I wanted was to be at home yesterday.

Holly, Sue and Chris (Holly’s parents) came to visit and I remained weepy while they were here. We took a walk to the hospital shops and it’s got quite a few bumps which are painful to go over as it knocks my stump. Already being emotional I did have a cry in the shop because people kept looking at me. We sat in the cafe and had a cake and a drink and by then I was exhausted and wanted to go bed.

Holly and her parents sat with me for a while which was nice and after they went I watched EastEnders and went to sleep, woke up a few times in the night in pain but overall had a good nights sleep. 

In the middle of writing this blog Gary Street, came into visit me (for anyone who doesn’t know him this was England women’s coach 2007-2015). I can’t believe that so many people are going out of their way to help and support me. I truly appreciate it. I had a lovely chat with him and feel very honoured that he gave me his six nations women’s medal from 2010. Unbelievable. ¬†

Everyday brings a new challenge.

Grapes X

The Start…

Welcome.

My name is Gracie, I’m 24. I enjoy the cinema, food, taking naps and most relevant, rugby. On 21st February 2016 my life changed forever.

This day had been a key date in the rugby calendar for Bletchley ladies, a top of the table clash, local derby and a game that the  the girls did not want to lose.

I started my sunday as normal for game day. A lay in, a fry up (which i couldn’t actually eat as I was too nervous) I then spent the morning relaxing and I think watching pretty little liars. Standard for me to sit around waiting all morning and then end up being late for the meet time!

I took the short drive over to the away game at Olney, met the girls and started with the standard pre match stuff to get ready; getting my dodgy ankle strapped, being dj for the changing room music and then out to the pitch for warm up. The match begin with a full set of 15 nervous Bletchley ladies waiting for a tough game ahead. I don’t remember much of the game, I think there were quite a few scrums though.

2.26pm… I took an amber line, running everything I had learnt this season through my head: run straight, fix the defender and then pass the ball out to my number 10. All done, then a tackle came in and took me down. The pain then rushed all done my leg. Pain that I have never experienced before, i knew instantly this was a serious injury. I spent over an hour on the pitch in severe pain with the team physio, my girlfriend and Sharon waiting for an ambulance to come.

No one knew at this point how serious my injury was. I spent time in Milton Keynes hospital to establish what damage had been done, a dislocation. In addition the doctors couldn’t find a pulse in my foot and I was transferred to the the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford to undergo emergency surgery to repair the blood vessels in my leg which we found out a few days later was unsuccessful and had to complete the surgery again. My first 9 days in hospital saw my health deteriorate to the point I wasn’t eating, talking or sleeping.

On 2nd March 2016 I was scheduled for surgery to close the wounds on my leg and hopefully reconstruct the knee however the consultant explained if there wasn’t enough muscle and if the nerve/blood vessels hasdnt repaired there was the possibility that I may lose my leg. This didn’t actually phase me, I had experienced nearly 2 weeks of severe pain and I just wanted a solution. 10 minutes later I was taking down for surgery and I did in fact wake up a few hours later without my leg but was in such relief as the pain was nothing compared. I had my last surgery on 5th March 2016 to fully close the wound and remove the vacuum pump.

This blog will now follow my journey in the new chapter of my life. I am positive for the future, I’m excited for what each new day will bring. I look forward to being involved in rugby still, just in different ways and I would still like people to continue playing rugby/start playing if you’re not already a player. It’s a fantastic sport. You have a whole new family. I was just unfortunate, a freak accident.

Everything happens for a reason.

Grapes x