Close to five years ago I had a midlife crisis – I split with my then girlfriend, now wife and bought a BMW. Two instances of folly that, in the pantheon of worst ideas I have ever had, fail to compete with the decision to take up snowboarding. For a man with the balance of a drunken penguin and a gait that is best described as unhinged this was not a sensible move.
So, to indulge this stupidity I booked myself on to a ‘learn to snowboard in a day’ course at Xscape in Castleford. A more accurate name would have been ‘fail to learn to snowboard in 3/4 of a day and then sit in a wheelchair for a bit before your seething ex (yes, the one you have just dumped) comes to collect you’ course.
I was doing OK at the drinking coffee and witty banter side of things and maybe I should have just gone straight to the apres-board but images of cutting powder on distant slopes blinded my judgment and, having managed the nursery slopes, felt ready to move on to greater things. It is worth noting that the nursery slopes were of such limited incline that prenatal would be a more fitting description.
As a man who has jumped from bridges, bungeed over Salford Quays and dated a judge’s daughter I would regard myself as reasonably fearless or stupid. To misquote ‘the tap’ there is a very thin line between fearless and stupid, as I was about to discover.
The more advanced slope was a whole different ball game and it was with no little intrepidation that I launched myself from the top of the advanced slope only to face-plant in the false snow within a matter of seconds of letting go of the handrail, rising to my feet like a disorientated Tony Montana I would scramble back to the launch area for another round of humiliation on ice.
With much perseverance and not a little luck I managed to get past the 5 meter mark and was already imagining myself grabbing some big air when, to avoid an invisible child, I turned to the left, stumbled and dug the front of my board in to the snow causing my right foot to perform an arc whereas my left ankle, taking the path of least resistance simply turned 90 degrees. Now, I am not a medical man but even I know that feet are not designed this way and that was pretty much that.
A few minutes later I was being carried off the slope or more accurately pulled off the slope as I sat on my snowboard like an arctic spartan being brought home from battle, from there it was but a painful hop into the suspiciously at hand wheelchair to await the bundle of fury that is now Mrs Beerfairy.
Months of physio was of little use and it was eventually discovered that I had managed to break the inside of my ankle – a particularity painful and daft think to do. My belief that Marlboro Light, Big Macs and anadin are a universal panacea was coming under some heavy attack; every so often my ankle would ‘go’ reducing me to shuffling around on my bum like a worm infested Labrador. Having to be fireman’s lifted, ironically by a policeman, off Mam Tor in the Peak District was another indication that my ankle wasn’t all it could be.
Spurred on by the fact that the above listed homeopathic approach was never going to work I decided that going under the knife was the only option so on 20th April I found my self having a spinal injection in preparation of surgery. Now let me tell you I have had my nights of indulgence to the point whereby I was falling off the floor but that was half a lager shandy compared to the level of leglessness I was rendered by one little shot. Being awake I was able to watch the operation on the monitor and believe me when I say there is nothing odder than looking at the inside of your ankle while someone hacks away at the bone.
5 hours and a catheter later and I am on way home to lie on the sofa and wee in a bucket for a fortnight – some fairly heavy medication so no beer for Mikey for the immediate future which is shame really as I collected £45 in vouchers for my favourite beershop (big shout out to the Curious Hop in Otley) for my recent birthday.
So here I am reduced to a one room existence wading through the far recesses of the tv channels like a one legged Indianna Jones seeking out a nugget of entertainment somewhere between ‘catching really angry looking fish with that bloke from Soldier Soldier’ and ‘angry, sweary chef shouting at idiots’. At the moment I am ploughing my way through ‘This is England 88’. Glad to see someone else is more miserable than me.
Anyway, time for a few more painkillers and my afternoon nap, I am reliably informed it is Saturday so don’t feel guilty about not working.
Bye for now but watch out for future drug fueled ramblings.
On a serious note my thanks to the staff of Chapel Allerton Hospital. The NHS is a wonderful thing.