Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Dealing With a Broken Ankle

 When I moved into my room at uni last September, I had a small first aid kit- painkillers, deep heat, flu sachets, allergy tablets etc. Since I broke my ankle, I've accumulated quite the amount of medical supplies and have had to move out of the first aid bag and into the draw next to my bed. So to have it on record, here's what the draw currently looks like:              

On the top row: 
Cycling gloves- my dad gave these to me when I started to get blisters from my crutches. Crutching is hard enough without having blisters inside blisters.
Paracetamol/ibuprofen- ideal for any part of the injury and rehab process
Savlon- for the blisters that come from crutches and on the bad foot when starting to wear shoes again

Bottom row:
Talc- for the dry skin that comes from not being able to wash the foot properly, and I also used this on my hands.
Nivea lotion- for moisturising the bad foot after 6 weeks of being in a cast/boot
Radian B heat spray- the less smelly version of deep heat, good for any secondary aches and pains from the crutches (used mostly on my hips and back)
Bio oil- to help heal the scar
Ankle support- I just bought a cheap one from Superdrug but it does the trick- I only wear it if I know there's going to be lots of standing around or walking on uneven surfaces.
2x rolls of white athletic tape- I used this to tape my ankle when I first started doing sport again after the injury. I preferred this to a regular ankle support because I could tape as tight as I needed and could provide more support where it was needed.
2x rolls of pre-wrap- for underneath the athletic tape.
3x zinc oxide tape- I always have this tape available instead of using plasters so it's not an injury specific thing, injury wise I only really use this to hold pre wrap in place if it won't stick.
Crepe bandage- my mum bought this for me, I've only used it once but it seemed really supportive.

Despite having all of this, I've honestly found that the best thing for helping to heal the ankle is sitting with it in a bucket of cold water for 15-20 minutes, especially after being active on my ankle. I spent many hours writing my dissertation whilst having my foot in freezing cold water! 

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Easter Shenanigans

Tomorrow is the end of a 3 week Easter break from uni. The next 2 weeks are make or break for my degree but then I'm free from education forever! I've managed to have fun over Easter and squeeze in a little bit of photography as well as getting my work done. Every year, I try to take pictures of Smudge at Easter time. He wasn't really in the mood for pictures but this is by far my favourite picture of him (taken with the D3100).

I went home for 2 weeks when the rest of the family were on break too. Me and mum made the most of the nice weather and light evenings and got into the habit of trying to go for a walk every day to prepare for Florida- my current record is walking 3 miles without complaining. We even went for a walk over the hills and were very surprised when my Grandparents joined in the walk, walking sticks and all! It was lovely to see how many people they made smile that day. I'm also pleased to report that I've started to go to the gym again regularly and my ankle seems to be holding up well and getting stronger every day. 

Since my dissertation has been handed in, I've been to Wales 4 times to watch football. It's been the craziest season for us, from the crazy highs of winning in Europe to barely escaping relegation but I've loved every minute of supporting the team both on and off the pitch. I believe I've made it to 7 home games and 2 away games (1 for these was less than 24 hours after coming out of surgery) in the league this year, not bad considering I don't live in the same country!  It was an extremely odd night at the clubhouse after the final game. No one seemed to know whether to celebrate survival or be depressed at finishing so low in the table. Nevertheless, a lot of alcohol got consumed that night and I've come home from football with mysterious bruises all over my legs again.

The family from Wales came down to visit us for a few days. We can get pretty rowdy when we're together and it was very entertaining, if a little challenging, to have the 11 of us staying in a 3 bedroom house. We got the train into the city for the afternoon to go shopping and have a meal, and thankfully it was still warm and dry when we got home so we had fun in the garden playing football. When it got cooler, the girls had a family viewing of Frozen while the guys went to the pub. This was my third time watching it and I swear it gets better every time I watch it. 

I'm now back at uni (procrastinating, naturally) ready to make the most of my last few weeks of student life. Let the job search commence! 

Saturday, 5 April 2014


Week 10. Last week before Easter. Week after varsity. AU Ball week. All ways to refer to my last ever week of lectures as an undergraduate student. It's very bittersweet. Happy that the countless hours reading journal articles and writing essays about things I no longer remember are over. But sad that soon everyone will be going separate ways and entering the big wide scary world.
I'll miss this place.
We had committee elections this week so I guess I'm no longer officially club captain. There's been hurdles to overcome over the last year and there's been struggles, but the pride I feel after any accomplishment- small or large, for the club makes it all totally worth it. At first I doubted my ability to be club captain but I've totally loved the experience and I've definitely grown as a person because of it; I have no regrets at all. I feel like I'm leaving the club in a good place- a good league finish, a varsity win, lots raised for charity and dedicated people on next years committee. I can't wait to see where the club goes from here.

I've still got an exam, an essay, an online test and a project to go before I can properly finish. But for some reason, this week has felt different and I've tried to take in every small thing I see on campus. This semester has gone so quickly and has been a whirlwind of emotions; from one of the lowest points I've ever mentally been to some of the proudest moments of my life. If you ask me, uni goes on for 1 semester too long. I was coping ok with the workload and lifestyle at Christmas but now I just feel totally drained and ready to be done with education. It's been a semester of struggles, but I've come out stronger and survived. I think I can take on just about anything now.