Wednesday, December 11, 2013

In which I discover that health and safety only matters in the workplace

I was walking through the park, minding my own business, as you do, when all of a sudden my world turned up side down.  Literally.  I'd put my foot on the side of a pavement pothole, there was a sickening crunch and my ankle turned right over. So did I, and a spilt second letter I found myself staring up at the sky with a searing pain in my ankle.

And what was my first thought?  How on earth am I going to manage Smiley and the hoist?

I may have made some kind of unhappy sound because a face blocked out the sky and asked if I was alright, and luckily I had the sense to say 'no'.  My Good Samaritan helped me to my feet, I mumbled a brief  thank you and he left me clinging onto the railings...

I wish I could've been a wee bit flirty or something -  it could've been the start of beautiful friendship, who knows?

Anyway, I was able to hobble home, dig out the crutches and crash on the sofa with an ice-pack.  My Facebook friends rolled round and offered help with cooking, cleaning and shopping.

Once I'd got over the initial shock I got on the phone, because I assumed that despite the cutbacks there would be some help in a crisis like this.


Less than 10 years ago I could have rung Smiley's school - still part residential then - and asked them to keep her overnight.  I rang the new service provider and I was offered a respite cancellation for this Thursday, which I have taken, but nothing for the day I needed it.   Not even advice as to where I could get help.

Or I could've spoken to the district nurse - they are always good in a crisis.  Yesterday I was not allowed to speak with her without a referral from my GP.  I organised this by fax, but did not get a phone call until 24 hours later.  When she rang, she was very helpful and told me what I should have done.  No-one told me on the day.

So back to Monday afternoon.  It was me, a pair of crutches and a severely disabled girl.  Now everything did get done, with the help of my other kids, but there were a few scary moments, and I did fall over Smiley once, but she wasn't hurt.

As a special needs mum I expect to face challenges, but not that our lives will be unsafe or humiliating - you want to try crawling on the floor pulling your daughter inch by inch on a mat from the bathroom to her bedroom, because it's the only way you can manage?

Luckily it wasn't a bad sprain and I was able to hobble around without the crutches the next day.

But I still feel let down.  And then a friend in the know explained that health and safety only matters in the workplace, not in the home, even if you're a carer.


  1. Oh...what an awful experience. I am glad that you had "some" help...-BUT, how awful and worrisome. I wish that I had answers..and that you didn't have to go through this. What it has done though, is make me have a sort of contingency plan for my home if ever I should find myself in a similar I'll thank you for that..this definitely needs to change...:( I hope the ankle is feeling better..

    1. As a result of this happening, I am trying to put together an emergency plan x

  2. OMG that sounds awful
    Seinding you loads of good thoughts
    How are you feeling now
    I pulled my back recently and I had to appreciate how much I rely on my phsyical ability to do things

    1. Hope your back is okay, that always scary when you hurt it - mine is dodgy most of the time now, but I get regular physic and that helps.

      Luckily the ankle wasn't too bad - it's still swollen and bruised but I can walk and drive now, so life is almost back to normal :)

  3. It is too terrible that you weren't able to get the assistance that you and your family needed. I am so sorry. xx

    1. I just have to make sure I can work around it next time… xx

  4. ouch, ouch! I had my knee sorted a few years ago and those "&^$ crutches - drove me crazy. Just as well Peter is mobile, else neither of us would have got anywhere

    1. It wasn't too bad of a strain TG. I was even able to go for a little job today to start working off the Christmas goodies :)