Bus journeys and the passengers who made me laugh!

I am sort of getting to grips with bus timetables, I seem to have some sort of mental block with them and find them very confusing.  Maybe its sub conscious because I don’t really want to use them, having been so used to a car for years.  But anyway the journeys make for some interesting happenings!  Today I need to go to Hedge End, there is no direct bus, so I have to go from  Totton to Southampton, then get another bus from Southampton to Hedge End.  This journey would normally take me 20 minutes, but it will take me instead one hour and twenty minutes!  mmm!  So I get on the first bus, and the bus driver is lovely.  He asks me all about my injury and then says “no, don’t tell me anymore I feel queasy”!.  We get to West Quay, where the bus terminates and he tells me to wait.  All the passengers get off, and he takes me to where I need to go to get a bus to Hedge End, just me on the bus!.  How lovely is that!  He tells me the number of the bus I need to get and wishes me a lovely day.  The kindness of strangers again!  I am then left waiting for the next bus to Hedge End which is 20 minutes away.  A lady asks me what bus she needs to get to Woolston.  Well its no good asking me is it!, I have absolutely no idea, being a complete bus novice until the last week or so!  I explain I am not familiar with bus routes and normally drive.  She asks me what I have done to my fingers.  I tell her the story of the hedgecutter!  I think I must now have repeated this at least 150 times or more.  The lady is not English, I am not sure what nationality she is but her English is not that good, but certainly much better than any foreign languages I can manage.  She replies “Nooooo, you should not be doing this DIY”!.  “There you are being a good lady trying to get your jobs done, and look what happens, you do this, this is not good, DIY is not good!!”.  “You don’t want to be doing this, you need to get a man to do it for you, get that man indoors on to it”  I explain there is no man indoors!  🙂  But I am not sure she understood quite what I was saying. She is very enthusiastic in insisting I never ever do this again, I reassure her that as I have a reoccurring nightmare about it now anyway, I won’t be doing it again, but will pay someone instead.  She says she hopes it all gets better soon, and jumps on the next bus.  I am left laughing and smiling to myself like a mad person!

The next bus driver is not so happy, he sighs and tuts about me not having the right money! I didn’t know you were supposed to have the right money, I am just an idiot newbie! I tell him I am an idiot newbie, but  he is clearly miserable and has a face like a wet weekend!  I try to smile and cheer him up but he is having none of it!  The complete opposite of the other bus driver in every way! Just another day on a bus!  So to any bus drivers reading this, just remember this may be the first bus someone has caught in a very long time, they may not no the system, they may be an idiot, but don’t treat them like one!

My fingers are throbbing a bit now, having seen the Hand Surgeon again last week.  He was concerned that my worst finger was not healing too well, so I had to go and see him.  Another local anaesthetic was put in my finger, ouch those hurt so much 😦  He waits for it to go numb, and then after a bit when he clearly thinks it should have gone numb, he squeezes the end of my finger!  It is not numb!  I shoot out of the chair about 2 foot!  making him and the nurse walking through jump out of their skins.  Oh my god that flipping hurt.  “So its not numb then?” he says.   “No, its definitely not numb”, I reply.  We do laugh about it, but I think it might be hysteria on my part!  Eventually it is numb and a lot of dead skin needs to be removed, I don’t look.  I can feel a lot of pressure but no pain.  The hand surgeon says having removed a lot of dead tissue he is now a lot happier, because he can see some new skin forming underneath, but its going to throb again for a few days 😦

At least there is new skin forming! I wish it would just hurry up and get better. I am not sure I like my changed lifestyle!


The curiosity of random strangers

Its amazing how life can change in a blink of an eye.  I wonder if I had cut my hedges on the Sunday as I originally planned instead of the Saturday whether I may not have cut my fingertips off!  It’s a bit like that film Sliding Doors, is everything that happens pre-destined or not?  According to some it is.  But anyway for the time being some things have to change.  No driving :(, this is a struggle having been reliant on a car since I passed my test at 17.  I don’t even know how to catch a bus!,  Well that has lead to the use of public transport and the usual delays with trains etc. I realise how rubbish the timetables are and some journeys which would take 15 mins by car, take 2 hours because there is no direct train or bus! No shopping with my car – I have to start doing my grocery shopping online.  Its a whole new world!  I end up ordering the wrong sizes of things and stuff I don’t normally buy! The delivery driver that comes to deliver my shopping asks me what I have done, and then tells me in graphic detail all about how his friend blew the end of his finger off with a firework!  He then passed out so was not much help to his friend! I have to go to the hairdressers to get my hair washed, and the lady there shows me her finger which she cut the top off when she slammed it in a door!  Everywhere I go people tell me their injured finger stories.  It’s also really strange that random strangers are so interested in my bandaged fingers!  I frequently get asked when I am out and about by people I don’t know, what I have done. They all have a fingertip story to tell!  Kitchen mandolins seem to feature frequently, as do wood saw’s and power tools.  Be warned!

I am contacted for a reflexology appointment.  I explain I won’t be able to do this for a while, and my customer tells me how she cut the end of her finger off on a sharp children’s slide when young.  Ouch!  She texts me a picture, I had never noticed her finger before, it only has a small nail and not a complete one.  I am reassured that people are not really that observant of these things when the bandages are gone.

My friends come to take me out for some food.  I have to go for the soft menu choices as I can’t use a fork to hold anything! So mashed potato and fish it is!  It takes me a lot longer to eat than normal.

I pop into the supermarket for just a few things I have forgotten on my shopping order.  I am standing in the queue when I see a guy looking at my hand.  He is in the queue in front of me.  He waits until I have paid for my shopping then offers to carry my bag for me!  Its got hardly anything in it and I can manage it with my good hand, but I don’t like to say no, as he is being kind.  He asks me how I have injured my fingers.  By the time this is over I think I will need a board on my chest with the details “chopped off fingertips with hedgecutter” , so I don’t have to keep repeating myself!  The random kind stranger carries my bag to the exit for me, and is then going a different way to me.  He tells me how he once injured his foot!  At least this story is slightly different!  He wishes me well with my recovery and is on his way.

I think this experience is definitely making me more sympathetic to those people that are at home all the time with no one to talk to. I have done some voluntary work before, and this makes me think I will do some more in the future to help people who can’t get out and about and need help with everyday things we usually take for granted.

The Kindness of strangers and friends

I’m so lucky that I’ve had a lot of friends and my parents coming over and helping me do things. I am surprised by the number of things that are difficult, I can’t hold jars or grip anything with my left hand so that I can open them, I can’t hold anything with my left hand to chop it to cook. There are a lot of things that are really hard like getting dressed and trying to get my hand through sleeves, tying laces.  All of a sudden you realise how important your fingers are. It also makes you appreciate what disabled people have to put up with all the time, and mine is minor in comparison. My mum has to wash my hair for me. Styling my hair has gone out of the window, its the wash and go look now! My friends have been picking me up and taking me out, buttering my bread for me, and all kinds of silly everyday things we take for granted 🙂  I have had flowers, get well cards, fresh fruit all chopped up ready for me to eat, and been very well looked after. 🙂

My neighbours have been brilliant, all offering their help, and one in particular, making me a curry, then a chilli, and a chocolate cake!  It’s amazing having so many people that are willing to help me out. It would be really hard to survive if it was just me. I am genuinely very surprised and grateful at how kind people can be, even strangers.  I have had doors opened for me, my coffee carried to my table for me, the list goes on.  When we hear all the bad stuff on the news all the time it makes you realise how inherently good and caring people most people are on a general everyday level.

I don’t know if it is something to do with fingers being so sensitive or the fact they are more on show but its amazing how enthusiastic the support has been, I have had other quite bad injuries in the past without so much help. But there weren’t the same graphic photos of the injury to show!. Of course, all injuries are bad, but I think there is something about finger injuries that make people cringe, judging by their facial expressions when I tell them what I’ve done!  Their lips purse together, their faces screw up, and ouch or ooh is the common expression!

I am still keeping my fingers up in the two finger salute!  If they move below the level of my heart each heartbeat is like a little painful twitch in my fingers.  Anything such as walking or getting the heart rate up, and the throbbing is there. I can see I will be unfit by the end of this as I am not doing much of my normal exercise.

To start with I struggled to do my dressings twice a day and to look at it. it’s really not for the squeamish. I have trouble even looking at some of the photos I have to send to the hand surgeon, and it’s my fingers!  But now I am getting used to it a bit more.  It has to be done, so I just get on with it. I guess I get to see the healing process along the way.

There is a continuous tingling and heat sensation in my fingers along with occasional sharp pains like getting a needle poked into it! All part of the healing process I guess.