I would like to begin by saying a big thank you to my brother – who, even after all these years continues to delight in finding ways to embarrass his sister. No I didn’t know he was taking the photo, yes it was a windy day, as usual I am wearing the dog’s lead and carrying her tennis ball (surely that is her job?), and I didn’t spot the ‘Access Handicapes’ sign until later!
So a brief update on my foot. That photo was taken one week ago and as you can see, I could manage stairs and get around without the crutches. Today (4 weeks after the accident) I can at last wear proper shoes again and just need one crutch if I am on stairs or uneven ground. It has been a very frustrating month – no driving, missing several telephone calls (as I could not run to answer the phone), but at least for me it is temporary and I can see an end in sight. It has made me much more aware of how difficult life must be if you have a permanent handicap. La Poste in my village is a particular case in point; it has recently been completely renovated and they have installed a long and winding ramp for wheelchair access. Once you get to the front door there is a button and a notice which informs you that to gain entry you need to ring the buzzer and pull the door towards you at the same time. Difficult enough when you are on crutches but completely impossible if you were in a wheelchair!
But for me I can see an end in sight – particularly after something which happened today. We were in the town of Amelie-les-Bains (a thermal spring resort where many old people go to ‘take the waters’) and I certainly didn’t feel out of place hobbling around on my crutch. We were there to view a new property for sale and in fact the 90 year old owner was more speedy on her crutches than I was! After the visit we were walking back to the car when an old man in a café started chatting and he asked me what was wrong with my foot. He then asked me to have confidence in him and gestured for me to put my foot on his lap. He waved his hands over the affected area and asked me if I could feel anything. Apart from ‘embarrassment’ I have to admit I could feel a certain coolness and it was as if the pain was being sent away and he said he practiced ‘biomagnetic healing’. Despite the fact that my partner has not stopped laughing and muttering things about ‘old men and women in short skirts’ I actually feel it might have worked! Watch this space – you may yet see me on Strictly come Dancing!