My visit to the fracture clinic at the local hospital was painless and productive. A very approachable doctor discussed options with me and we decided on 'conservative treatment' which basically means no operation and letting the tendon heal itself. My lower leg was put in a very fetching cast which I wore for a week and then this was taken off and I was strapped into this which I shall wear for nine weeks. It has to be worn at all times, so sleeping is interesting, but I do take it off, very carefully, to clean my leg/foot and change the sock each day. The boot has three wedges inside to keep my heel elevated at the correct level and every three weeks a visit to the fracture clinic will result in the removal of one of the wedges to gradually stretch the tendon so that I can get my foot flat again. With the boot on I can weight bear on my injured foot and balance without crutches making daily tasks a little easier. I have bought a pair of wedge sandals to bring my other foot up close to the same level and that has taken a lot of strain off my back and I am able to walk for reasonable distances with the crutches to help. This means that I can slowly get around my local park, which is lovely at this time of year, and to enjoy the good weather we are currently experiencing.
The sight of my 'wasted' calf muscle is quite disconcerting but I shall build it back up as soon as I can without risking a proper recovery. It seems that it will be at least 6 months before I can do any really long hikes (if anyone out there has suffered this injury and can offer any comments here I would appreciate it) and 12 months before my tendon has fully recovered.
I just received some photographs from Veronica, who was in the abseil group, and when I looked through them I remembered how thrilling it was. In my entire trip this was probably the activity that sent my adrenaline levels rocketing the most and I would definitely do it again although, obviously, not for a while yet. I suspect the fear factor will be even higher the next time I go over the edge but I'm with Dylan Thomas on this one and shall 'not go gentle into that good night'.
As a very good friend of mine recently put it to me 'scars are tattoos with more interesting stories' ?