Boy, oh boy do I feel silly.
Here I am going on about how I walked 65 miles of Great Wall, up and down massive steps, near vertical descents and tough inclines....I came back from holiday and played my first game of football last Sunday. Had a bit of a collision with another player. Nothing malicious, just both trying (and failing) to get the same ball, as one does in footy. I went over. Nothing too bad, I thought, and got up and carried on. As the game went on, I noticed my left knee getting sore, and progressively weaker. We had no subs, so coming off the field wasn't really an option, so I struggled through the rest of the second half, not really being any use to anybody but hey, I was on the field at least. Post-game, things really started to seize up, and by the evening it was difficult to put much weight on the knee without, well, agony. I rested it, did the old ice pack bit and a hot bath, hoping things would feel better the next day. Suffice to say, they didn't, and my knee gave out at work, prompting my boss to have to drive me to A&E. Rather embarrassing, having to lean on my boss's shoulder just to walk a few feet from the car to the check-in.
A week later and it's still not exactly clear what I've done to it. Two doctors, two different opinions - one said I'd torn "something" but didn't really have the inclination to find out what and sent me away with painkillers and told me to see my GP. Which I did, the next day, though he was not my normal GP, and after I came in to his surgery on crutches and unable to put any weight on the knee whatsoever, he did a bit of poking and prodding before deciding nothing was wrong except bruising! OK, so a bit of bruising usually renders you unable to walk 48 hours later does it? Hmmmm. He then advised me to take some anti inflammatories which I later found out were incompatible with some medication I already take - as he hadn't bothered to look what I was on. Yes, I'd like some life-threatening haemorrhage along with my busted knee please.
Now I'm all for the NHS. Yes, it's a good thing, universal free health care. A very good thing, and having lived in countries where they don't have it, I think it is better to have it than not to. I don't want to have to worry whether I'm skint or not before seeking medical attention, so I appreciate the fact that it doesn't cost me to see the doctor. However, on this occasion I have had to pay to see a physiotherapist to get any idea of what's wrong with my knee. I might add that I had to pay a physiotherapist to inflict a LOT OF PAIN on me to get any idea of what's wrong with my knee, and said physio is having to write a letter to the GP's surgery saying, actually, yes this person has more than just a bit of bruising and needs to be referred. Well, I knew that, and I could have told Dr Oxford-Medical-Degree-on-the-surgery-wall that there was more than just bruising there for God's sake, I'm no hypochondriac and I am certainly not a frequent botherer of the already overstretched doctors down there, but it's MY KNEE, dammit, and I know when my own knee is a bit more than just bruised. 5 years of football and martial arts tells me I know the difference between just bruising and something not being right.
So the long and short of it is, that after all my Great Wall walking, I am now not walking anywhere. Crutches are my new best friend, as is ibuprofen gel and Sex and the City re-runs. Bless my darling DP, even with all the commuting he is doing, he is emailing me every day from work asking what I want for tea, going and getting the things I like and cooking them for me, doing such a good job of it in fact I might just hand the cooking over to him full stop, his spag bol was that good I could eat it every night - never thought of putting bacon in the sauce, but it really worked, and he remembered the splash of red wine, and the bottle to go with it of course!
All this sitting around has also made me get a slight obsession with this year's X Factor. I'm not one for reality TV normally, and I know, I know everyone says that to justify their guilty pleasures, but my previous reality-show-watching efforts have often ended in objects being hurled across the living room. Seriously, for me it is a dangerous activity. I did start to watch X Factor a bit last year, I told myself mainly for the car-crash auditions, some of which were absolutely hilarious, despite the residual sense of guilt I felt for having a laugh at the expense of the hapless sods providing the entertainment. At least they got their 2 minutes of fame, albeit cut short by the shrilling of Simon Cowell's buzzer and being remembered more for their train wreck than their first steps on to the gravy train. They're braver than me anyway, it takes me several tequila shots to even pick a song in a karaoke bar, let alone get up and sing one, and I'd be more likely to throw a shoe at Simon Cowell than sing to him. In fact, maybe there's an act for Britain's Got Talent in the making....stiletto throwing. The only problem is that there are so many drunk girls in Leeds on a Friday night who can do it that much better than me, they might be loaded on cheap wine and sambuca shots but trust me, they can still hit a cheating boyfriend at fifty paces with a pair of Nine West's finest six-inch kitten heels. In fact, one of my football team-mates had an altercation with a stiletto-wielder recently while on a night out, having been accused of flirting with the girl's boyfriend. She had quite a shiner, I must say. "The cheap ones hurt more" she asserted, adding that these were definitely not Manolos, because some of the cheap paint on the shoes came off on her forehead. Being stilettoed on a night out is definitely the new throwing up, and the plus side is at least if your shoes are embedded in someone else's head, you can't be sick on them.