trauma and my leg pt 2

emotional trauma

 The picture you see is what the NHS services did. 

A metal plate surgically implanted into my leg. 

They were responding to an accident which was for me an emergency.

  • It's estimated that 50-70% of people will experience a trauma at some point in their life.
  • 1 in 10 people in the UK are expected to experience PTSD at some point in their lives.
  • There will be as many as 230,000 new PTSD referrals between 2020/21 and 2022/23 in England,
  • The estimated risk for developing PTSD for those who have experienced a serious accident is 16.8 percent.

Source PTSD UK

My life changed, I was not in control. 

I had lost the use of my right foot. 

I could not walk. 

I cannot deliver Mental Health training, 

I cannot work. 

I cannot get dressed, prepare food or perform basic toilet functions.

I was strapped into the emergency ambulance with one crew who kept me company and another who did their best to drive slowly over the three burgh marsh road ramps on the way to Carlisle. 

Having ambulance crew to chat with, helped me to distract my mind from the trauma. That's when Mental Health First Aid happened. 

They listened and did not judge me.

Adrenaline is one of the hormones that are critical to help us fight back or flee in the face of danger. Under normal conditions people react to a threat with a temporary increase in their stress hormones. As soon as the threat is over, the hormones dissipate and the body returns to normal.

I was wheeled into the reception area of A/E. A doctor took my details, then wheeled into a corridor. 

A young medic glimpsed a view of me across the room. She approached me. I noticed your foot was at an unnatural angle , let's get you to X ray. 

I felt she was concerned and her conversation with me, treating me as a person not just a broken bone. Just exchanging some words and feeling her calmness was lowering my stress level. I learnt she was training to be an orthopaedic surgeon.

It was not long before I was in the X ray room. Pictures were taken and I was moved to another room. I now know those pictures are automatically sent there, so the medical assessment can be completed. 

I don't know her name who spoke to me before, but she approached me after looking at the X rays. You have an oblique break. I asked lots of questions.. They were answered.

You need an operation. I do not want one. 

Why ? 

I have a fear of dying when knocked out unconscious. 

OK, she replied that's fine, here is what is likely to happen if you choose not to have one. 

Keeping the choice was very important, The pros outweighed the cons, so I faced my fear and accepted I was going to have an operation. Facing and not avoiding fear is so important when it comes to managing anxiety.

Stress hormones of traumatised people, take much longer to return to baseline They spike quickly and disproportionately in response to mildly stressful stimuli. The insidious effects of constantly elevated stress hormones include memory and attention problems, irritability, and sleep disorders. 

That did not happen me. I felt trust in the staff.

                                                                                                                       Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The A/E team approached me. They said they are going to realign my leg. 

I felt relaxed and kept my mind blank. 

My foot was sharply pulled downward and twisted back into shape. I felt no pain. 

Thinking about that now does make me wince. The memory has been injected with an unhelpful emotion. So in it goes into the trauma box. 

My leg was then bandaged.

What next ? You are going to be admitted onto the ward. 

Trauma and my leg


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Wednesday, 12 June 2024

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