I arrived home with only a few weeks to Christmas and it seemed there was plenty happening at home as it was a very busy time for my wife, Kerry who works in a challenging role, our daughter was overseas and our son had just finished his degree. Despite everyone being busy I was shuttled to an endless string of medical appointments. There seemed very little time to sit and do nothing.
I was very lucky that the Trauma Director at The Alfred Hospital referred me to a surgeon who was regarded as the “best”. Let’s call him Dr Wheel. I had my first consultation with him and he was an optimist. He indicated that we needed to get some tests done but there was hope that surgery may be able to restore some movement in my arm. It would be a few months before he could make a firm prognosis. Dr Wheel did refer me to an arm therapist who I was going to see a lot of in the next few years. The therapist, Melanie had rooms next to Dr Wheel, so there was great communication between the two of them. It would be two visits a week from now into the future.
My first consultation with Melanie highlighted the extent of my injury. I remember the realisation this as I sat at the consultation table trying to move my little finger. My comment at the time was “I have gone from an Ironman to this”. It was a bit devastating.
Just before Christmas about 4 weeks after the accident I was scheduled to attend an annual lunch that I organise for about 12 friends. I was determined to get there. Kerry dropped me off and I had a great afternoon. The low light being confronted for the first time publicly with not being able to cut up my food. I asked if the chef could do it. Well, it came back as if it had been through a mincer. I learnt to be a bit more specific in the future. I took the train home with my friends – not wise and was exhausted at the end of the day. The day raised my spirits.
By Christmas I was moving around okay but had little endurance. I am a determined person and tried to get out with Kerry whenever I could. Christmas day was the normal long day and my traditional role of cooking the turkey had to be managed by son Tim. He did a great job. It was lovely to be alive and with the family.