Accident-prone Alienora


Yesterday afternoon, as I wended my way out of the school I’d been doing supply work for, I tripped on a step, crashed to the ground and managed to injure my right knee (which swelled alarmingly within seconds) and twist or sprain my left ankle. There are other aches, pains and minor abrasions, but the knee and ankle have come off worst.

Three lovely ladies (all attached to the school in one capacity or another) ministered to me with ice packs, soothing words and a bottle of water, and one of them walked me to my car, bless her.

Said school was a forty minute drive, along lovely country roads, from home – and I had little alternative but to get in the car and manoeuvre my way back to base. Fortunately, I am a careful driver anyway – and the long stretches of road meant I didn’t need to change gear much or put foot to accelerator. It was painful but I did it – and fetched up at Glastonbury’s small hospital at around 4,30.

Unfortunately, by the time I was seen – by a lovely nurse and a delightful Nurse Practitioner (whose son I had taught for one lesson in yet another school visited) – the x-ray department had closed for the night. The medics did not think I had broken either joint, but have advised me to come back this morning to get x-rays done.

I must confess that I felt very upset and stressed by the whole accident. It followed a particularly difficult lesson with a ‘lively’ (ie disruptive) year nine group and I suspect that I was not as aware as I normally am when it comes to potential danger ahead. I drove home dry-eyed, but gave way to tears once inside my front door and in the safety of my space.

I then bolted down some food, having not eaten all day, and ended up with epigastric pain for the first time since last October. That was a very low point, let me tell you, and I did ponder the wisdom of carrying on in so stressful a profession (even on a part time basis).

For decades, I wore Dr Marten boots at school because they gave my congenitally weak ankles much-needed support (and, in an unexpected twist, gave me a reputation as a cool, if eccentric, dresser, amongst the kids I taught). Not expecting to resume my career as a teacher, I gave most of my DMs away, keeping only a black and white striped pair which were a gift from the staff at my old school – and, I confess, I felt nervous about wearing them as a supply teacher lest they were deemed not smart and formal enough.

But – not once in the DM years did I hurt either ankle (when actually wearing the things, that is – and only once when not), so they need to make a return!

It is no good my pretending to be something I am not. I have never been a formal dresser and, because of the ankle weakness, have never felt safe or comfortable in shoes with any kind of heels. Yes, I am prepared to compromise, to adapt my Hippy Chick appearance into something more conventional when in the classroom – but I will not endanger myself any longer by wearing unsuitable (for me) footwear.

Right: I am off now, to lower myself into a soothing bath and then seek medical help via the x-ray department.

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