An accident and the aftermath

20 Jan

If you don’t know me personally, you may be wondering why this blog seemed to stop abruptly and hasn’t been updated for a long time. That’s because on 17th March 2015, I slipped while getting washed and landed very heavily on my left wrist. As soon as I sat up, I knew it was dislocated, and I suspected (correctly!), that it was fractured too. I did my best to keep my wrist immobilised, and Lamin made phone calls to find out which hospital was equipped with an X-ray machine – not every hospital in Gambia has one!

We were told that the hospital in Serrekunda (about 45 minutes drive away), could do X-rays, so we drove there, with me clutching my wrist very firmly. When we arrived, we were assessed by a nurse (this was in the height of the Ebola scare, so they were naturally being very careful!), and I was sent to wait for an X-ray. Once this was done, I watched in amazement as the technician brought out the film and pegged it on a little metal stand in the sun to dry. Once, dry, we had to take it back to the casualty nurse. She took one look and said it was broken, but they didn’t do plastering there – we’d have to drive on another 30 minutes to get to the hospital in Banjul.

Of course, we had a car, but it did make me wonder about people who might have to do that journey on public transport! And we had to pay £9 for the X-ray too – over a week’s wages for many Gambians. At the second hospital, the doctor looked at my wrist, and agreed it needed to be set. This was done without anaesthetic, and the less said about that the better! I was told to come back in ten days time for another check.


A heavy plaster-of-paris cast and a makeshift sling!

However, when we returned, and my wrist was X-rayed again, the doctor told me that there were ‘a few bones out of place but it will be fine’. Needless to say, I wasn’t very happy about this, so we agreed I should fly back to the UK to get it checked. Fortunately, I managed to get a flight for the following day, and once I got back, I went to a hospital in London to get it looked at.

To cut a long story short, I need surgery to re-break my wrist and have a metal plate inserted. 

The heave cast was swopped for a lightweight one after a couple of weeks, and that was finally taken off after six weeks.

After another four weeks, the light cast finally came off.

I then needed many weeks of therapy to get my wrist moving again. It was swollen for many weeks, and it was July before I could get my wedding ring on again!


Finally got my wedding ring on again!

Because my arm was immobilised for so long, I then developed a very painful frozen shoulder, together with a couple of other long-running health problems that have rumbled on now for almost ten months.

However, yesterday I was finally discharged from the hospital, and I’m now going back to Gambia on 31st January, so I’ll be able to get the blog up and running again. I had a couple of posts planned before all this, which I’ll try and write up in the next few days, but once I’m back I will be updating things as usual.

If this is the first time you’ve read my blog, or you’ve stumbled across it by accident, do sign up to receive email notification each time I update it. No spam or junk – just an email with a link to the latest post.

And I hope to bringing you many more interesting posts about my adventures in Gambia, and also about the lifestyle and culture there!


6 Responses to “An accident and the aftermath”

  1. Esseltee January 20, 2016 at 11:17 pm #

    Certainly makes us grateful for the NHS and free healthcare we can have! Xx

  2. claire93 January 21, 2016 at 7:43 am #

    glad you didn’t have to make do with the first repair option and that you were able to return to England for surgery!

    • OkeCrafter February 12, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

      Thank you Claire – it’s all OK now but it did make me appreciate the NHS even more!

  3. Steven Sales January 21, 2016 at 3:06 pm #

    Glad you’ve been given the all clear and you’re fit enough to return to The Gambia and enjoy the sun.

    It was fantastic having you back in the UK for such a long time, hopefully the change in continent won’t make you too much of a stranger.

    • OkeCrafter February 12, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

      Thanks Steve – it was great to see you guys too. Hopefully it won’t feel too long till we can meet up again and meanwhile there’s always FaceTime… 😉


  1. An apology and an explanation | Stitches 'N' Dreams - January 20, 2016

    […] metal plate. (If you want to read about all that in a bit more detail, take a look at my post on my Life in The Gambia […]

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