Friday, September 17, 2004
I had an accident on Wednesday - I tripped over the kerb outside my office and landed hard on my right kneecap. Bang. I limped up to my desk and told my colleagues who found the whole thing hilarious. Various people told me to put ice on it and that they'd see me tomorrow. How wrong they were... I discovered later that I had broken my kneecap in two.

I had to get home from central London to Tunbridge Wells. The first leg of this journey was by bus. I had to get the old lady I was sitting beside to swap places because I needed to stretch my leg out in the aisle. She told me all about her own falls and told me I might have fractured my knee bone. Then I limped onto the train at Waterloo East and made my way to Tonbridge where I had to change. By this point I could tell something was badly wrong. My knee had swollen up like Simon Cowell's head and I felt like The Little Mermaid at the end of the orginal fairy-tale: every step was a world of pain. And, of course, I was at the very end of the platform. I dragged myself to the bridge - yes, I had to cross a footbridge. I stood and looked at the steps for a while, gathering courage, then grabbed the rails and used my arms to pull myself up the steps then down the other side. On the next train I called the doctor and made an appointment to go straight in. Again, at Tunbridge Wells I was at the wrong end of the platform. I slowly limped along and climbed into a taxi driven by the world's least sympathetic taxi driver. 'I've waited an hour for a fare and you just want to go round the corner...'

Butter met me outside the doctor's surgery and helped me inside. The locum squeezed my knee and said it probably wasn't fractured - he was a bit crap - but that I should go up the hospital for an x-ray just in case. At the hospital I had my first ever ride in a wheelchair and, to cut a long and painful story short, I was told that I had fractured my patella, strapped up and sent home with some painkillers. I have to go back to have a cylinder cast put on it next Thursday. Apparently I'll be on crutches for about 6 weeks and will then need physio. I don't know how long I'll be off work for - the toilets in the office are all up and down flights of stairs and the journey itself is gruelling at the best of times.

The worst thing is the pain at night - lying on my back trying to ignore the pain so I can sleep. The painkillers aren't strong enough. So if anyone has any drugs/knockout drops/herbal remedies they can send me...