Saturday, 9 October 2010


The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital is in Stanmore, near Edgware. This is not a hospital I ever want to visit: it houses the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre.

Last night, my Minnow went out with a group of friends – emphasis being on the word group. 

Dressed up in school uniforms they would have been sent home for wearing, she went out to a student union disco. An hour later, I got a call. 

I’ve fallen and hurt my back; don’t worry I’m coming home in a taxi. 

I got to worry for about twelve hours.

It was a short cut, would have saved them at least five minutes. Everyone else climbed down the wall, Minnow jumped. Six or seven foot. Why? Good question. Maybe she was a cat, in a previous existence. 

It seemed like a good idea.

She survived the taxi ride home, lay on the floor, couldn't work out how to get to the toilet without increasing the pain. (Hysteria is one reaction to pain, Min.)

We chatted to tetchy doctors on the phone, paramedics in the house, consulted at length about the degree of pain medication that might be necessary. Sat and watched her sleep.

She did the damage when she landed on her feet. She would have done more damage if she had landed on her back.

So here's to near misses. This miss means she still has to worry about co-ordinating shoes rather than whether her wheelchair clashes with her latest look.

To the work of all the staff at the RNOH and in particular to the SCIC, bless them all, I’m glad we didn’t get to know them. 


  1. I'll definitely take shoes over wheelchairs. Glad the worst didn't happen, Elaine.

  2. Wow. So glad she's going to be okay. That's terrifying!

  3. Hi John and Jemi
    They lull you into a false sense of security by seeming to be the sensible one - then bam!
    Everyone else climbs down easily so, sometimes, you just have to show how easy it was (n't)to do it the quick way.

  4. I'm so glad that she didn't get severe damage to her back.

    I hope she gets better soon. :-)

  5. Ugh. I have herniated disks (did it when I was 15) so I know back pain all too well. It is no pleasant. Hope Minnow feels better soon.

  6. Glad it wasn't more serious! As something of a jumper myself, I think it always looks easier on TV. The way you tell the story is also quite funny. Love all the details, like the school uniforms. Great post!

  7. I guess this is a lesson in "think before you leap?"

    Wow, glad she'll be alright though. Poor darling.


  8. Hi You WON! This is Erica, you entered my Beta Party blog fest and won a chapter critique from Clarissa at Litsen to the voices. Thanks for playing : ) leave a comment so I know you got this.

  9. I was the jumper in my family and I've got the scars to prove it! I'm glad she's okay.