At the end of June, I suffered what I thought was a minor garden injury: I fell over the allotment ‘wonky’ path, hurting the side of my foot. It hurt like crazy but I comforted myself with the knowledge that no one had seen me fall! I limped home, wincing with each step, a 100% sure that it was nothing major.
The next morning my foot was swollen and heavily bruised. I could barely walk. My family tried to persuade me to go to A&E but… ‘no way was I going to waste NHS resources with a bruised foot’ so I plodded on, literally!
Fast forward to the end of September, I was still in a ridiculous amount of pain, my foot had changed shape and I had lost all movement in my toes! I visited the doctor. Long story cut short…I had torn the ligaments, chipped bone and fractured my foot!
My foot was placed in a surgical boot (actually 2 boots because I wore one out!) for 9 weeks. I’m left with possible nerve damage, post-traumatic arthritis and a programme of physiotherapy 😦
Apparently…’ Around 300,000 individuals in the UK attended Accident and Emergency departments after having an accident in the garden in 2004. Some 87,000 people were actually injured while gardening.’
Gardening injuries are terribly common, I know. I’ve had plenty of bruises, cuts and aches but this has stopped me in my tracks. No digging. No clearing. No weeding. Nothing. Luckily, my injury has fitted nicely into the ‘quieter season’ of gardening. The weather hasn’t been brilliant either, so the whole allotment site has been generally deserted.
I’m itching to get back to my ‘sanctuary’ plots but this gardening season I’m going to have to plan carefully in order to make things easier for myself. So far, I have a basic 5 point plan…
- Have a kneeler or seat nearby for regular rests.
- Get all the tools ready before starting a job.
- Look out for adapted equipment…more raised beds, tools with longer handles or lighter weight etc
- Invest in a cart or barrow.
- Consider a tool belt or work apron to carry ‘bits n bobs’ like secateurs or a knife.
Do you have a tips for a injured allotmenteer? What about you? Have you ever come a cropper in the garden?