Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My Two Major Walking Accidents

Over the years I've had many falls, trips, slips, and tumbles when out walking, resulting in nothing more than minor cuts and bruises. I've also been bitten and stung a fair amount too, but I wouldn't class these as accidents. 

I have had two major accidents though, one of which required hospital treatment...and I still suffer with the symptoms of that fall today,  thirty years later.

The first of these accidents, and by far the more serious, happened when I fell a couple of hundred foot down into Bretton Clough, near Eyam. It's a steep grassy slope that I was attempting to descend too quickly and I lost my footing and tumbled, rolled, and bounced almost to the bottom. I ended up with a combined sprain and twist of the left ankle. During the fall my left walking boot came off my foot; my ankle was so swollen that I couldn't get it back on but fortunately I was out walking with my brother and a couple of friends and they managed to get me safely to the bus stop at Hathersage, about two miles away.

The next morning when I woke up I noticed that my ankle had swollen up to the size of a football and so my mum called for an ambulance. I was taken to Mexborough Montagu Hospital for an x-ray and the radiologist said it was the worst combined twist and sprain he'd ever seen. He wasn't wrong; I still suffer with occasional pain and mild swelling...usually when the weather's cold and damp. 

My other serious walking injury happened only a couple of years ago when I was walking down a well-maintained bridleway, recently re-surfaced. I suppose that was the problem, the limestone chippings hadn't been bedded in, just evened out. There was a lot of surface water flowing over the path and I somehow managed to set off a mini rockfall, sliding several yards downhill until I fell down on to my left knee, skimming across the sharp chippings for several more yards.

My trousers were shredded, and so was my knee; blood was everywhere and pieces of skin were hanging loose. It was painful for a few minutes, but I knew that no serious damage was done. I was able to continue my walk, stopping off at the Hassop Station Cafe on the Monsal Trail to clean myself up in the toilets there...and to have a pot of tea with plenty of sugar to calm my nerves. To this day my left kneecap has a lovely crss-cross tartan design on the skin.