Two days ago, early in the morning I was carefully walking along the edge of the pond (precious primulas in full sail to my left, water to my right) in order to haul out some of the mass of oxygenating weed that was threatening to engulf the pump.
I had just wandered outside, having completed the ‘weekly tips’ section of my Telegraph column, in which I including advice on the need to keep pond weed in check at this time of year.
I was inappropriately wearing slippers (as you do) and yes, I slipped.
I think this is what happened:
My right shin scccccraaaaped down the brick edge of the pond and into the water. When my slippered foot hit the sludge on the bottom of the pond, it skidded sideways, and as I struggled to recover my balance, I thwacked the inside of my right knee against the edge of the pond, and into the small protruding overflow pipe that sticks out of the brickwork into the water (supplying constant moisture to primula bed).
The result of a split second of stupidity:
My right shin, from ankle bone to knee is totally bruised and grazed – hot, throbbing and bright scarlet. The entire ankle and calf have swollen to what looks like twice their size. I have a 5″ diameter dark purple mottled bruise (a haematoma, the nurse called it) on the soft bit on the inside of my knee and a similar large purple patch on the bony bit under my kneecap.
I am now wearing an elastic tubigrip bandage from the arch of my foot to above my knee. I am on penicillin and heavy duty anti-inflammatory/painkilling drugs and had to have a tetanus jab as a precaution. I am not supposed to drive till things improve, and am told to keep my right foot above the level of my heart whenever possible, which ought to be most of the time. And until the heat and swelling on my leg starts to subside, I should if possible strap an ice pack to it made out of a tea towel and a bag of frozen peas.
I am told it might be some weeks before the swelling goes down and my leg returns to normal, during which time the colour from the healing bruise will gardually drain down to my foot. Attractive.
Oh yes, and – just a small additional bit of sadness to the outcome: quite a lot of the primula stems bit the dust, too.
All this because I slipped – well, actually only one leg of me slipped – into a small garden pond barely 18″ deep.
Fellow early-morning slipper-wearing pond-lovers, of which I suspect there are legion, consider yourself warned.
For my part, I am tempted to only undertake weed-removal duties in future if wearing full protective gear including flippers and a snorkel, although I consider installing a life belt by the pond a step too far.