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“Paul ha traducido nuestro folleto sobre el Plan Dinamización Serranía de Ronda al inglés y al alemán. Lo hizo rápido y a un precio aceptable. No dudo en recomendarle.”
Alfredo Carrasco, Director, Centro de Iniciativas Turísticas (CIT), Ronda, noviembre de 2.009

Ruptured Achilles! PDF
Monday, 02 August 2010 00:00

Today is the 20th anniversary of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and of me rupturing my Achilles tendon!

Yes, I was playing a harmless game of squash at lunchtime with a colleague, when just as our 40 minutes was up and we were anticipating the knock of the next players, there was a sound like a gunshot and my right leg gave way beneath me!  At first I thought the floorboard had cracked, till I realised the floor was fine, but my foot was all floppy at the end of my leg!

I hobbled to the changing room, showered and then was taken to the nearest hospital.  By now we knew what it was, so I told the doc who attended me.  He didn’t seem very pleased that I’d made a self-diagnosis, even though he shortly made the same one!

The hospital was only small, so I was transferred to the nearest big one!  The lady doctor who attended me seemed very young and very nervous.  She kept looking everything up in a big tome that she carried in her white coat pocket.  When she confessed it was her first day, my previous nonchalance began to ebb away!

My wife and young children arrived just before I was sedated for theatre.  “Hi, how are y ......”

The next thing I remember was waking up with a raging thirst and a very sore throat.  “They’ve done the wrong op,” I panicked. No, there was also something wrong with my right leg.  It was very heavy.  I soon realised why – it was encased in plaster of Paris from the tip of my toes to my groin!  I later realised the sore throat had been caused by the tube they’d rather roughly jammed into my mouth to keep me breathing while I was under.

A week or so later I was discharged, still plastered up the eyeballs (!), to lie around in the way at home. 

We were shortly due to go on holiday to Menorca for two weeks.  Would this still be feasible?  We checked with the hospital, the airline, etc, and they all said it was our decision.  We decided to go for it.  The hospital replaced my heavy full leg plaster cast with a lightweight one up to the knee, and the airline looked after me like a VIP.

Despite the difficulties, especially for my wife, wheeling a heavy invalid around in a wheelchair, on an island not set up at that time for disabled access, and coping with two children aged three and six, it was one of the best family holidays we’d ever had.

© Paul Whitelock 




Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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