Darth Vader On A Surfboard……

As I sit and ponder the day’s events while waiting for the magical Saudia big bird to whisk us off to Abu Dhabi, I reflect on what an odd day it has been so far.


The major focus of this morning was undoubtedly the visit to see the Orthopaedic bod at the hospital. Those who were reading earlier in the week will know that I was very dubious about the visit and in some ways I was proven right and in others I was proven wrong.

Over the years that we have been in the land of sand I have come to the conclusion that Saudi Arabian hospitals are organised chaos. Organised and completely understood by the staff, but presenting itself as complete chaos to the patients.

imageAnyway, after the usual initial difficulties of finding where I had to go, (there are sign posts in the hospitals for all the departments, but an experienced head knows to ignore these, ask for directions and then follow your nose), I arrived in the right place.

I was shown in to see the doc and was greeted by a dude who was more than happy to listen to my ramblings, accepted without hesitation that I knew what I was talking about, agreed entirely that’s the problem is Metatarsalgia with Morton’s Neuroma, (it is nowhere near as exciting as it sounds, trust me), and did not even attempt to tell me not to do London. Good man, I like this man!


He even agreed whole heartedly that there is little point in doing anything other than managing the pain till after London – what a dude! He even didn’t disapprove of my home made metatarsal cushions, in fact I think he was quite impressed!

So x-ray done, MRI next week then see the doc again. Then, all being well see him again a couple of weeks before London when he will shove a big needle into it and fill it with numbing juice – result!

After London he can do what the heck he likes with it, he is on side and willing to play ball for London!

Now that was the good side of the visit, the side that proved me wrong in my scepticism.

Now to the other side. You may recall from earlier this week the tale of the questionable internal ultrasound to assess whether or not I had gallstones. Well, today I had to have my foot x-rayed. No problem there, I have had my feet x-rayed many, many times over the years thanks to over enthusiastic sporting activities and the possibility of concern over this never even crossed my mind.

So, imagine the scene, I was shown into the x-Ray room. The two phillipino radiographers greeted me with the question, ‘we do foot yeah?’, to which I nodded. They then continued with, ‘which one?’. OK, I thought to myself and pointed to my left foot.

It was at this point that radiographer number 1 pointed to the bed and said ‘bed’. I looked round and lo and behold the was a bed, with a bashed up looking wooden box on it with a slit down the middle creating two upright rectangles held together in a wooden frame.

I must have looked a bit vacant, (nothing new there), as radiographer number one repeated again ‘bed’. OK, I thought to myself, perhaps she wants me to sit on the bed as I kept a wary eye on the wooden box. So, I sit on the bed in all innocence. Suddenly there was a mass arm action and the words ‘no, no, on bed’ rolled out of her mouth. OK, so she wanted me to sit on the bed with my legs up straight, but how was meant to do that with the wooden box there? I went to move the box, bad news, anybody would have thought she was storing her father’s ashes in there. Clearly she did not want my legs on the bed.

So, next she gesticulated with wild arm movements and repeated ‘on bed, on bed’. Now, if she didn’t want me to sit on the bed with either my legs up or down what the heck did she want me to do on the bed, (no wise cracks thank you). So at this point I knelt on the bed, although the question of how on earth was she going to x-Ray my food in this position did cross my mind.

Radiographer number 1 was happy with this and then said the immortal words, ‘stand now’. OK, it takes a lot to stun me to silence but this did. She actually wanted me to stand on the bed. I double checked this with her in case there had been a problem in translation, but yes she wanted to stand.

OK, so I slowly and somewhat sceptically climbed to my feet on top of the bed. As I reached standing and I subconsciously adjusted my balance, it became clear that actually the brakes on the bed were not on. As I moved the bed went from side to side lengthways with me balanced precariously on top.

Don’t forget in all this that I was wearing my abaya as I was out and about and with the sideways action of the bed I must have looked like Darth Vader on a surfboard.


At this point radiographer number 1 laughingly said, ‘sorry ma’am, I put brake on’.

It was about now that I actually became quite concerned for my own personal well-being as at this rate the foot problem was going to be the least of my problems as if I fell off this damned bed I would be having a lot more x-rayed than just my foot.

However, I remained English and stoical and waited for the next command. It didn’t come. I looked down to see radiographer number 1 stood at my feet with her hand on the wooden box.

‘Eventually the command of foot on here sprung forth. While being a little bit cautious above the vulnerability of my situation I lifted my left leg onto the block. Another pregnant pause as our friend was clearly expecting me to do something else but I had no idea what. She then starting tapping the other side of the block with her hand, at which point I took down my left leg and raised my right onto the block.

There was arm waving on a scale that an Italian mother fighting to keep a wasp away from her children would have been proud of and eventually radiographer number 1 spluttered out the words, ‘stand on box’.

Now at this point my face must have been a picture and words failed me. As I looked numbly at our friend I pointed vaguely towards the box and made a sound that to me sounded completely normal and like ‘stand on this box???’ but with hindsight probably was just a grunt.

I received a grunt in return which I assumed meant yes and I promptly started climbing on top of the box on top of the bed.

I am pleased to say I made it, the x-Ray plate was put in the slot between the two rectangles in the box, I was told to move my foot closer to the plate, (easier said than done), the X-ray was taken and I started my descent back down to sea level, well Riyadh level anyway.

A second plate was laid unceremoniously on the floor and I was told to put my foot on it. X-Ray number 2 was completed.

Well, that was all very interesting indeed and I have to say I was pleased to get out of there in one piece and without disaster.

So, MRI next week, the mind boggles how that is going to go and what I will be expected to do for that.

So off we go to Abu Dhabi, no actual running today but will be planking in a while. There will I am sure be drama and whinging as the men in my life join in and quite possibly J’s best buddy as well, but never mind. The running kit is packed and will be hauled out and into action at some point.
Anyway, the Saudia big bird is descending and that means that Mrs M should have vino in the fridge waiting for our arrival. So, best I sign off, pack up and prepare for my first vino in quite a few weeks……


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