Bonus Episode 11 - I ended up in a wheelchair

Charlie Baxter

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By Charlie Baxter

Bonus Episodes

What's this episode about?

Learn British English & about British culture in this episode where Charlie, your host, fills you in on an injury he's had recently as it brought up some interesting cultural differences as he went through the procedure.


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Transcript of Bonus Ep 11 - Pt. 1 Transcript

Hello, and welcome back to the British English podcast today, I'm going to fill you in on an injury that I've had recently as it brought up some interesting cultural differences as I went through the healing process. I also want to say that as I've been getting a few more comments on Instagram saying that people assume they are listening to a gentleman of a certain age, teach them British English I want, I want to actually put you straight. I'm 31 years of age. I'm 31 years old. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing that you think. I was a gentleman of a certain age. But yeah, I'm 31 as I record this episode, and I say that because I feel like age is somewhat relevant to my injury and outlook on the health care systems I mention in today's episode in part one, two and three. So, yeah, I'm in my early 30s and yeah, I've been in a wheelchair for the last couple of weeks, so a lot to get through. And for that reason, let's get straight into it.

You know what I've taken for granted way too long being able to walk, you know, putting one foot in front of the other, supporting your weight evenly without needing to painstakingly grope for anything and everything in sight that you can cling onto to support your weight. I mean, I had another injury earlier in the year where I broke a bone in my thumb and due to some complications with the possibility of the tendon flinging back up my wrist, they put me in a cast and that was annoying.

That was definitely annoying. But the most annoying thing was not being able to open a little things like Ziploc bags and wipe my own arse. But walking without walking, I can't even get to the toilet. In fact, in the first week of recovery, I just had to piss myself on the sofa. Need to get a new sofa now, but no joking I did manage to avoid peeing my pants, but simply things like getting up from the sofa to go to the toilet have been some of the hardest missions of my cushty little life,

and I've got a whole year ahead of recovery. There are certain milestones that make progress a lot more manageable, but yeah, this injury is setting me back a whole fucking year. But anyway, let me tell you what I've actually done to myself and how it all happened.

So I'm a Brit living abroad in Australia, and what do us Brits like to do when we're away from home in a hot country? We like to get our tops off and sunbathe to the point where we are burnt to a crisp and then to cool off, jump in the sea and that is where I got attacked by a shark and it bit my leg off.

Well, no, that that wouldn't work because I don't have any teeth marks on my leg. A toothless shark pulled my leg and it tore up my right knee until one of my ligaments fully ruptured.

Okay. No shark attack, no shark attack. What actually happened was I was taking a dog for a walk and came upon a river. The dog went to have a little drink and before I knew it. A crocodile came out from nowhere, so I naturally just jumped in the way and did the crocodile roll *death roll* with it, and I came out with one less ligament in my knee. But the croc came off worse. You should have seen him. He was, fine, fine.

Fine. I didn't wrestle with a shark or a crocodile. I was playing football, you know, normal football. Not what Australians or Americans call football. And my team, we were one goal behind with 60 seconds left on the clock. And I went to tackle to get the ball. The guy fainted right and sharply turned left. I followed suit and went down like a baby, crying my eyes out, holding my knee, saying, Oh my knee. My knee, I want my Mummy. Thankfully, though, they were so taken aback by the drama, my team mate nabbed the ball off the opponent and scored two goals in quick succession, so we won the match, which obviously is the important part of the story.

Meanwhile, I still had two minutes of wailing like a baby left in me as right. Then I thought I had either dislocated my kneecap or broken my leg. Oh, it was horrible. But then the pain subsided almost as quickly as it came about, and I actually managed to walk off the pitch and drive myself home. I was very confused. I told my girlfriend and she did what I imagine all soulless partners do, which was to downplay it and tell me to be quiet because her favourite YouTuber was just getting engaged. I'm joking. She was relatively sympathetic, but we had no idea the damage I'd caused at the time. Three days later, not much had changed, actually until the second episode happened.

Sydney is currently in a lockdown and my friend is living on his own, and although it was a bit naughty, my girlfriend had baked too many brownies for the both of us and we knew he loved them. So I decided to go on a stealth mission and drive over to his at night in the pitch black to drop these delicious delights at his door. I parked up out of sight. I pulled the key out and open the door as silent (quiet*) as a mouse. And then. A lot happened in a very short space of time. You see, I forgot to put the handbrake on, so as I was sliding out of the door, the car rolls forward. I lose grip of the door.

The car hits a bollard. My knee buckles and I face plant the concrete floor and am back at it wailing like a baby. And to top it all off, the fucking car alarm goes off and wakes up everyone in the building. The lights go on, security comes running out and the brownies lay forgotten. Oh, the drama. Thankfully, though, they were more worried about my health rather than fining me for delivering some baked goods to a friend. But it told me something very important. My knee needs some medical attention as soon as possible, and I'll tell you what the doc had to say in a second. Actually, no, I was. I was utterly amazed at the doctors lame attempt at diagnosis. A physio saved the day, but yeah, I'll tell you about that in a second.

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Right? I'm at the hospital. They feel me up and then get an x-ray all fine. They do some more tests and conclude that I am apparently tickety-boo. I hobble out fuming because now I've got to go down the private health care route, so I pay for a physio. I pay for a CT scan. I pay for an MRI. I think the CT scan I was covered by free health care, but still I forked out for an MRI and a physio and lo and behold, I was not tickety-boo. The physio felt me up good and proper way better than the doctor ever could at the public hospital, and he nailed it. He said, You've torn your ACL, which is an important ligament in the knee. You know the things that keep bones attached to bones at the joint and pardon my privileged problems but I had just bought all the gear for two upcoming ski trips. Another weekend booked a way to do some golf because I'm apparently already retired and a bunch of other things that I had to cancel. Anyway, I have to go back to that incompetent doctor to show him my MRI that proves I have no ligament to use. And he says, Ah, OK, you're going to need surgery I was like ahh surgery!? He was like, yeah, you're going to be going under the knife, son.

So I ran home with my tail between my legs, saying, I've got to have surgery, oh no? And being that I live with my head up, my own arse, I assumed they would have me in to operate, you know, in the next week or so. But no, no, no. There is a big waiting list and one doth wait one's time, typically a six month waiting list. So I was having to come to terms with living a very dull existence, in my opinion, for at least six months before I would undergo surgery and then start recovering from that.

But a little magical fairy enters the story and her name is Delta. And I'll tell you how this little fairy called Delta saved me $14000

So I'm in the surgeon's office, and he hits me with my three options. Option one. Have the operation done next week by the head surgeon, who has a 99 percent success rate with over a thousand operations under his belt. Option two go on the waiting list, which at that time was approximately six months and be operated on by the head surgeon. Ok. Option three, go on the waiting list, but be operated on by a trainee doctor. Now I know what you're thinking. Just stop telling me any more options. Option one was the best one. Go with that one, Charlie. Go with that. Not so fast as option one and option two come with a price tag. Option one would have set me back approximately $14000. And option two would have been just shy of $7000. So given that I'd have to sell a kidney for either of those options, I opted for Option three for the time being and said I'd I'd mull it over as to whether I should fork out for Option two and pay $7000 for the head surgeon to operate on me six months down the line. Five days go past and I was genuinely on the verge of ringing up to say I'd pay for the head surgeon to operate on me for $7000. but before doing so, I got a phone call saying.

Healthcare Phone Operator:
You may have heard that the Delta variant of COVID is causing the government to put a hold on any elective surgeries in Sydney's public hospitals for the time being.

Meaning my wait time was going to extend beyond the six months I was predicted...but!

Healthcare Phone Operator:
But you put down that you are available last minute and the government has given private clinics the go ahead for a number of elective surgeries this week. Given that you said you are available so last minute, would you be willing to have surgery at our private clinic with the head surgeon in three days time?

I'll have to think about that. Yes, please.

Healthcare Phone Operator:
Okay, Charles, we'll see you shortly. And don't forget to fast the evening before the operation.

I could not believe my luck. And although I take the pandemic seriously right then and there, that was the silver lining of lockdown for me.

So that was part one of the story. I hope you noticed some of the vocabulary I was using and enjoyed hearing about my drama. In Part two and three, I'm going to get into the horrific experience in the operating theatre. The noticeable differences between British and Australian health care systems, what living in a wheelchair for a couple of weeks has taught me and if I'm likely to make a full recovery or

that's all from me, from part Thanks again for listening to the end of part one. I hope you enjoy part two and three, but if not, my name is Charlie Baxter, and I will see you next week on the British English podcast.

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Transcript of SAMPLE Premium Podcast Player

Podcast host: Charlie:
This will be quite a bit harder for you to understand, as there are a number of accents in the conversation, some poorly delivered at times, as you will notice.

Podcast host: Charlie:
But the aim is to give you a variety of dialects in one conversation and some dialogue to give you native expressions in context. So enter, if you will, to Charlie's pub and his imaginary world.

Character: Mike:
Alright geezer, how's it going?

Character: Chris:
Yes, I'm well thanks. How about you? Have you had a good day?

Character: Mike:
Can't say good mate. No my old man he's been giving me a right old earful for what happened on site last week.

Character: Chris:
Oh that's a pity. Are you back on your dad's building project again?

Character: Mike:
Sad to say mate, but yeah, I am. Couldn't resist this one though. Cash in hand, you know.

Character: Chris:
Oh fair play, hard to resist those I imagine. Oh, here she is.

Character: Emily:
Oh, hi.

Character: Chris:
I was wondering if you're ever going to join us tonight.

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About Your Teacher

Charlie Baxter

Teacher, Podcast Host, YouTuber
Charlie is the host and creator of The British English Podcast & Academy. He has also been an active YouTube English Teacher since 2016 but after seeing how many of his students wanted a more structured, carefully designed way to study he decided to create The British English Podcast Academy.

It focuses on British culture, informal expressions, accent and history that is all unique to the UK.

Charlie has spent 6000+ hours teaching intermediate-advanced students since 2014 privately on Skype and has seen a lot of different styles of learning and while he believes there will never be a single CORRECT way to improve your English there are a large number of methods that people use that do waste people's time and prevent them from improving quickly.

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