Aylesbury United defender Lee Bircham has spoken to The Bucks Herald for the latest instalment in his monthly diary on the road to recovery from a double leg break.
The fullback, who is the brother of QPR and Canada legend Marc, has had a metal rod inserted in his leg and joked he will be Aylesbury United’s ‘bionic man’ when he returns for pre-season.
The 36-year-old loves his football and has revealed he is already missing his teammates and the match day buzz just three weeks into his recovery.
Bricham’s family set up the bottom of a bunk bed so he could sleep downstairs on his return home where he will be on crutches for the main part of his six-month recovery.
He said: “I can’t wait to play a game again for Aylesbury and I’m already missing it!”
“My dad and youngest brother Jack had found the bottom bed of a bunk bed somewhere and set it up downstairs for me to sleep and rest and to save me lugging myself upstairs. It helped because I didn’t feel “out of it all” by being stuck up in the bedroom.
“The kids loved me being back and it was a massive challenge to stop them jumping on me and wrestling (like I always do with them) and instead being very careful on my bad leg!
“The first week back home recovering was really bad. Firstly it was my body getting used to coming off of all the hospital painkillers and morphine. When the painkillers wore off the pain was unbearable, so I had to take the hospital issued painkillers which then sent me to sleep within half hour or so, I was constantly half dopey – ‘no change there’ my team mates might say.
“All in all during this week I had become very fluey but the hospital said this was to be expected as the body is dealing with all sorts of issues and getting used to having a bit of metal in it, which then left me open to all other sorts of sniffles.
“I suppose thinking about it, after the break laying down flat out on a freezing cold pitch for 30 minutes waiting for an ambulance didn’t help! In week two I started feeling better. I was able to get up and about more with the crutches but due to the snow and ice outside I couldn’t leave the house and was getting proper cabin fever.
“Last Friday I had to go back to hospital so the doctors could remove the metal staples (they very rarely now do stitches I’’ve been told) and to do some more X-rays.
“All-in-all the after service information from the hospital and doctors has been shocking, they don’t really talk you through the next steps.
“I had to constantly ask and it seems like they just want you out and send the next patient in. They pretty much just leave you to get on with it. I’ve got to go back in a month for the next check up.
“The X-rays shocked me to see how bad the break actually was. It’s amazing how mobile I am considering it all really!
“Luckily, I have plenty of good contacts within the game especially with my brother Marc still involved and managing QPR reserve team.
“The offers of support and help has been brilliant and within 24 hours I’d been offered full recovery treatment from the likes of Bobby Bacic, the Millwall physio, Steve Galloway, QPR physio and Clarke Carlisle (Chairman of the PFA) offered to help with getting my treatment at Lilleshall or St Georges Park (new England base).
“It’s all quite flattering for an old non-league full back who simply just clips a half decent channel ball – only occasionally though Joycey would say!
“The lads and management at Aylesbury have been fantastic. Quite a few of the lads came to see me in hospital one night. Joycey came the next day and it was great seeing them all, yes even the gaffer. Joycey is top class and just looking at him makes me laugh. He even joked that I was his first signing for next season already!
“I would like to thank everyone at the club for their help and concern but special mention to our assistant manager Glynn Creaser and chairman Graham Read who were there with me the whole time calming me down when I initially broke my leg and I will always be thankful for that.
“It seems funny that since that night I haven’t missed one minute of football yet because of the weather!”