*Warning – one of the images at the end of this post shows ab open wound of my calf*

I sometimes forget that I finished the expedition just over a week ago. My body still aches and I’m recovering from the cold injury on my calf (image below).

I lost 20kg in weight including fat and muscle (this photo was taken the day I finished at the ALE med centre in Union Glacier). I felt physically exhausted when I finished the expedition. I still don’t have much energy, I realised this very quickly on my flight back to the UK and found it difficult walking from my domestic to international flight with my 10kg backpack, something I would usually do with ease.

I first noticed the cold injury to my left calf in early Dec 22. The injury is named Polar thigh as it usually commonly on the thigh. The wind had been coming from the East (hitting my left calf first) for a few weeks. I had three layers of clothing over my calf (nothing tight fitting).

I became quite creative with my dressings and you can see my used cut up socks as additional dressings on my left leg.

It looked like a bruise to start and then started to scab over before the skin broke. I put a granuflex dressing on as soon as the skin broke and left it on for around 5 weeks. It was a bit painful in Antarctica but the pain was a lot worse when I was in Chile. As soon as I was out of Antarctica, the wound has gradually started to heal. I have been going into my local NHS hospital and I’m having my dressings changes every few days. Planning for surgery in around a week for a wash out and a skin graft. I have had so many amazing people help me and advise me about my injury.

I’m surrounded by my family who have been providing me with lots of food, taking me to the hospital and Sonia is still working on getting the huge knot out of my hair (we’re getting there)!

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