I hope very few of you can relate to this post, but for those of you who can... 1. Stairs. I have suddenly found myself behaving like my grandmother - taking every possible avenue, despite how out of the way it may be, to avoid stairs at all costs. Navigating stairs on crutches might as well be a death trap.
2. Sneaking up on someone, or…privacy. No can do. Everyone knows where I am at all times, and at what pace at which I'm hobbling.
3. Shower. More importantly - wash your hair. Next time you're bathing just try to navigate the slippery cubicle on one leg. Lather, Rinse, Repeat on only 5 toes. I DARE YOU. And don't even get me started on shaving. It's quite a balancing act.
4. Getting anything from Point A to Point B. One of the first days I was free from bed rest confinement I made my way (slowly) to the kitchen, grabbed a glass, filled it up with ice and water, and then…well, realised I was stuck. With only two arms and a need for two crutches, nothing is going anywhere unless it fits in a pocket or sports bra. I have since created a system by which anything can be transported if placed on a cookie sheet on the floor. It's like hockey…with a really big puck. Push, take one step forward. Push, another step. It's genius.
5. Carpet. Most of my home is hardwood flooring, which is a crutch users dream. Gliiiiiide and step. No problem. But then you get to fluffy carpet and $£*! gets real.
6. Spontaneity. If I'm going to the effort of relocating I need to know how many steps it takes to get there, if I will encounter any obstacles along the way, and if there will be a vacant high-seated chair once I arrive. If I don't know you're coming and you ring the doorbell, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm staying put 'cause you'll be gone before I'm halfway there.
7. Hugs. I want to. Really I do. And that doesn't mean that you shouldn't hug me. But just realise, I can't crutch all the way into your chest. And I can't even really open my arms up wide to indicate that I want a hug (my armpits are essentially molded to my crutches). You hug me. And when I'm back on both legs, I'll hug you back. Promise.
8. Take the simple things for granted. I miss my independence. I miss sleeping in my own bed (although not badly enough to survive 2 flights of stairs 4x a day), making my own meals, showering without someone else in the house (you know…just in case the flamingo dance takes a nose dive), driving, walking, walking quickly, doing anything quickly really.
9. Be Prideful. Life on crutches is a terribly humbling experience. I've learned to accept help when it's offered because there are just some things I cannot do on my own (this applies to everyone, not just the physically impaired). At one point I tried opening a door with such force that I had enough time to grab my crutches and hobble through before it hit me in the ass. It sounded doable in my head, but in execution...not so much. Sometimes in life you just need help. I've learned to accept it.
10. Complain. I mean sure, you can. And trust me, I had my moments, but you know that saying, someone always has it worse off than you? It's really hard to argue with that. I am not in a wheelchair. I still have both legs. My limited mobility is temporary. That can't be said for everyone. Case closed. Pity party over.
So, life on crutches has taught me a thing or two…I can only imagine what the next 8 weeks of recovery will bring.
Eat well. Live well. Be well.