This past week has been a test of my will and strength. I had never experienced using crutches before and have always thought, in my simple mind, it can’t be that hard/bad. Boy was I mistaken.
I should add that I went snowboarding last weekend prior to my PRP procedure and in a “skilled” move, looking to take a rest break, I sat back in the snow and bruised my tailbone. Ouch! Not only did that ruin the rest of my ski trip-because I couldn’t risk falling again, but as anyone who has done this knows, sitting hurts and it takes weeks for it to heal. Now add crutches and only balancing on one foot. Yay me! 😊
So this is how my week has been. It’s bad enough to have you foot totally immobilized and unusable, but having to sit and roll on your tailbone to facilitate getting pants on over said boot, bending to tie shoe on the good foot, sitting on hard tile in bathroom trying to pull plastic boot cover on so you can shower…. ouch, ouch, ouch. You get it. No fun. The tailbone hurts way more than my foot, which doesn’t hurt at all. That’s the most important thing.
In fact, every part of my body hurts except my booted leg and foot. Hobbling around in crutches for the entire week has been quite the workout! The first couple of days I could barely get around without breaking a sweat! Nothing like a swift reminder of just how OUT OF SHAPE one is!! My right leg has had to balance and hop, perform single leg squats and pretty much bare all my body weight, which has accumulated since I haven’t run like I once did. It took about 3 days for my body and mind to adjust to this new way of getting around.
I have found it very interesting how our minds and body adapt to our circumstances. Survival instincts kick in. Or at least our capacity to invent. Ingenuity. How will I get from point A to point B with the things I need to carry when I have no extra set of arms? (use a handled bag) It really made me feel how fortunate I am that this is only temporary. How so many other people in the world are faced with certain disabilities and adversities and overcome them. We find a way to move on with our limitations. We don’t just give up.
I’ve learned to manage my way, figuring out that I can do quite a lot of things left to my own devices. When my boyfriend is gone at work all day I have no choice but to get up and help myself. I am grateful and fortunate that our bathroom shower has a seated area (which I hadn’t given thought to before) so I can sit to wash my hair/shave my leg, etc. That the tub edge is wide enough to sit in so I could dry my hair. The kitchen is set up well too. The island is just close enough to the back counter that I could pass a plate or glass back and forth and slide it along to where I would need to, so I could feed myself (somewhat). In fact, our house is fairly handicap accessible. It’s one level and the only hiccups were entering the garage because it has a step down and getting into the shower-slippery and a step up and over. That scared me the most, but I figured it out and managed not to fall. I was mostly limited by the balancing on one leg. An out of shape leg that got tired fairly quickly.
One night I was adventurous (or determined) and committed to cooking dinner. I had my boyfriend get the dry necessities down from the pantry shelves and place next to the stove that morning.
When it came time, I gathered the remaining items from the refrigerator and since I couldn’t carry all of them, I threw them to my workstation I was setting up so I didn’t have to go back and forth. This is what it looked like:
With all the pieces in place, I dragged one of the tall kitchen chairs over (thankful for slippery wood floors) gingerly sat down (remember my tailbone) and set to create my famous minestrone soup. Yes, beer IS part of the recipe. And yes, I ended up having to get a second one out because I drank the first while chopping up my ingredients. I’m human. And it tastes so good.
The soup turned out great and I know my boyfriend was thrilled he didn’t have to come home from work and try to figure out dinner, which is NOT his forte! That’s my department.
I have watched A LOT of TV this past week. I’ve been reading a bit too. It’s been restful, trying at times, as well as filled with tons of time for contemplation. I am grateful for all I have in this life and the ability to adjust to micro changes, temporary inability and self discovery. When faced with challenges it’s good to know that I can figure out how to make things work with limits. It has been a good lesson in not surrendering to defeat. It’s been nice to have help for sure but it’s also been nice to realize I can do things on my own as well.
I’m hoping today is my last day on the crutches. I’ll be speaking with my doctor later and seeing how the foot feels. I’ve babied it all week and with that the hope is I will be able to bare weight on it and start my new job (I’m very excited) tomorrow with only the walking boot. I’m additionally thankful that my new boss already knows and is cool with it. 👍🏻