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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Crutches in my life

I just had hip arthroscopy...torn cartilage, left hip..."mileage," said my orthopedic surgeon. What he didn't tell me is that I must be on crutches for 4 weeks! No weight on my left hip whatsoever. Nevermind that in trying to coordinate my movements and those of my new pair of crutches I have already fallen several times, and nevermind that I live in a home with stairs. I must remember to not step on my left foot, lean on my left leg, rest on my left knee. What a bitch. What a humbling experience. I have never before felt such empathy with another using crutches, a wheelchair, a cane. Every inconsequential step I take is now to be pondered logistically. I take many steps in my home in a 24 hour period, but never before did I realize how much these peripatetic movements cost. If I leave one thing in another room, to crutch back to retrieve it takes time and energy that wears me out too early in the day, too early for this overachiever.
My upper body strength is being sorely tested, I have aches and pains in the sides of my body that I forgot had muscles...my forearms and wrists wear out earlier in the day than I would like...arthritis in my right thumb pains me after a day of crutching around. After three days of this I threw the crutches angrily on the floor because no matter what I do they seem to fall down constantly...then picking them or anything up off the floor takes concentration and alertness. I tend to want to steady myself on my left foot and forget that I cannot.
My patience level is being tested in a way that raising teenagers never has (fortunately I have twentysomethings now out in the world on their own).
But excuse me for whining, I thought my crutches in life would merely be a bit more servings of wine than I should, or when I was a protesting hippy, too much weed, hash, LSD or whatever...now crutch takes on a resonance that enrages me. My inability to accept the fact that I am not perfect, I am not able to get everything done when I want, as I want, where I want. Sigh. Maybe I should just shut up.

1 comment:

  1. Name em. seriously, name the crutches, or crutch, now that you've graduated to one. draw eyes on the armrest, or attach something colorful or silly to the handgrip--even something vaguely 007-ish. alter the pad at the bottom so it leaves a grinning devil's head "foot print" or cover the metal in psychedelic spray paint or glow in the dark.

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