Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Hated Crutches

I'm now six weeks into living with a single foot and life has changed in a very interesting way as a result. I have actually learned quite a bit during my time as a gimp, including how to change my fitness routine to maintain some of my muscle tone, how to properly fuel myself for the long days spent lying around on my back, and that you can somehow irritate your miniscus from inactivity. That's right, I somehow managed to tear my miniscus just from keeping my knee propped up to elevate my foot. I'm pretty sure my body hates me so much right now.

But what I have learned most of all is how to get around while hopping on one foot or with the use of crutches. After using them for the past three weeks, I am utterly convinced that crutches were invented by the devil. I loathe my crutches so much that I cannot think of a way to adequately put my sentiments into words. So, instead, I will sum up in list format what has been my experience living as a gimp with a heavy reliance on those hated crutches for the past three weeks.

1) Dropping the crutches is a constant thing. No matter how carefully or precisely I lean them up against the table, the wall, the vanity, or what have you, the stupid things always slip down and clatter to the ground. It drives us all nuts!

2) They chafe the sides of my ribcage and make the palms of my hands feel as if they are being ripped in two - and this is even with the hot pink support pads that I bought to make moving around on them more comfortable.

3) My arms hurt like I have been deadlifting a rhinoceros after a day of hobbling around on them - making me feel a bit uncomfortable about my own body weight since that's all I've been lifting!

4) I never know what to do with them when in church - do I lay them in the pew? Under the pew? Lean them up against the side (don't do this...they will fall and clatter during the homily causing the entire congregation to turn around and stare at you!).

5) The staccato clicking sounds of the crutches at work loudly proclaim the approach of my pathetic, crippled form and garner more looks of sympathy and compassion from onlookers than I can handle. It's also much worse when I almost trip over one of my own children (or myself) in the process. I thought the constant comments of "You've got your hands full" that I received nonstop before the injury were annoying. Hearing "Good timing on the injury, Mom" more than once during an outing is way worse.

6) Because it takes so much time, effort, and general humiliation to move from place to place, I find myself constantly debating whether the benefits of a given task truly outweighs the effort. Most of the time, it doesn't. Have to go to the bathroom? I can probably hold it for another three hours. Really need a drink of water? I'd rather die of thirst than fetch myself a glass. Really quite bored and want to finish reading the book I started last week but it's lying on the coffee table in the next room? No thanks, I'll just continue staring at the wall instead.

7) This leads me to explaining that carrying items is virtually impossible with crutches. For example, if I want to carry my mug of coffee into the next room, I essentially have to place it on the floor and kick it gently as I go along. Very efficient.

8) Using the bathroom takes 10x more time and I live in fear that the sound of my crutches clattering to the ground (because they almost always fall) will cause Paul and company to come rushing to my aid for fear that I've fallen off the toilet or something. I've already pulled the towel rack out of the wall once during a moment of imbalance.

9) And while we're talking about bathrooms, showering is also interesting. I'm scared to death that I'm going to slip in the soap suds mid hop and break my hip.

10) I should point out that there are some benefit to the crutches. I have successfully stamped out fleeing centipedes and spiders with the rubber bottom of my crutch. Foolproof method to kill household pests - it completely obliterates them.

11) The crutches also serve as a great intimidation factor for both the children and the dog. If they thought an angry Mom was scary before, an angry Mom brandishing a crutch is way more terrifying. The dog is just scared of them period, so anytime I come near on the crutches, he normally keeps his business. Good thing too. I don't need him tripping me and breaking my other foot.

12) The ultimate lesson learned from all this? Get thee a knee scooter. I am now the coolest geriatric on the block with my fully equipped knee scooter with full suspension and off-roading capability.. As an additional plus, I can take Lucy for some pretty speedy rides around the block on it. My favorite feature is the cute little basket in the front which means I can actually carry things from room to room! I helped clear off the table after dinner the other night and felt SO EMPOWERED. If you are laid up like me, screw the crutches and get thee a knee scooter.


  1. So hard to like this post. I want to put my head on the table and sob. The only thing I can say is this too shall pass . . . .

  2. To have all my sympathies!!! My longest was 6 weeks and you're still going! I did get good at carrying things while on crutches...including 18 month old wasn't the smartest decision though...

  3. In spite of it all, your humor is still intact!