Sunday, August 4, 2013

Crutching: 10 Things I HATE About Crutches

Achilles, Greek hero of the Trojan War, was shot in the heel with an arrow creating a small wound that was ultimately his demise.  Although I am sure to physically recover from my Achilles heel injury, my mental state is another story…

It’s been six long weeks since I tore my right Achilles tendon juggling a soccer ball with my family at the Long Beach, CA airport while awaiting our flight home.  That means it’s been six long agonizing weeks since I have been loping around on crutches.  Or, as it is called by the informed, “crutching.”  While my balance is improving every day, and I am sure I will be unbeatable at Twister, here are ten reasons why you should avoid crutching (or really injury) at all costs.

#1. It’s freaking exhausting!  All that hopping, loping and dragging yourself up and down while precariously holding onto any protuberant surface makes boot camp seem like a walk in the park. Someone should come up with the “Crutching Work-Out/Diet.”  You use all sorts of big and small muscle groups, sweat constantly, need to nap for a good two hours a day and don’t have the energy – or strength – to eat.

#2. Peeing in the wee hours: Nothing is more dreadful than waking up at 3AM only to realize that you have to take a one-legged pee and that your mode of transport is crutches.  Sound asleep and weary, you must watch out for the stray fallen pillow and the rolled up bathroom mat as you ease yourself down onto the awaiting seat, only having to make the treacherous journey back.

#3. One-legged showering:  It took me two weeks to figure out how to shower with one leg out of the shower, and a few handy implements.  My first shower lasted about 30 seconds, or as long as I thought I could balance while frantically washing all body parts and my length of hair. My husband stood by and lifted me in and out.  It was far from relaxing and far from practical.  While I did get better at hopping in and out myself, and mastered the art of tying plastic garbage bags around my cast, my mom saved the day when she brought over a shower chair.  It’s a must.  While it does get slippery when you soap up, it allows you to relax under the soothing spray of hot water.  The second implement is the waterproof cast cover.  Although it didn’t initially fit over my heavy-duty post-surgery splint and wrap, it now fits nicely around my bright pink cast (I figured, why not go pink?).

#4. Enjoying your morning coffee.  Forget about leisurely drinking your hot coffee while reading the Wheaties box for the umpteenth time.  With crutches, you drink your coffee over the sink, as fast as you can.

#5. It’s treacherous and “ouch-y.”  You’d think it was enough that you’re still suffering the discomfort of having your foot re-attached to your leg. But watch out for all of the new “ouchies” that come from crutching.  Currently my own list includes a bruised hand, stubbed pinky and big toe, abrasions on both knees and two sore armpits. 

#6. Stairs become your arch nemesis.  Two things on stairs.  One: All stairs are not built the same.  While I am adept at hopping and tushy-ing my way up and down my own in-door banister-ed stairs, there are other stairs that take real courage to tackle, and the arm of a strong friend.  Two: Hopping up and down stairs is strenuous and tiring!  (See #1, “It’s freaking exhausting!”)

#7. You can’t carry anything.  Now why don’t crutches come with pockets?  Although I love wearing dresses and skirts in the summer, these days I am resolved to wearing shorts with pockets.  But try carrying a load of laundry in a 4-inch back pocket.  Useless.  These days, crawling with whatever has to get from point A to point B is the new walking.

#8. Speaking of USELESS…:  This should actually be listed at #1.  Using crutches is exasperating, frustrating, and arduous!  And, as I tore my RIGHT Achilles, I can’t even drive!  As all who know me can attest, I am not a restful spirit, happy to sit around and watch mindless TV.  I am high octane and like to get things done!  Nothing makes me happier than getting in a good work-out, being productive at my job and then checking off all my personal “to dos” for the day. Schpilkadik is what they call people like me in Yiddish.  That said, I am also exhausted (see #1, “It’s freaking exhausting!)

#9. No more than one alcoholic beverage:  Okay, well I’m a total light weight so if I go beyond one drink, I get tipsy. Suffice to say, the combination of alcohol and crutches is just a bad one. Unless you want to risk breaking, tearing, twisting another bone, tendon, etc. – keep sober.

#10. Handicapped parking: While my mom has been singing the praises of handicapped parking, it goes against my better nature (and my delusional state that I am still a young and spritely, 25) to seek out handicapped parking and be happy about hanging my sign on the car mirror.  I am too young for this!  However, I am also exhausted, (see #1: “It’s freaking exhausting!).