Life on crutches

Spoiler alert: It sucks. Actually, that’s probably not much of a spoiler alert since it seems as though most people I talk to have been on them at some point in their life already. I guess it’s a testament to my luck that this is the first time I’ve broken a bone. (We’re not counting the toe I likely broke when I drunkenly slammed it into a table leg several years ago.)

I’m extremely lucky that I work from home, so my day-to-day hasn’t been inconvenienced in a way that affects my job performance or ability to get to and from work.

But everything else has been affected, and a lot of things I used to barely think about doing are now incredibly inconvenient. I can’t get into or out of the shower on my own, I have to use a chair once I’m in there, and it takes forever to get dressed. I shower at night now because I don’t want to have to get up a couple hours earlier in the morning—and I don’t even dry my hair anymore. Since I broke my ankle four weeks ago, I think I’ve put product in and dried my hair twice.

Things like forgetting a piece of clothing in another room turn into a logistical nightmare. There is no more quickly getting up and grabbing something I forgot somewhere. I’m fairly quick on the crutches now, but I can’t carry anything unless it can be held in my hand along with the crutch grip. I drink all of my water out of Nalgene bottles that have a loop attached to their caps. My snacking has been cut down considerably because if I can’t fit it in my pocket, I’m not able to carry it back to my desk. I plan out my trips to the bathroom to maximize my time being upright—I’m constantly scanning rooms and making mental notes of things I need to move or bring back with me before I sit down again.

I’m incredibly lucky that Ian has been able to help me with literally everything, though. Since this happened, he’s been cooking every meal and bringing it to me on the couch. He comes home at lunch to let the dogs out/in (I can do this now, but if it’s wet outside I’m unable to wipe their feet down), fix me lunch and carry it over to my desk for me to eat it. He’s been walking the dogs, cleaning the house (I did manage to clean the kitchen and the bathrooms at one point, but I paid for it with foot swelling and ankle pain later), carrying my foot-elevating pillows from the bed to the couch and back again every day, and moving stuff around the house that I can’t carry, which is almost everything.

When I do have to leave the house, he has to help me down our steep staircase in front of the house. He takes my right crutch and I hold onto him and the left crutch as I try to put the least amount of weight on my right foot for each step down. We repeat the process for getting back into the house.

My insurance finally approved a monthly rental of a knee scooter, but it’s not as big of a help as I thought it would be. It’s got a basket on the front, which helps me carry small things to and fro, but it’s cumbersome to move in small spaces and I keep running over my left foot when I try to back it up to navigate around things.

I tried putting some weight on my foot while in the boot this weekend and it was slightly liberating—but now my ankle hurts worse than it has for a week or two. So now I’m back to taking it easy and not pushing things. The pain isn’t always terrible, but I’m not a huge fan of pain killers and have been trying to not take them unless I think I won’t be able to sleep because it hurts too much. (For reference, I just finished the bottle of 20 that I was prescribed in the ER the night I broke my ankle. It was meant to last three or four days.) I really hope when everything is healed I don’t have lasting issues from this, but the more people I talk to the more worried about that I get.

I’ve never been good at waiting, but that’s all I can do now. I feel a little relief that this happened in the middle of winter and not right as the weather was changing to lovely spring days, because I’d likely be spending most of my time indoors anyway. It’s been chilly and rainy most days, and the dogs have been mostly content to sit on the couch and chill. We did start sending Stella to camp twice a week instead of once so that she doesn’t get too bored (or fat) from not leaving the house as much as she’s used to, but Star Fox has been more than happy to stay inside with me so I don’t feel too guilty.

I miss being able to do a lot of things, but most of all I’ll be glad when I can walk the dogs again. That’s probably what I miss the most.

It's a wild Saturday night at my house.