It’s been an interesting few weeks on crutches. I’m pleased to announce that my knee is getting better very slowly. Everyday, it’s a bit better. I can stand and walk a few steps. But the knee is not quite strong enough. More healing is needed before I give up those reliable friends, my crutches. And Bob was suggesting a cane might be useful as a next step. He’s probably right.
Anyway, over the last few weeks, I’ve had the chance to learn lots of new things. Things I didn’t know I wanted to learn. But someone thought they were important and something I needed to know. Life has a way of doing that to a person.
In the last few weeks, I’ve learned:
- Great fashion accessories–who wouldn’t want a pair of steel appliances, they go with everything.
- How to balance well on one leg. Wonder if that skill will translate easily to balancing on the right leg when I get trusting it again?
- How to hold crutches under your arm, giving you the ability to move while holding something in your hand. I used to see a one legged man on crutches at the coffee shop, he handled his coffee very well. Now I know how he did it.
- Stairs are tricky with crutches. After several weeks I’m still struggling to learn how to navigate them.
- No matter how much you hide it, your co-workers can tell if you are in pain. But they will go along with the pretense and wait until you feel better before asking about how you are feeling. I’ve been getting comments like “You look like you feel much better” or “It looks like that leg is not as painful as last week”.
- Painkillers are wonderful things. A true blessing from our modern society.
- A wiggly frog attached to the crutch makes people laugh. That’s a good thing.
- Every day I’ve noticed an improvement. It’s pretty amazing.
- When I hurt, I’m not hungry. Not eating much for a couple of weeks helps shrink my stomach. Then stop drinking all alcohol for a few weeks (because of pain killers) and my pants are getting loose. If I keep this up for a few weeks, might actually reset my bodies requests for food and drink; making a real change in my lifestyle.
- Can’t sit at my desk for hours at a time without hurting. I have to get up and move at least every hour. So I’m also retraining myself on how to move and not sit too still. Another couple weeks and it might be a true lifestyle change.
- An MRI in my local area should cost 400-500 dollars. The insurance company called me with that data point and said the place where the doctor wants to send me won’t provide cost data. If it is more than that, they will help me find a place where I won’t have huge out of pocket costs. I was actually pleased to get that information. Still don’t think I need the MRI.
- It takes more calories to walk with crutches than without. There are actually websites that tell you how to make up an exercise program and use crutches. Still, I think an exercise program without them would be better.
- Two hours at ER costs about 1700 dollars (we think). It looks like my portion will be about 600 dollars. That is much better than the thousands of dollars in bills I’ve been expecting.
- I’ve grown callouses on the palms of my hands.
- I don’t ever want another knee injury–they hurt. So I”m going to be real slow about getting off the crutches even though I can stand and take a few steps. Its nice that both my family and co-workers encourage me to be careful.
- It’s hard to accept help from others. But when on crutches, one has to. And it makes people feel good if they can do something, even it is a small thing like opening a door.
- A thermos makes it possible to have hot water at my desk. Tea makes everything better.