The Ridiculousness of Crutches
Do you remember as a child how you thought it would be so much fun to break something and get a cast or get to use crutches? You imagined no doubt that this would get you endless attention, treats, and special privileges. You would of course get to skip your chores, and, if you were lucky enough to break your right arm, maybe you would even get out of doing homework. This seemed like an ideal situation, right? Well, now after my first cast/crutches experience let me tell you…your childhood self was stupid, stupid, stupid!
After surgery I was stuck in bed per the doctor’s orders: foot elevated, doped up, and lethargic.
After a few days of watching bits of movies between drug and exhaustion induced napping, I was feeling better and ready to start using my crutches for more than just going to the bathroom.
Now that I have been using these annoying devices for a couple weeks I have realized that they, along with my enormous purple cast, make everything ridiculously hard to do. Only those who have been forced to use crutches and cope with a cast can truly understand the magnitude of this annoyance. Since this has been my first experience with casts and crutches I had no idea just how much they would drive me crazy!
For those of you who have never had this joyous experience let me help you visualize how your life on crutches would be. Imagine you have no hands (You can’t hold anything, duh…you are holding your crutches.) and that you have only one leg. In place of your second leg you have a deadweight that is tender, heavy, cumbersome, and useless. Now imagine trying to go about your daily tasks with your one useful appendage. You want to go shopping? Good luck. How are you going to hold your purse? How are you going to walk around a huge store? How are you going to push your cart? Or perhaps you just want to stay at home and take a nice hot shower. Well, too bad, you can’t. Unless you want to cover your cast with a garbage bag, tape the top to your skin with an overabundance of duct tape, try to somehow maintain your balance on one leg as you shampoo and soap up, all the while holding your other leg in an extremely awkward position in a useless attempt to keep your cast dry, only to realize in the end that you still got it wet and have to spend the next hour, following your exhausting shower, blow drying it. Sounds fun doesn’t it?
Yes, let me assure you, casts and crutches are not worth getting out of doing your chores.
Here are some of the more frustrating things about this unwieldy duo:
Since we have a two-story house I regularly have to go up and down the stairs. I have found that the easiest and safest way to do this is by sliding on my bum, dragging my crutches in one hand and balancing myself with the other. It looks and feels completely silly, and wears me out.
If you have a cast or are getting one on your leg it is my solemn recommendation that you do not try to take a shower while casted. No matter what you do, no matter how many rubber bands and rolls of duct tape you use, no matter if you triple bag it, no matter what! If you take a shower with a cast your cast will almost inevitably get wet. I bagged, banded, and taped my leg absolutely comical amounts and still my cast somehow ended up wet. My suggestion is that instead of a shower, you take a bath. While bathing is still obnoxiously difficult, it requires less effort than a shower and is not nearly as risky as far as cast wetting goes. I recommend you follow this procedure when bathing with a cast on your leg: bag and tape your cast, have some sympathetic volunteer (that your are willing to let see your blubber) assist you in getting into the tub (If you don’t have any acquaintances that fit this description, good luck getting into the bath without assistance.), put your casted leg up on the side of the tub, fill the tub (I advise not getting the bath too full so you don’t risk getting your cast wet.), bath, drain the water, then seek help in getting back out again.
If you have crutches there is only one way, and one way only, to carry an item thicker than a piece of paper-hopping. Yes, that’s right; you put your crutches down, pick your item up, lift up your decrepit leg and hop on your good leg until you reach your desired destination. This is hard work, if you don’t believe me give it a try, you will be panting in no time. Last week I had to transfer a vase of flowers a coworker had kindly given me from my car to the kitchen sink, to get some water for the thirsty flowers, and then to the living room where I wanted to display it. Since no one else was home to help me I was forced to hop all that way. Good thing I’m in shape is all I can say. I have hopped more in the last two weeks than I have the entire rest of my life put together.
Simply put, sleep doesn’t happen. In the last two weeks I have been up tossing and turning in bed until 5 AM or later nearly every night. An uncomfortable position and an uncomfortable leg are not conducive to sleeping.
I have been trying to figure out some cure for this dilemma, taking Advil PM seems to help.
Having a cast and crutches does get me out of doing my chores and many of my normal daily tasks so I guess in that way all those childish dreams were accurate. However, instead of actually doing something productive with my energy I get to use it all crawling up stairs and hopping around like Thumper. So if you still think having crutches would be a blast let me know and I’d be happy to break your leg.