This one’s all about me….

May 1st, 2011

Life on crutches post my Achilles tendon repair surgery last Wednesday evening. Day 4..

Firstly…. It is quite scary. You worry you will fall. Then your hands ache and your shoulders chime in also as neither your hands or arms or shoulders were designed to carry your entire body weight! But they are capable of it and can do it. For me so far, venturing forth with my trusty sticks is done in short bursts. I don’t think I can go very far without resting. A trek to the beach is not even under consideration at this time…. Might have to hire a wheelie chair so I can get down to the sand at least….

Secondly… Your hands are now fully occupied operating your crutches to relocate your body from place to place so you can’t use them for their main purpose which is to hold and carry stuff! So how often in a day does one hold and carry stuff from place to place one might ask? Heaps says I! Making a cuppa now involves a trusty travel mug with a lid which prevents spills and burns and I can hold it with two fingers while still grabbing the crutch on my good side! Getting the milk from the fridge is another two finger job using a smaller milk container than normal with a screw lid…

Thirdly… You have to plan ahead. Graham has now got many more jobs to do and keeping the floor clean and clear of mats and trip hazards is a priority. He also has been asked to ensure a full roll of toilet paper is at hand at all times at both loo’s in the house and he either prepares a meal for my lunch before he leaves or I stick to cup a soup! Hence the treasured multi purpose lidded travel mug! I have a small carry bag that I can tie to the crutch on my good side and a shoulder bag or bum bag is on the list for tomorrow. Carrying stuff is the biggest challenge after simply moving from one seat to another seat is mastered…. But thank God for my ipad. It is a such a relief to be web browsing, emailing and playing games from anywhere so easily. I even used it in the hospital after my op to tell Graham and friends I was OK.

But the worstest thing is needing to be helped and assisted in nearly everything. It is very difficult to not be able to drive and to be asking Graham to take me places and bring me stuff constantly. I am so lucky that I have a partner who is willing to be my servant for a while but it isvery hard to be so dependent on someone else. I feel like a constantly demanding child….. Could you get me this, can you bag up my leg for the shower, can you make a cuppa, hang out the washing after doing the washing… and so on and so on…

So day 4 post surgery sees me in much less pain and the black torture boot becoming considerably less torturous! In otherwords my surgery wounds aren’t hurting a lot and my foot seems to be adapting to the various rubbings and pressure points and funny fitting of the boot. I am concerned however that my foot isn’t staying in the correct position within the boot so it being a long weekend I will just have to tough it out till Tuesday. I am sure no lasting harm is being done but ankle angle is important and my foot wants to sit up off the bottom of the boot and I think this is wrong. Will get it sorted on Tuesday.

So the last 2 nights I didn’t need pain killers (hooray) and think they won’t be needed at all anymore which is excellent. Sleeping is easier as I have worked out better positions for the leg with boot using pillows etc to rest it on. Not forgetting that I am under strict instructions that my leg MUST be elevated all of the time! So I am trying to do this and getting a numb bum is a commom occurrence from all the sitting! A trip to the loo becomes an adventure to look forward to as it is a good excuse to move around a bit..

The main lesson for me so far is to care for this prescious body of mine a lot better. It has never failed to operate to this extent, ever before, so I am much, much more aware of how vital to happiness is our good health. I am apologising to my body for stupidly trying to return to netball when a less physical sport would have been more appropriate (at my age…)! And I am now aware that aerobic fitness and good strength are nothing without muscle fitness! So yoga and stretching exercises, here I come. Having a flexible and fit body is what we need and one without the other is no good!

Lastly my wonderful local surgeon Sean managed to get my tendon ends back together somehow so I should be able to function normally again. I honestly don’t care if I can never run again but just to be able to walk long distances free of pain will be such a joy. Remember that saying…. You don’t know what youv’e got till it’s gone? So true, so true…

PS Thank you to Graham and all my friends for their care and concern. I really do appreciate it.

2 Responses to “This one’s all about me….”

  1. Paulon 02 May 2011 at 8:54 am

    So pleased to hear you’re on the mend and with a new appreciation of what disabled people experience every day. I know you were aware of the issues before your op, but there is nothing like experiencing it yourself.
    Keep up the good work and you’ll be back on your feet in no time!

  2. Jane Hansonon 02 May 2011 at 10:43 am

    Yes, we are lucky to have our health and mobility, as you said “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. I remember snapping my calf muscle many years ago and having to have someone cater to my every need was almost embarrassing as I have always been a very independent person. We are both fortunate enough to have had Sean operate on us, mine for Carpal Tunnel. I do recall after having the first hand done, making the stupid mistake of setting myself up in the sun for a nice relaxing read, first taking out my book, glasses, cap and a bottle of water. Lowering myself into the canvas sling deck chair (of course in the very lowest recline position)…ahhhh, now this is nice..but wait…with one hand out of action how does one get out of a canvas deck chair?? Turn sideways and try to slide out? No go, but the dogs thought it was great being able to give my face a thorough wash while I struggled in the chair! Wait 2 hrs for partner to get home and get pulled out…ah, the things we do. I’m sure you will soon master the art of the crutches and we will see you out and about in no time. Take this time to relax and smell the roses, but only if Graham brings it to you!

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