10 Things Crutches Have Taught Me

ImageOn December 19th I had ankle surgery. It was nothing major – arthroscopy – the surgeon peeked in, cleaned up lots of scar tissue and got out that annoying piece of cartilage that had been floating around for too long. Two minor cuts and now scars. Yet I have recovery to do in order to get my ankle working correctly again.

Which meant learning to walk on crutches.

I have never in my 50+ years broken any bones requiring me to use crutches. But I have learned much while being stifled on my metal “sticks.”

  1. The handicapped restroom should be used as a last resort if you’re out in public and you aren’t handicapped. I have struggled to get into the regular stall in our office building and it isn’t fun!
  2. People are generally very nice when they see me coming. I hope to be more accommodating when I see someone in my current state.
  3. When not in use, lay crutches on the floor. Otherwise when leaned against the wall which I like to do, they tend to fall down by themselves – a lot!
  4. Dogs don’t like falling crutches or when you accidentally swope them when walking. Sheila, my dog, could probably write a book about this!
  5. Going out to eat is a whole new challenge! A restaurant is best because people bring food to you. Fast food – not so good. You can’t walk with crutches and carry a tray of food. And you can’t take your leftover drink with you either!  P.S. I miss the salad bar at Whole Foods 😦
  6. Walking around without crutches when it’s not time, is not a good idea! I was angry at my “handicap” so went to lunch with a friend the other day without them. I paid dearly the next day. Fortunately my physical therapist fixed me up!
  7. Crutches are adjustable – mine at set at 5’9″ and I’m 5’7 3/4″. This adjustment makes them fit under my arms better. Play with them to make them work for you.
  8. They have devices called knee walkers which must be heaven if you know you’re going to be on crutches for a long time. But then it must be a pain if you go anywhere in a car.
  9. People don’t understand “toe touch” walking with crutches. Of course, I have gotten a little sloppy with my toe touch but hey! that’s what my doctor said I could do!
  10. Don’t break any leg bones or a hip so I don’t ever have to use “sticks” again! That’s my final lesson from my ordeal.

Friday is my last day on crutches!

Well, maybe I’ll use one for a bit until I’m walking without pain but that’s an improvement in my book!