23 December 2008

Optimistically Bummed

Crutches stink. If you’ve been on them, you know this. If not, you don’t have a clue. You think they’re great fun. You grab your friend’s (hopefully when he’s sitting down) and hop across the room with glee. But when you really can’t afford to drop weight on that busted and/or patched up lower appendage, you quickly learn the truth.

In my case, one screw up and all this work goes down the tubes. Tendons sewn but not re-grown (I worked for minutes on that rhyme, kindly appreciate it!) are rather fragile, even with the best horse artistically wrapped around them. Which leads us to today’s theme, that while this medical adventure is, for all we can see, proceeding well, it takes a long time.

This saga seems like it started eons ago, which is probably because it did. With perfect hindsight I would have skipped the five weeks in leg armor leading up to surgery, but who knew? We had to play the game and give it a shot. It was a long shot. We lost. C’est la vie.

It’s now been two and a half weeks since the surgery, two and a half weeks on crutches. Give me a wide open space, I can move pretty well on these things. (Heck, my manager Steve tells me he actually did the Manchester Road Race on crutches several years back; my arms ache just thinking about it!) But just try to navigate through the house – and my wife keeps a neat house, mind you – and frustration mounts. Everything is slightly out of reach. Hop? Or grab those things again? Worst is the inability to carry most anything, since you need your hands. I’m quite sick of being rather useless with anything other than the keyboard.

On the lighter side, my younger daughter likens my one-legged state to a flamingo, and desperately wants to dress me up in pink. I’ve come to refer to myself as a permanent Captain Morgan advertisement, and I don’t even drink the stuff. Any other one-legged jokes you can think of, just send them over.

But Doctor Foot Doctor had told me two to three weeks in the splint, then back to the leg armor. And so with today’s follow-up visit, there was the slightest ray of hope. I was so wishing to gain my freedom from the crutches. Alas, it was not to be. Despite good behavior, my sentence has not been commuted. And worse, when I shift back to the air cast in about a week, the crutches don’t go away. Instead I keep using them, but only slowly start adding weight over the course of a couple more weeks. Doc is optimistic on my prognosis, but wisely cautious.

To my engineering head, this makes perfect sense, of course, and I’m fully with the program to ease back oh-so-gently in hopes of not damaging this fragile repair. But I can’t deny that I am just a little bummed. Oh ye who yearn from freedom…

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