I spent two weeks in a cast with my leg totally immobilised, and hobbling around on crutches, and no, sadly, I didn't look anywhere near as good as Emily Blunt. I am going to the physio two or three times a week and doing stretching and strengthening exercises for about two hours a day. It's getting better slowly and steadily, but it will be another six weeks before I am allowed to run again (and I'm not sure if and/or when football will be permitted again).
Yesterday I returned the crutches to the hospital with a great sense of satifaction, and it led me to think about injuries and recovery and the things we (or certainly, I) take for granted.
5 Mini Steps to Recovery:
- Being able to carry stuff, particularly drinks, particularly hot drinks - have you any idea how long it takes to move a cup of coffee from room to room by putting it on a surface, picking up the crutches, hopping forward a step, putting down the crutches, moving the cup forward a few inches, picking up the crutches, hopping forward a step, etc? About twenty minutes. Of course, I could just lean in the kitchen and drink it standing up, but that somewhat defeats the purpose.
- Being able to stand up - hopping around art galleries or racing through airport terminals is simply not possible so although most of the time crutches are manageable, there were occasions when I needed to be in a wheelchair. Although some of my friends enjoyed pushing me around for a change (you know who you are), it is not pleasant to be at groin level with the general public - especially those who insist on exposing midriffs and bumcracks. Please put it away - I don't want to look and when I am at this height, I really haven't got a choice!
- Having a bath - sitting on a garden chair in the shower with a plastic bag wrapped around your leg just isn't the same.
- Driving a car - it's my left leg, so if I drove an automatic it wouldn't be a problem, but I don't and so it is. The pressure you need to apply to depress the clutch and change gears has been beyond me for the last month and a half. Appreciative as I am of Him Outdoors dropping me off and picking me up from places, the nature of his job means he is on-call and his timekeeping is fluid if a call comes through that he must attend. Being given the all clear to drive last week has returned much of my freedom and independence - hurrah!
- Exercise - I never thought I'd miss it. Times have been tough over the last couple of months and I realise that I like to get out and go for a jog or a bike ride in the fresh air to clear my head and stop things getting me down mentally. As this has been impossible I have been sitting in the sweltering heat with my leg elevated and my mind churning over depressing thoughts. Yesterday I went for my first bike ride in the outdoors (only twenty minutes around the block, but so much better than the stationary bike in the garage) and it felt good.