I am beginning to loathe crutches and sympathize with anyone who is currently, has ever, or will ever need to use crutches. I think they are a torture device invented by the devil. Seriously. Not only am I completely and utterly inadept at using them, they are somewhat painful. I can't count the number of times I have nearly fallen or fallen and caught myself. When you've never used them before and you see other people using them they really don't look that difficult. Well, your perception is deceiving you. It definitely takes practice to get adept at using them and even then I think they still aren't very comfortable.
When you pair crutches with a somewhat clumsy person with a bum ankle, the results can be disastrous. At least, they are for me. I don't know where my coordination is disappearing to (even before the bum ankle). I used to play sports that required great coordination. But alas, it seems that it is fading. I think I am becoming clumsier by the day and adding crutches into the mix is not a pretty sight.
Not only does my ankle hurt, but the crutches are making my back hurt from being bent over, my wrists and hands hurt from holding myself up on them, my underarms hurt where it is rubbing them raw, my neck hurts from looking down to be sure I am placing them on solid ground and that I don't fall, and my right hip and thigh hurt from holding my calf and ankle back so as not to trip over it. Mind you I do not complain about this...well except for this one instance on my blog. I just grin and bear it, but in a word, it stinks.
I have been back at work since the Thursday after the accident and it has been a picnic...or NOT. My husband has to drive me to work, hand me my crutches, help me out of the truck, carry all of my stuff, open the door for me, watch me so I don't fall, help me into my office, put my lunch in the fridge, and then make his own 1 hour journey to work. I have to beg people to carry stuff for me from my office to the lab, including the pillow I need to keep my ankle elevated. I am not able to retrieve my own lunch and have to wait for someone to come by to help me. Don't even get me started on the acrobatics that occur when trying to get into and go to the bathroom.
To an outsider looking in, and even to myself, it is all quite humorous. It it such an orchestration just to get myself bathed (no showers for me for a while), dressed, my hair done, and my body out to the car. At home, I am used to having two sets of eyes on me in the bathroom. If you are an indoor dog owner, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about. However, it has now gone from two sets of eyes to three and one set is human. Thank goodness I am 100% comfortable around my husband or else I might die of shame.
At my last appointment with the orthopedist, they had me schedule a follow-up visit for two weeks later, but told me that if I was getting better there was no need to come in. However, what they failed to tell me was how on earth to gauge whether or not I am getting better. I have no parameters to refer to in order to decide if my ankle is getting better. Does getting better mean no pain? If so, then I guess I am not getting better at all. Does getting better mean being able to put pressure on my ankle? Well then I'm failing that one too because they told me not to even think of putting pressure on my ankle for several weeks. Does it mean being able to move my ankle somewhat? If so, then WOOHOO I am getting better!
In all honestly and all jesting aside, I DO believe that it is ever-so-slowly getting better bit by bit. The majority of my pain comes from standing or walking on the crutches. I do experience some pain from having my foot down. My pain is probably a 2 when my foot is elevated...well, most of the time. I want my recovery to speed the H E double hockeysticks up because I am TIRED of being on crutches and being nearly helpless. But everyone I have talked to who has torn the ligaments in their ankle with a grade 3 sprain has given me the unfortunate news that it takes about a year to get back to 100% if you even get there at all. But, I can deal with a year's worth of "recovery" as long as I am up and walking before I throw my crutches through the second story storm windows. They are telling me I should be able to walk withint 4-6 weeks. One and half weeks down, 2.5 to 4.5 left to go.
Until that time comes I will be silently cursing the man (and yes, I am CERTAIN it was a man) who invented the torture devices known to us as crutches.