Can you believe we are almost halfway through March? It is almost surreal how fast time moves the older we get. What am I filling all of this time with? I hope it is something worthwhile and not just stuff to fulfill my own selfish desires. As I look back on the last three years, a few memories stick out – my foot surgery in March of 2013 is one of them. Probably not where you thought this was headed; after all, my wedding happened within this timeframe! A lot has changed since then, but today, one thing is the same: I’m on crutches once again.
I had my second foot surgery a little more than a week ago. The first time around, I had been in DC less than a year, lived on my own, wasn’t married, and hadn’t yet moved in with my new housemates Kristy and Ashley. I couldn’t really go anywhere because I couldn’t drive, walk, or put weight on my foot at all. This is the same predicament I find myself in today. Spring weather is upon us, and I would love to walk the 2.8 miles home from my office building. I guess putting the windows down during my afternoon Uber rides will have to suffice.
In 2013, I found myself spending over two months on these dreaded walking aids. It happened just before Easter and I was bummed to be missing out on all of the springtime weather, much like today. My Redemption Hill Church Community group was more than incredible. They set up a meal plan so that friends could sign up to bring over cooked meals; on my own, cooking would have been a struggle. One of the guys in my group signed up twice to bring me dinner, even making it at my place one of the nights. Strange, I thought at the time. Just kidding. It wasn’t strange, and I wasn’t oblivious. I knew he sortofkindofmaybe liked me – he had asked me to coffee previously, but my typical scared self told him I was busy and had to do laundry.
Well guess what ladies, now I’m doing his laundry! Yes, that boy was Aaron, and he is my husband. What a change, to go from being alone on crutches to having someone there to help you with everything! I now have someone to cook for me every evening, to drive me to work in the mornings, to take my dog on walks in the afternoon, and to make sure I get to all of my follow-up appointments and “after school” activities (such as community group, girls night, or whatever other events are occurring that week). I’ll be thinking of a way to thank him for his acts of kindness when I can walk again.
The last time I was on crutches, two days after surgery, I fell down a flight of stairs, and then the following week, I fell out of a car due to a sewer near the sidewalk. I was a mess. This time around – at least so far – I’ve managed to stay upright!
This time I know what being on crutches feels like. That helps in some ways, but it also makes you dread them a whole lot more. However, I like to think that I’ve improved in the proper technique of crutching around. My husband says I move faster with crutches than I do without them. It took him all of five seconds to figure out why that is. With crutches, my hands aren’t free to check my phone every few minutes. To scroll through Instagram, check emails, or text friends. With crutches, there is no social media multitasking; it’s just you, the crutches, one good leg, one bad leg, and a whole lot of underarm chaffing.
So after all of this, I see myself as somewhat of a crutch expert and I want to offer you some advice for if you ever find yourself in such a pickle. Some might seem obvious, but even I could have used the reminder.
1. Don’t wait to go to the bathroom – I think this is one of the worst parts for me, especially since my body signals are off and I don’t always get a warning that I have to go. There is no running to the bathroom on crutches.
2. Prepare meals before surgery – If you don’t have someone to help you for the bigger meals, make some before surgery. At least you will be able to heat them in the microwave. Even if you can’t carry your plate to the table, you can stand and eat it over the counter!
3. Crutch pads – use them, buy them, make them, however you can lessen the chaffing, DO IT. I don’t follow my own advice and I pay for it.
4. Hopping on one foot is doable – I do it a lot, but just make sure you have a wall or counter nearby if you start to fall. It at least gives your upper body a break. Or maybe don’t take this advice… I tend to be reckless.
5. Say yes! – No, not to the dress, to help! I’m prideful, I don’t want to burden people, but sometimes you have to, and this is a pretty good reason.
6. Use a backpack – no one wants their purse falling off their shoulder while trying to maneuver. Backpacks for work or school and crossover bags for everything else are lifesavers!
7. Paint your toenails – if you are a girl (or a super sassy guy). You will probably be showing your toes a lot, so after the surgery or after your cast is put on, give them a fresh coat of Essie!
8. Take your time – give yourself extra time to get places. It takes longer to get ready, and much longer to get places, so give yourself an extra 10! You won’t regret it. If you do happen to get somewhere early, just use the time for social media because you probably haven’t mastered the crutch and phone technique yet. I haven’t.
If there comes a time when you have to use the dreaded crutches, don’t fret. Take my advice, don’t fall down stairs, get lots of rest, and look on the bright side: at least your upper body will be nice and toned.