It may be as simple as moving furniture around to accommodate a new path for crutches. It might be as hard as breaking an old habit of doing nothing before your coffee each morning. It could also involve letting go of your self-imposed restrictions - like getting fast food for dinner most nights during a difficult time.
If you are part of my family, the fix might also involve duct tape.
It isn’t too hard to adapt your surroundings to fit your needs. It is a larger challenge to adapt the way you THINK about things when your life gets turned upside down.
I’ve had to scale back my expectations about what I can do during my severe lack of mobility. Humility isn’t my best feature, but I’m getting some good practice. I’ve become an official “bag lady” since I have to tie a plastic bag to my crutch to hold anything I want to transport like a water bottle or a snack. I’ve also become one of those women that stash things in my bra (I know, ew) because it’s there, it’s handy and it holds small things like my phone. I’ve accepted it as a viable resource right now because yoga pants and sundresses rarely have pockets and I can’t risk forgetting it in another room (or heaven forbid, on another floor).
I’ve surprised myself with becoming flexible on things that used to occupy me for hours – like housework, cooking, primping and clothes. Cleaning is nearly impossible except for the small area I can reach while I’m sitting down. Dust and dog hair will have to wait. Fast food or delivery is not the “root of all evil” and one hearty meal a day tastes pretty darn good when the rest of your nutrition is coming from yogurt, protein bars and cereal. My husband, dogs, the orthopedic clinic staff and the few family and friends (the only ones who have seen me in the past few weeks) have not commented on my embarrassingly repetitive wardrobe.
Multi-tasking (one of my best talents) is also out. I moved to a walking boot this week with a strict rule that I CAN’T walk on it yet – not even put any weight on it. More comfortable? Yes! Being able to remove it and scratch/wash/shave my leg is nice, but some of that is canceled out by the fear of accidentally hitting it, falling on it or just forgetting not to put it down when I stand up. I have to concentrate on where I’m going and what my body is doing every minute I’m on those crutches. (You can read a previous blog entry to see what happens when I break this rule.)
Man, I really appreciate my left leg right now. It turned out to be amazingly strong, even as it recovers from a bad sprain. Lefty may have been my weaker leg once upon a time, but when this “summer of cast” is over, I will be rockin’ that left leg chair pose with these new calf muscles.
I’d like to say a big thank my husband who adapted my crutches to fit more comfortably with – you guessed it – duct tape.