1) Keep a small container of dry dog food near your laptop to use as a bribe to keep your dogs entertained and quiet during impromptu conference calls. Don’t mistake this for your cup of granola.
2) Small plastic bags come in handy. Tie one around one crutch to carry small things, or place them around the house (tied onto drawer pulls) to use as trash cans or stash bags to help you remember what to take upstairs. Rethink how you use the term “Bag Lady” from now on.
3) Clip your crutches together when you aren’t using them. Those rock climbing carabiner clips work nicely (doesn't everyone have one?) Crutches just can’t be lazily leaned against countertops, tables or walls. They will slide sideways, and they always slide away from you - especially when you are precariously balanced on one foot (and up on your toes on that foot) trying to reach the clean coffee cups. Why can’t they develop a gyro-balanced crutch that helps you balance and won’t fall over when you drop it or stand it in a corner? Segway crutches. Seems like insurance should even pay for it if they approve those scooters (no, I haven’t gone there yet).
4) Set up camp in a few areas of your house. I can just handle getting me and my daily totebag of “stuff” up and down stairs maybe twice a day. I only visit my home office (upstairs) when I have an important conference call, so I have taken over a few spaces downstairs. I now have a space at the kitchen counter with a high stool and everything I need for morning coffee within arm’s reach. Each night, I place my laptop and charger on the counter so I can work during the hour it takes me to get coffee, breakfast and a grip on another day of cast-dom. I can do a quick switch of most of my items to the dining room table – all while balanced on one foot, hanging on to a chair. When my foot starts to go numb, I move to the living room couch where I can prop up my leg for a few hours. I have a charger, lap desk, pillows, water bottle, protein bars and hand lotion/lip balm all with reach of the couch. No blanket is needed since I always have two dogs to use as foot warmers here. If I’m feeling really adventurous, I can dump my laptop, cords, phone, water and note pads in the tote bag, and move to the patio. This move takes 45 minutes and involves maneuvering crutches around a door, two rugs, two dogs and two patio chairs. All while trying to keep hold of the tote bag. I have to be pretty desperate for a change of scenery to psych myself up for this. Most days, I am.
5) Declare A House Rule: The person in the cast gets to rearrange the small appliances, the furniture and the items in the fridge. All other occupants in the house should heed this rule to avoid another trip to the ER.
6) Anytime you are in the vicinity of a bathroom, take advantage. Trips to the bathroom require thinking ahead. Don’t be surprised when you start paying rapt attention to the Poise Pad commercials you used to make fun of a short four weeks ago.
Counting down the days to my next x-ray on July 7.