Sunday, July 13, 2008

Crutch Girl: Time

You'd think a woman who has no mobility would be blogging and reading her brains out.

You'd think.

Somehow, that's not how it has worked out lately.

I can blame some of it on MySpace. I have posted a lot of photos for family and friends on that site. If you have a MySpace account, send me a notice to "friend" me.

The rest of it is just time. And boy, can things take time!

Take, for example, a shower. Last month, showers — complete with a dab of makeup and a mostly dry head of hair — took about 15 minutes from lights-on to lights-off. Now it takes me nearly that long to get the in and out of the shower stall, with some sudsing in between. (Pulling the ceramic soap dish out of the wall takes a little more time, but not a lot.) Part of it is caution of wet floors. The rest is getting annoyed at getting sweaty again at the exertion of it all. Summer has nothing on hopping for bringing out the sweat.

Leaving the house is a little more time-consuming as well. For a short while longer, there will be no more grabbing my purse and rooting around for my sunglasses while charging down the stairs.

Traveling downstairs is a challenge because crutches and gravity are a scary team. The hopping isn't too slow, but the crutches (being carried or used) add a level of complexity the judges should include in their scoring.

When hopping upstairs, it's just gravity that slows me down. That is, when David has a hold of the crutches. When I'm on my own, the crutches again require management. Vicky has suggested I borrow hers to put at the bottom of the stairs, and I very well might. Plus, let's be honest: by the time it's time to hop upstairs, I've already spent most of my energy on, oh, maneuvering around people not paying attention and waiting for a few elevators because seemingly able people prefer to keep their spot rather than share it with the tired crutch woman. (Don't start me on last night's elevator-full of people laughing because I stood waiting for the next car. Twice. Not a wheelchair, crutch, cane or elderly person in the lot. They laughed when I couldn't get on. Laughed.)

So, Speedy Gonzales I am not. I'm already chronologically challenged, so this does not make my life any easier. Every day brings new discoveries and challenges, such as, "What's appropriate to wear to work that will accommodate my boot?" and "Don't tell me I left my right shoe upstairs!" After a while I decide I don't care who can see through my skirt, I'm not going upstairs one more time for my slip. (Okay, I did go upstairs for the slip, but it was my third trip up the stairs, thus a tough call.)

Long story short, my time is spent doing things that I used to do in a quarter of the time. I'm about to go make myself a bagel for breakfast, and it will entail an elaborately choreographed dance. I'll hop across the room to retrieve the crutches, crutch into the kitchen, step over the cat who will get his soft food first, lumber between the bread basket and the refrigerator, decide I can't carry a drink then finally pull the stool into the kitchen so I can eat at the counter and near the tea. (Bottling the tea and carrying it into the dining room has merit, but not always.)

I'm grateful I'm strong enough to do it. However, it really is a pain. I can't wait to see what the doctor says tomorrow about how long this will be my life. I really hope he doesn't throw in any more surprises. Wish me luck.

No comments: