I’ve managed over 50 years without having to use crutches – and now I am really admiring people who seem to use them efficiently and speedily.
I had a lesson with Mark the physio before the op [good bloke, his Gran is one of our church members] and he helped me go along the corridor and up and down stairs. I thought I had it all sorted out – and would be able to manipulate the things.
“You can go home once you have been to the loo unaided, had a cup of tea and eaten a piece of toast” they told me before the op.
Tea and toast – that was no problem, fortunately I have never suffered nausea after general anaesthetics. And I hopped off the bed and hobbled down the corridor to the Ward Loo fairly easily.
I managed fine until the very end of the procedure. I balanced both crutches against the side of the handbasin, stood on my left foot, leaning against the basin – and washed my hands thoroughly. Then I pulled a paper towel from the dispenser and dried my hands. And then…
How on earth are you supposed to open the foot operated rubbish bin?
I didn’t want to press down with the right leg [after all those warnings about ‘you cannot drive for a fortnight because you can’t press your foot down on the brake’] I didn't want to press down with the left leg because it was barely 2 hours after the op, and I wasn’t sure my right leg would support me, even with crutches, and I was afraid I would overbalance.
I transferred paper towel to my teeth, picked up the crutches and moved over to the bin. Then leaned on left foot and balanced myself with the crutch in my right hand. And tried to open bin by pushing left crutch onto the bar. That didn’t work. Then I put left crutch in right hand [horizontally as Mark had shown me] and used left hand to lift lid, and dropped towel from teeth into bin. What a performance!!
Since I got home, things have mostly been ok – once I realised that I must leave the crutches somewhere safe whilst I was reclining on the sofa, as they’ve nearly tripped Bob up twice.
But I am a dreadful patient. I get thirsty, but don’t want to disturb Bob because he is working very hard in his study. I manage to get in the kitchen, and make 2 cups of tea standing against the worktop. But then have no way of carrying them anywhere. So I end up disturbing him anyway, to come and collect his tea, and to carry mine back to the lounge.
I am trying, honest. Bob says I am very trying!!