On monday I returned to the hospital, fresh from Indonesia. The doctor said that my bone is ‘sticking’ which seems to be a positive thing. I have had to buy a very space age looking boot, and start walking normally without crutches! eeek! It’s heavy and awkward and I don’t seem to remember how to walk so I’m taking it slowly slowly, starting with two crutches with the aim of loosing them asap! Every day it is getting easier.
Yes I do look a bit stupid, especially as my only pair of shoes which are vaguely high enough to match the beautiful boot are my running trainers (workwear + trainers + boot = my best look so far in life), but I’ve looked worse in my time and I will definitely look more stupid in the future. One very sweet year 7 student came up to me looking very worried asking, ‘where is your real leg?’. I promised her it was still there and was in a normal state which seemed to make her less worried.
The last month has been difficult but Ive learnt heaps! Here are a few things I’ve noticed a month on crutches:
- People are amazing. I guess I haven’t had to rely too heavily on people before but recently I have really had to, from the necessities like buying water and food to not so important helping me get around One Utama (one of the biggest shopping malls in the world). Turns out I’m more independently minded than I thought, so asking for help was very difficult to start with! As I’d only been here for about a month when it happened it was even more tricky but now i realise i just have to swallow my pride and get on with it. I really appreciate everything and everyone.
2. Everything takes 10 times longer. No more zipping around life and impatiently waiting for others, the tables have turned….
3. Logistics of life. Having to plan ahead is quite alien to me after living in Africa, but now things have to be planned to the T in order to make journeys and transitions smoother. Will I be able to get there? How far is it? Will I be able to get home? So many questions and so little time.
4. Crutches are an absolute pain. Yes they help me to walk but thats as far as it goes. For a while they squeaked which drove me crazy. Luckily for them they have stopped, so won’t be throwing them out of the window today.
5. It is (sort of) possible to go on holiday on crutches – with a lot of help from your friends. A week after I broke it we all went to Langkawi for the weekend. I had just finished the medication from the hospital and was still a bit over the place but managed to spend the evening at some beach bars, lie on the beach in the day, and even make it on the cable cars in a monsoon! This was all thanks to the lovely ladies below who were ever so patient with me!
6. Asia is not particularly accessible. It has not been easy crutching around, and it is definitely much worse for those in wheelchairs in the majority of places. Most notibly is the cinema with no lift that I could find, just escalators (the scariest of events for a crutcher) and stairs. Even at work there are bizarre dips and steps which I tend to miss!
Having said that we went to neighbourhood (a food court) and a whole group of people in wheelchairs were there! They took one look at my crutches and bought me a beer. I say good for them!
Last week we went to Indonesia. I was half so excited but also bricking it. Apparently life isn’t difficult enough here in KL! There were a few days and activities I was not able to do, but instead drank coffee, people watched, sunbathed, met new people and had numerous massages. Again my buddies were amazing and ever so patient.
I am believing more and more that its all about the attitude. It may be a bit cliche but this quote says it all,
‘Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure’
AND if i can do Indonesia on crutches then normal life is easy peasy!
Things to look forward to when I am back to my mobile state/boot-less!
- Fabric shopping. The lovely Aimi who is the Secondary Admin TA has promised to take me! I am not going to promise I wont buy too much because I will probably break it, but i will try!
- The legends Frank & Olly are coming to visit in february half term, and my lovely parents coming for Easter. Cant wait to show them around!
- Exercise! Bootcamp! Going for runs.
- Making myself a coffee.
- Cooking something a bit more complex than toast. (Don’t worry Mum I am eating a balanced diet…. ish)
- Stepping on the plane when I go back to the UK for Christmas absolutely independently with no assistance. Going for walks in the beautiful Sussex when I’m home.
Im just so happy that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. At the start I could barely get around my apartment and emotionally I was a mess. Now things are better, and hopefully I can empathise with those who have less mobility in the future!
If any of you see me walking around with my crutches in the next few days you have permission to take them! I will walk!