Crutch Diary

My friend who has had the broken leg sends this update to her crutch diary:

crutchdessert 001It has been almost 40 days and 40 nights since the bone break. The only excursion out of the flat has been one trip to the hospital for x-rays.

I’m parched.

Forty days with the horizon shrink-wrapped to my skin.

It doesn’t really get easier. I’ve learned all about fractures, including something  called ‘bone fracture anger’. It is good to know that anger and frustration at not being able to do normal things is, well, normal. The occasional mini-melt-down is delicious in its own way.

My former morning routine – getting up, feeding the cats, feeding myself, showering and dressing – used to take about an hour. Now I can’t do all those things in one go. For one, simple tasks that could be done in a few seconds, such as pouring juice, now require a string of staged steps and approximately ten times the amount of time, not to mention energy. I can’t persevere until the jobs are done, because after a few minutes in a vertical position the leg swells and the toes turn colour. I have to stop, sit down and rest with the leg elevated until it normalises. Only after a good rest can I carry on with the next task.

This means that it is not unusual for my morning routine to last until 1 or 2pm. It makes for a very short day.

There is also a fear that too much of the wrong kind of activity can knacker the leg by shifting the bones slightly out of alignment, breaking the still-fragile structure that bridges the gap. A hard cast that fits tightly when initially applied becomes loose as the leg shrinks inside it, so there is wiggle room – it is not true immobilisation. Stories abound of people who dramatically extended the time required for healing, by trying to do too much too soon.

It is obvious that most of my body’s resources are being directed to healing the leg, and not available for other things. Reading all those novels hasn’t been possible. I’ve only done a little reading – too much energy is required.

Of course, absolutely everything about my life has been put on hold. All of the holidays, the cultural and social events that sustain me, all of the things I have been looking forward to, have been removed from my diary. It is as if every event that I wanted to attend has been mysteriously relocated to Japan, leaving absolutely nothing except the Internet and precious visits from people bringing me manna in the desert (and occasionally bringing dessert, as well).

I don’t recommend this as a way to spend a couple of months.

Things that I appreciate are the comfort of my cats,  friends, and the occasional spot of sunshine on the floor.

Hopefully, I will soon be out of this desert and back into the world for a refreshing drink of sunshine.

And possibly some dessert.

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