A couple months ago I had a bone spur removed from the top of my left foot and a screw placed to fuse the joint together. I was required to be non-weight bearing for eight weeks, forcing me to get around using only a scooter or crutches. Combine that situation with the snow, ice, and storms we’ve had this winter, and it left me less than mobile and completely dependent upon others to leave the house.
Sometimes you have to ask for a little help
Going places involved needing help getting into my vehicle at home and then help getting out of the vehicle at my final destination. The scooter I used weighed close to 100 pounds, so it was not easy to transport it into the passenger seat of my car after I got into the driver’s seat. Due to the extreme ice on the ground during the eight weeks, I was not comfortable using crutches and risking a fall. Therefore, I was also dependent upon someone helping me lift the scooter in and out of the vehicle.
For anyone who knows me is aware of my high energy and complete independence. I really thought I’d struggle to be so dependent upon others. I surprised myself and did better with the situation than I thought I would. I had put this procedure off for two years, because of the fact that I had to be non-weight bearing for so long and it sounded daunting to me. I also realized that I could still do most tasks at home, minus anything on the upper or lower levels. I was able to work from home most days and go into the office one day a week with the help of co-workers to get my scooter out for me.
Gain more patience
I gained a new appreciation for patience and those who have long-term or permanent handicaps, as well as those who use walkers, canes, scooters, or crutches. Doors are really heavy and hard to maneuver when you need both hands on your device. It’s also hard to carry anything when both of your hands are tied up. I had to break down and ask for help, which isn’t always easy. I found out that everyone I asked was willing to help. It’s really the little things that are important during a time like this.
I was very thankful for being so organized ahead of time. It made this whole transition go smoothly. I could tell my five year old grand-daughter to go downstairs to the store room and grab me a jar of pickles from the shelf. I could ask my daughter or daughter-in-law to get a frozen hot-dish from the second shelf, far right in the freezer, as I knew exactly where it was located.
What advice do I have for you if you’re looking at a slow recuperation and immobilization? First, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Next, get as organized as you can. Put gas in your vehicle, buy extra postage stamps, prep some freezer meals, assemble material to keep you occupied, and move things within your reach. I borrowed a knee scooter, crutches, a wheelchair, and a bath chair ahead of time. I really didn’t know what I would need and what would work best, but I had my options covered. My husband built me a ramp so I could get from the garage into the house without using steps, which was a lifesaver. He also fashioned a basket on my scooter so I could carry things with me more easily.
Thank-you to my husband, family, and friends who helped out this winter. Lastly, remember to pay-it-forward. Do what you can, when you can for others. You never know when you’ll need to ask for help yourself.