'Cause man, am I sick of those things!
But, I have learned a few lessons. Most of which involve varying levels of misery (much like Dante's 7 circles of Hell, crutches sometimes feel like they induce 7 levels of unhappiness). And a (few) positives.
- My upper body is still pretty strong. I've been very, very lazy. Like picked-up-a-dumbbell-once-level-of-lazy. But my arms are still looking pretty toned - mostly because crutches require you to essentially lift and shuffle your entire body using upper body strength alone. Lesson #1 - I should have done more shoulder work in the weeks leading up to surgery.
- I can fit lots of stuff in my cleavage. I knew it would come in handy one day. I just didn't think it would be to hold my ID and phone.
- My balance on my right side is great. You know how trainers tell you to do squats and lunges and planks on an unstable surface to force you to work the supporting muscles? No need to invest $99 in a Bosu ball, just grab a pair of crutches. When all your weight is shifted to one side all the time, those supporting muscles tone up fast.
- Now that I am not doing dishes/housework constantly, I don't wash my hands 9,000 times a day. And amazingly, my hands are no longer bone dry with cracked cuticles and chipped nails.
- My kids have been awesome helpers. Especially Big Sis. Almost anything I ask her to do, she does with no eye rolling or moaning. How did I get so lucky?
- I'm so glad I did this in the Spring. I can't imagine trying to maneuver on crutches with snow and ice coating the ground.
- My house is filthy. I know, everyone is dirty in their own way, and I am not overly OCD about having a clean house, but this is getting ridiculous. I hope that I get that walking cast just so I can sweep, vacuum, and take less than 15 minutes to gather and start a load of laundry.
- My left leg is shrinking. Visibly. I was getting dressed last weekend, and almost cried when I saw how much muscle I've lost in my thigh. I knew this was going to be a long process, but I am readjusting my expectations on recovery. Looks like I probably won't be starting couch-to-5K August 1.
- The dog has been a jerk. He knows that I have limited mobility, and when he is feeling sassy, he knows just how far to stay out of my reach.
- I hate feeling helpless. On a normal day I am overly independent and reluctant to ask for help. Pretty much ever. For anything. So this has been very humbling.
- My healthy eating has taken a back seat to just getting through the days. We are not hitting the drive through every day, but I will say there have been multiple meals of PB& J. Meh. A little cereal for dinner never killed anyone.
- I am super emotional. Analytically, I'd say I have a touch of depression. I guess that's what happens when you spend months floating on a cloud of exercise-induced serotonin, then sit on your bum for weeks on end. Most days my nerves tend to fray by about 4pm. But then there was the afternoon that I came home, J went down for a nap, and I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower. And sobbed. That's totally normal, right?
- I have very little to wear in public. This is mostly mental. Because I have to wear the compression sock 24/7 until I am cast-free, I feel embarrassed to wear skirts. I have a few pairs of work pants I can pull over the cast, 2 long skirts that cover everything up, and 1 pair of jeans. I'm sure no one would say anything out loud about my non-matching legs, but the crutches draw enough attention to me. I don't need to feel like a harlequin jester by exposing my one bright blue leg and one blazing white leg.
Enough whining! Let's end on a positive note:
Husband harvested the first jars of honey this week. We're giving some to friends, but I foresee us having a sizable stock by the end of August. And I can't wait to use it in a honey peach frozen yogurt recipe I found!