About a week ago, in the most mundane of circumstances, I dislocated my patella (that’s your knee cap for anyone who didn’t go to medical school) and tore my MCL (that’s the ligament that keeps your shin attached to your knee).
Since then I’ve learned quite a few things.
A few I already knew and had forgotten, others I wasn’t aware of yet.
Some things you learn when life (literally) knocks you down:
1.) Asking for help blows.
Maybe it’s because I don’t trust most people to come through for me or to do things the way I would (because of course my way is better).
Maybe it’s because I never want to burden anyone.
Whatever the reason, asking for help is right up there with being locked in a room full of cats, so I do everything in my power to avoid it.
2.) I can NOT do everything myself.
However, there are an amazing number of things you can learn to do one-handed.
All the mommies out there know what I’m talking about!
Necessity is the mother of invention.
If you have to use at least one crutch to get around, you figure out real quick how to do everything else with your free hand.
3.) Who your friends are.
Not the friends you say “hi” to at shows or party all night with.
The friends who actually return phone calls, check in on you, and will cart your crippled ass around.
4.) There is actually a technique to using crutches!
Up with the good, down with the bad is the best way to traverse stairs.
You should always use a solo crutch on your uninjured side.
If you lower your crutch height it will force you to use them correctly.
I only wish someone had told me before I rubbed my armpits raw!
This will of course, shift your weight to your hands, specifically the soft fleshy part of your thumbs.
I can’t help but think of the nights when all I wanted was to stay home and curl up on the couch, but instead told myself I had to honor my commitments.
Maybe if I hadn’t pushed myself to go out just because it was a Friday Night and I could, my knee wouldn’t have revolted.
Maybe if I had taken better care of myself I wouldn’t now be on forced sabbatical…
6.) If is physically impossible to vomit in a toilet with one leg in a brace.
Make sure you have a bucket handy.
The cocktail of drugs prescribed WILL make you nauseous.
7.) Listen to the doctor when they say:
“Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
Make sure to drink plenty of water.”
You might think it isn’t possible to feel any worse.
Go a week without pooping and get back to me.
You’ll reach a point when you don’t give a shit.
You just want to be able to carry your own stuff.
Get a fanny pack and thank me later.
9.) You WILL feel sorry for yourself.
Just go ahead and cry.
I’m not guaranteeing it will make you feel any better but the headache you’ll get from holding back the tears will most certainly make you feel worse.
It is a virtue I was definitely born without and is the most challenging part of all.
It takes twice as long to do anything on crutches.
You will be at the mercy of others.
So, take a deep breathe and count your lucky stars this is only temporary.