Saturday, 2 February 2013

Crutches Conundrums

knee crutch

I’ve managed over 50 years without having to use crutches – and now I am really admiring people who seem to use them efficiently and speedily.

I had a lesson with Mark the physio before the op [good bloke, his Gran is one of our church members] and he helped me go along the corridor and  up and down stairs. I thought I had it all sorted out – and would be able to manipulate the things.

“You can go home once you have been to the loo unaided, had a cup of tea and eaten a piece of toast”  they told me before the op.

Tea and toast – that was no problem, fortunately I have never suffered nausea after general anaesthetics. And I hopped off the bed and hobbled down the corridor to the Ward Loo fairly easily.


I managed fine until the very end of the procedure. I balanced both crutches against the side of the handbasin, stood on my left foot, leaning against the basin – and washed my hands thoroughly. Then I pulled a paper towel from the dispenser and dried my hands. And then…

How on earth are you supposed to open the foot operated rubbish bin?

I didn’t want to press down with the right leg [after all those warnings about ‘you cannot drive for a fortnight because you can’t press your foot down on the brake’] I didn't want to press down with the left leg because it was barely 2 hours after the op, and I wasn’t sure my right leg would support me, even with crutches, and I was afraid I would overbalance.

I transferred paper towel to my teeth, picked up the crutches and moved over to the bin. Then leaned on left foot and balanced myself with the crutch in my right hand. And tried to open bin by pushing left crutch onto the bar. That didn’t work. Then I put left crutch in right hand [horizontally as Mark had shown me] and used left hand to lift lid, and dropped towel from teeth into bin. What a performance!!

Since I got home, things have mostly been ok – once I realised that I must leave the crutches somewhere safe whilst I was reclining on the sofa, as they’ve nearly tripped Bob up twice.

But I am a dreadful patient. I get thirsty, but don’t want to disturb Bob because he is working very hard in his study. I manage to get in the kitchen, and make 2 cups of tea standing against the worktop. But then have no way of carrying them anywhere. So I end up disturbing him anyway, to come and collect his tea, and to carry mine back to the lounge.

I am trying, honest. Bob says I am very trying!!


  1. Poor Angela - you are indeed a tryer. Hope you're 'crutch-free' soon.x

  2. Oh dear Angela what a pickle you were in, it does make you wonder how the old folk manage on their own.

    Do you have one of those pump flasks, that would be very handy on a little table next to where you were sitting. Bob could make you up a little tray and you wouldn't have to carry anything, just lounge on the sofa and be pampered.

    Take care of yourself and get well soon
    Karen xx

  3. Oh you poor thing,my dd had the same problem when she broke her ankle.I used to leave her with a flask in the morning and selection of snacks.she was on crutches for 2 months then for a few weeks after cast removed.everything was hard,showering was a nightmare.So i have every sympathy with you.x

  4. It sounds familiar! J was living alone when he broke his foot 3 weeks before our wedding. He used to stand in the kitchen to drink his cup of tea as he couldn't carry it anywhere! Luckily I went round after work each evening to cook for him.
    Could you have a flask at your side or a tray with tea making things? That's what I do on carboot mornings as our bedroom is next to the kitchen so I can't use that as I would disturb J.

  5. Oh dear! I can't use them either. I ended up falling over all the time! I'd like to say it will get easier but I stopped using them before I tried to break them in frustration xx

  6. It's very hard getting around on crutches, you will be so relieved to get off them. A flask sounds the ideal solution.

  7. Even this will pass! Bumshuffling not a bad option when totally alone and fed-up with sticks. Not great for transporting hot tea...

  8. I would think a flask is your best bet - but Mr D always says tea from a flask is yucky, so maybe you think that too. Perhaps hot water + herbal teabags would be okay.I know what you mean about not wanting to disturb Bob though...I hate disturbing Mr D when he's working.

  9. Keep at it Angela , Iv'e been there it all comes right in the end

  10. When I broke my arm Chris says that I was more trouble when I tried to help than when I was waited on!
    Jane x
    PS You'd think that the washroom set up would be a little more use friendly.

  11. Oh I do empathise - I was once on crutches for 3 months and they drove me nuts!
    I'd suggest a small tea making tray next to your chair with some milk in a flask so you can make a fresh brew each time - I hate flasked tea! You'll need plenty of water in the kettle though.

  12. Sorry to hear you are on crutches. Can I ask a question about a former blog post. I had never heard of Norfolk dumplings - want to try them - do you have the recipe please? I have looked and some are made with flour/water and other bread dough so bit confused.

  13. Hi - the usual understanding is that Norfolk dumplings are made without fat, just with flour and some sort of raising agent - so some folk use self raising flour, others plain flour with baking powder, and some people use yeast. One popular, simple recipe is this...
    INGREDIENTS: Allow 1 heaped tablespoon of self-raising flour or [plain flour and baking powder] to each person; a good pinch of salt; water to mix
    METHOD:Sieve flour and salt into a bowl. Add sufficient water to make a light dough. Turn on to floured surface. Knead together and divide into pieces. Form into round balls. Place on top of vegetables or stew and cook for about 25 minutes. OR Cook in a greased steamer for 20 minutes.

    Hope that helps!

  14. Thanks everyone.
    I have kept a large bottle of water by my chair today- and Bob has supplied me with hot drinks too.
    I realise that I am very fortunate that he works from home, so is not far away if I need him!

  15. Look after yourself Angela. re: stairs did you get the advice "good legs go to heaven, bad legs go to hell"?! Meaning: good leg leads going up, bad leg leads going down

  16. Oh poor you! God speed a fast delivery! I'm sorry but I did giggle when I pictured you with that paper towel (I have a very vivid and clear imagination which plays scenes like films in my head!!)- poor you, well done for succeeding! When I broke my wrist (and severely sprained the other one- jars were my arch nemesis and bottle lids- for months afterwards, I couldn't open any jars or tins and I remember turning up at my neighbour's door with a jar of pasta sauce looking very pathetic, in need of assistance!x


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