Crutching Around

Good morning all.crutches

Thought it was about time I wrote a blog. After all I only need to move my (completely square) bottom from the sofa to the computer chair to do it and so I’m not likely to over-exert myself!

As you know, 7 weeks ago I tore a muscle in my left calf whilst performing the dangerous “extreme sport” of teaching a class of 12 year olds.

“Teacher, what does “walk” mean asked Francesco, so I took two steps and felt the worst pain ever in my life. To my embarrassment it was so painful that I had to be carried down the school stairs by a burly Italian teacher and into the A&E by my son. After that I spent weeks with my darn leg up, first in a temporary plaster cast and then without, often decorated with a pack of frozen peas (must remember to throw those away and not cook them!)

After about a month the leg still looked like someone had crossed that side of me with an elephant, so of course I went on holiday to Portugal with friends. It was a trip which had been planned and paid for ages ago and I’d been convinced that I would have recovered enough by the time we left to be able to have fun. Well, I wasn’t. I had fun anyway but it was so tiring and I spoilt it for everyone else too, although they were wonderful about it.

Our usual day would go like this. Up, washed and dressed while everyone else gets breakfast ready for me. Eat, drink coffee and I’m completely ready .. to go back to bed. It’s incredible how much energy is needed to do anything on one leg. The one good thing about being in this state was that I didn’t do any cooking or cleaning up.

Off we set, from hotels and rented apartments all along the Algarve. Guido drives, 3 friends (2 large men and a tiny lady) squash in the back and I relax in the front seat. I have to clutch the crutches on the window side so they don’t fall on the gear stick. This cuddling forms a very special bond between me and the sticks which I adore. I don’t mind the blistered hands and bruised arms. They are reliable, always there and never let me down – except when they fall over when I prop them up – at least a hundred times a day.

When we find a pretty spot to explore we stop and all get out. My darling friend Jayne is there to help me unload crutches, swing round, clamber out and steady myself. She swings the door shut behind me and we shuffle off to catch up with the men. We find the first bar and they park me, then go off for a walk while I drink coffee I don’t want. They come back and tell me how lovely it is here, then we get back in the car and are off to see another lovely place!

Anyway, I survived Portugal and went home in the same amount of pieces that I set off with. I’ve never been happy to come home from a holiday. This time, as I sunk into my sofa, cuddled my dog and listened to James telling me about what he’d been up to while we were away (not too many parties and he’s done a good job of cleaning up the day before we got back, bless him) I was overwhelmingly relieved.

The latest in the “Crutch Saga” happened on Friday. The leg isn’t healing well, still swollen after 7 weeks so I had an MRI scan. I’d had a lovely day, sitting in the car at an airfield watching Guido play with model planes, sitting in a friend’s shady garden eating a delicious lunch and was quite relaxed about it but thought I’d better have a quick wee before getting into the machine just to be safe. I’d dressed in a long bright skirt which would be easy to take off. I’m not used to shirts really (always in trousers) and proved that by sauntering out of the toilet (yes, I can saunter with crutches – it’s all in the mind!), crossing the waiting room and settling myself on the chair to wait my turn. The chair felt unexpectedly cool. Oh heck, I’d caught my skirt in my knickers and given everyone a view of my underwear. Hoping no one had noticed (fortunately there were only a few nurses around) I sniggered to myself. Then I heard a doctor call our to the nurse, “Undress the calf please”. I sniggered some more. Later, lying in the machine with earplugs to protect me from the incredible noise I once more wanted to giggle. The noises sounded like this – cruise ship fog horn, silence, fog horn insistently, someone chopping wood, the axe-man out of control, the axe-man at a disco, silence, disco and foghorn … Amazingly I fell asleep during this cacophony and had a rather pleasant dream!

Sadly the results are not good. There is not much healing and still a lot of blood in the tear which might need siphoning off. I’ll find out on Thursday, however it looks like me and my crutches are going to continue our affair for at least another month.

Wish me luck

5 thoughts on “Crutching Around

  1. Oh you poor lamb! I do sympathise and understand though… I broke my ankle several years ago and was crutching around for 3 months or so. I had to learn to be patient, which isn’t my strong point.
    I enjoy reading your blog though!
    Sending strength and hugs to get well soon xx

  2. Oh, Tonia! I am so sorry. I expected good news and total healing…that’s what we all want for you. But I love your lovely sense of humor and the upbeat post…and except for being sad for you…the smiles it gave me. You are such a talented writer. Now…get well, please!

  3. Tonia, you poor love!! How miserable for you! I can well imagine the frustration of trying to holiday with that handicap…or should I say legicap…sorry! It’s good to know you’ve kept your sense of humour though, dear one.

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