Ain’t so hot after all!
How I came to be in a cast is what I need to lay out first. But I’ll try to keep it brief. In my good old days (yeah, don’t we all have them?!), I used to be a decent badminton player. My dad did most of the coaching when we were younger and on hindsight, if I had changed coaches, I would have probably done better :-p.
On an aside, I always admire how many of our sportspeople are coached by their fathers and relatives. My one advise, from some experiences is to avoid trying to “learn” things (like sports or how to drive) from people close to you – like fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and especially spouses.
Anyway, back to my badminton glory days. They were short lived.
Off and on, I’d play whenever I got a chance. And then pretty much lost touch over the years. And then we moved to a complex in Bangalore, which had not one but two courts. I was of course super excited till we realized that it was not easy to actually get time to play on them. In fact, after around 4 months here (and trying even at odd hours like 10 pm in the night) we still haven’t had a chance to set foot on it. (In another aside, we got squash rackets instead.)
But back to my badminton story. So basically, the fact was that I was horribly out of practice. Just a week before a planned exotic European holiday, I decided to do the noble thing and play in a corporate tournament. Horror of horrors, they accepted my nomination – there were all of two women. And then it got worse – I was nominated to play singles. I objected, came up with a few good excuses, which no one bought. And then my first match was against the reigning champion.
So there I was – a complete wreck. But I gave it my best shot. No one can deny that. At least no one who happened to be watching the court I was playing on. I couldn’t go down at a zero score, so I tried to smash. I even managed. However, in the process I also landed on the floor, with a twisted foot.
At least that’s what I thought. I did heard a snapping sound when I fell and I thought it was my shoe caught against something. My foot started swelling almost immediately. We ice-packed it and someone enquired if I still wanted to continue. That must have been a joke.
I had to grudgingly give the game away. But a day later, with my foot still swollen, decided to drag myself to a doctor.
After several scans and tests, his verdict was final – a tear of some important sounding junction. And somewhere I heard the word “achilles”. The joint which connects the back of the foot to the bottom had basically snapped. Which is why I could hardly move. The verdict got worse. Surgery was the only way to fix it and it would take at least a month in a cast and another month to recover.
So that’s the whole story of how I managed to land up in a hot pink cast. “I am sure you like pink,” pronounced the doctor, putting on the very uncomfortable fibre glass cast around my leg upto my thigh after the surgery. Now I kind of guessed why he said I was going to hate him after he’d finished. Because not only is it the most uncomfortable thing to ensconce my leg, it is also inflexible. And pink. And no, I don’t wear pink.
There’s part 2 of the cast story, which I never realized. I mean I’ve seen people using crutches once in a while, but I’ve never given a second thought to how uncomfortable they are? I also realized that I now cannot do even the most simple of tasks – like carry my cup of tea wherever I want to in the morning. Dang!
Life in crutches has quite a few restrictions.
For example, once I serve myself lunch, I can’t carry my plate on my own – someone has to carry it for me. Or if I pour myself water in a glass, I can’t carry it anywhere.
I can’t clean the bathroom floor. So with growing dismay I watch large white spots develop everywhere. I’m trying to shelve the thought by saying to myself, “just a few more days before I get back my clean floor”!
Balancing on crutches is quite an art. And then walking around. After a while, the arm pits feel rather offended to say the very least to carry all of the body’s weight. I’ve even managed to topple over a few times.
I can’t just go to any restaurant. I also realized that most places in our city are not handicap accessible. There are either large unwieldy steps, mostly by design, which makes it difficult for me to hop over.
Tasks like cleaning, dusting, cooking, putting clothes into the washing machine etc. are quite challenging if not very difficult.
I am not even going to start talking about the “itching”. But I will say that in my frustration, I tried to reach a spot with the help of a chop-stick, one half of which is now permanently now stuck somewhere inside the cast. I try not to think about it.
The better half has turned “bitter” over the last month. I can actually see it (and it’s not a pleasant sight I should add). I’ve never been driven around. Always gotten into the car and driven off wherever I needed to without being thankful to someone for doing the chauffeuring job. It’s a little different now. There’s the aforementioned half who makes sure I know every time that he doesn’t appreciate driving around (and the clues are not subtle!).
Or cycle. Or go anywhere on my own. Gosh, never thought that would happen.
On the positive, I have learnt how to work around and manage to get some tasks done on my own. People are also generally nicer around me. Some even offer help!
But I can’t even imagine how life must be for those who can’t ever get rid of them. Here’s the blog of someone who lives with crutches, and I was filled with amazement reading her everyday experiences. We take so many things for granted. Also, been reading up about how to make life on crutches easier.
The sling bag is the most handy to carry things around. The meals and tea I still haven’t figured out yet. The better half says I’m getting smoother walking around with the crutches, and by the time I get really good, it will be time to get off them.
It’s the day I’m counting down to!