Helplessness

The worst part about having a busted ankle is the absolute helplessness that you feel.  I can’t put any weight on it and I have to keep it elevated in order to make sure that the swelling is kept down. This means, on a practical level, I’m stuck in bed or in a recliner with my foot up at least to the level of my heart. It also means that I’m walking around on crutches. When I am up on crutches, the blood all rushes down to my ankle. Just before and after my surgery, my ankle would start to kill – throbbing and painful. So painful that there were times that I could barely get to the bathroom, which is just down the hallway from where I am camped out.  On a practical level, even if I could get by without pain or with less pain (which is where I’m at now), I can’t use my hands for anything and I have to balance on one leg with crutches (which, if you know me, you know how much of a challenge that is). I can’t get in and out of a tub without help. I can’t carry things like glasses or even food (depending on what the food is). Forget about trying to get around in crutches in tight places…it’s awful.

The hardest part for me has been asking for and accepting help.  I have always been independent. I have prided myself on doing the things that I need to do in order to get by – I’m used to getting up at 6 and showering and feeding myself and driving myself to work. I’m used to being able to walk to the kitchen to get food or a drink for myself when I need it.  And now I can’t do that without help and it’s hard.  I’m also going stir crazy sitting in bed with a limited amount of things to do.

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