An ironic bit of prep…

There are two things a one-legged person really ought to own, whether he likes it or not…

Technically I owned these, but I left them out in the weather when I moved into the Interim Lair eleven years ago. I was aware that it made no sense, but it was an emotional decision. Having spent months without any prosthesis in the past, I just really (really really) hated crutches. For years I carried them around from home to home, entombing them in the back of one closet or another, then when I moved into the boonies and really needed the backup I left them to rot in the sun.

Ironically, now that I have a ground-floor bedroom where I can crash to read in the evening, I’ve found myself wanting to take the leg off and be comfortable – but leaving it on because I also wanted to be able to use the kitchen and bathroom. And it occurred to me a couple of times, “Maybe I should do something about those crutches.”

Years ago the crutches got relegated to Landlady’s barn, but last weekend she cleaned out a bunch of junk and the crutches ended up on the pile. Looked at them a couple of days ago during chicken chores, then picked them up and stashed them in the Jeep. Bought some pads and tips for them yesterday while I was in the drug store on other business, and cleaned and refurbished them this morning.

I’m really overdue for prosthesis problems, it only makes sense even though I still dislike them intensely.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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14 Responses to An ironic bit of prep…

  1. Robert says:

    Good thing they weren’t wooden. They are a sometimes-useful evil. We also have a manual wheelchair and a shower chair stashed just in case. Like Joel, I crashed my motorcycle. Luckily, my owees were mostly temporary.

  2. Kentucky says:

    Had a shop teacher in high school who had one leg shriveled by polio and the other one not really too useful. He was a master of crutch manipulation/propulsion. He was not above getting your attention with the tip of a crutch if you needed it. The fact that he had shoulders and arms like a defensive lineman said wonders.

    He also taught basic electronics and was the faculty sponsor of the school’s amateur radio club. You should have seen him abandon the crutches, ascend a 15-foot ladder, and supervise the installation of a new antenna on a pitched roof.

    Respect? You betcha!

  3. MamaLiberty says:

    I still have the walker I used when I broke my leg. I’ve even actually used it a few times since then, but not with any pleasure. The main problem I have using either crutches or walkers is that one then does not have a hand free to carry things… like a cup of hot coffee or a dinner plate. Another hazard of living alone. How do you manage that, Joel?

  4. Joel says:

    Back in my twenties when I spent a lot of time either hopping or on crutches, I was very good at it. You can walk on crutches for a substantial distance without using your hands, if you’ve got callouses on your armpits and get a sort of rhythm going. I used to amuse/horrify my wife by hopping from the kitchen to the living room sofa with a full coffee cup, never slopping a drop.

    Backpacks are also your friend.

  5. jabrwok says:

    Backpacks are also your friend.

    I’d think custom aprons would also be handy. Similar to woodworkers aprons, only with larger, specialized pockets. Perhaps a dedicated utility belt, and lots of seal-able thermoses (thermi?).

  6. Mike says:

    I keep forgetting about your impairment and when it comes to the fore I wonder how well I would handle the same issue. Unlike you Joel I suspect I would not do very well. I know you hate the crutches just as any sane person would, but one thing I learned years ago is it’s better to have and not need than need and not have.

  7. Andrew says:

    Wife, who survived a bad motorcycle accident (cracked the engine block through her leg) and a spinal tumor, has electric chair, manual chair and a walker (she can ambulate for a few steps until her knee gives out.)

    So, of course, the one time her powerchair went tits up, the manual chair decided to shed its rubber wheels.

  8. coloradohermit says:

    Back in my 20s when I broke my ankle in a car accident I ended up on crutches for 6 months due to it being an unusual break that no doctors had a clue how to deal with. It really is amazing how quickly one can learn to use crutches hands-free. Hopefully having those crutches at the ready will yet again foil old Murphy and delay or avoid any prosthesis problems,

  9. ZtZ says:

    Rollators have a seat, an underseat basket, and can have a cup holder and tray attached and come with large wheels for uneven ground. On my bucket list just in case…as soon as the Honda generator is safely under the kitchen table. I have two pairs of crutches, one aluminum and one wood, spent 18 months a few years ago using them but never did learn the hands-free style. Walkers can have a basket or a tray attached but I like the Rollator idea because you can sit down a push yourself along with one foot.

  10. Tennessee Budd says:

    I keep a walker around, and also still keep my wheelchair handy, though I loathe that damned thing. Regardless of my preferences, about once a year the bad leg goes really bad, & I’m a self-powered wheeled vehicle for awhile. I hate every minute of it, but life would be much more difficult without the thing.
    Where you are, Joel, preparation might really be a lifesaver, should worse come to worst.

  11. Robert says:

    I can’t paste the picture, so here’s the link to a photo of a guy with one arm and no legs. Golfing.

  12. Ben says:

    Yep Robert, it took some digging to find the MRSP on that tricky golf cart, $31,153. I believe even that would have trouble navigating Joel’s Gulch, plus that sort of money would snag you a nice SUV, which might be a helluva lot more useful.

  13. Joel says:

    that tricky golf art is certainly unusual but I’m not quite ready to cyborg myself to quite that extent. Perhaps something in a nice open ATV…

  14. Robert says:

    Cool. I’ve seen an All Terrain Powerchair in the back of a local guy’s pickup truck. It had tank tracks in place of wheels and was absolutely covered with mud. More utilitarian than a golf cart, I suspect. Slightly cheaper, too. I ran into him at an event where he was selling them. Turns out he had been duck hunting.

To the stake with the heretic!