Life has changed overnight….
I have a sports injury, diagnosed as an overuse injury to my right knee. I now need crutches to get around. I live alone with no assistance whatsoever. I have no family nearby and no one who can help me with practicalities. I have no transportation, no car, except for local buses and subways. I have an active, four-and-a-half-year-old dog who must be taken out twice a day to relieve herself. I have no one who can assist me with this and must do this myself. I must get to psychotherapy appointments twice a week, and appointments with my primary care physician roughly once a week. I suffer from the medical and psychiatric conditions of anorexia nervosa and schizoaffective disorder. Soon, I will be receiving Department of Mental Health services. But I don’t have these services yet, and I don’t know how soon this will be starting up. My doctor says that this injury may last a little while, like a week, or it may last longer. We simply don’t know at this point. She has given me the name and number of a “knee guy,” just in case…well, let’s hope I don’t need to call him.
Here is what I have faced so far today:
I got up. Last night before I went to bed, I decided not to unfold my futon couch into a bed, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to fold it back up into a couch without doing serious damage to my already damaged knee. So I slept on the couch. Not a problem. I sleep well on it. I lay my crutches right beside me, for fear that I might completely forget to use them in the morning, and step the wrong way, injuring myself further. This proved to be the right idea, I found out, when I got up this morning.
I went to the bathroom just fine, weighed myself (never mind that part of it, as it is a loaded issue related to my anorexia and unrelated to the topic at hand), and walked on crutches into the kitchen to make coffee. It worked out okay except for one thing: I had to rest the crutches on the kitchen counter very, very carefully. Why? Because if I didn’t, they’d crash down to the floor! I found it incredibly difficult to place the crutches properly against the counter so that they wouldn’t fall. That plus they kept on getting in the way of the refrigerator door every time I tried to open it.
Finally, I made the coffee. But now, I couldn’t carry it to the computer! What I realized, a number of hours later, was that it was a simple matter of walking on one crutch and carrying my coffee in the other hand. I didn’t realize this at the time. Instead, I poured the coffee into a thermos that had a strap (using a funnel to pour), put the strap around my neck, carried both the coffee cup and the thermos to my computer desk, then poured the coffee into the cup. This whole ordeal took a number of trips back and forth, and was very, very time-consuming. Then I made my accompanying cup of green tea, for my refeeding edema. Repeat the whole procedure. Meanwhile, I had placed my coffee on my cup-warmer to keep it warm, and covered it, so that while I was doing the whole tea thing, it wouldn’t become iced coffee.
Shower, brushing my teeth, getting dressed….I accomplished all these things. I did it! I did it! Luckily, my shower has bars built into it. Otherwise, I would have….I don’t know how I would have done it without some real problems. I did experience a bit of pain doing all this, and was concerned, because soon enough, I would be walking Puzzle…using only a cane for support.
Puzzle, meanwhile, was anxious to get out. It was foggy, but not precipitating, and 52 degrees. I wore my winter coat, she her little sweater that I just finished knitting for her. I figured that in case it rained a bit, she’d stay dry. I packed my cell phone just in case, as well as my medic alert information. You never know. The former I brought with me just in case I got “stuck”–that is, in case I simply could not walk another step, and had to call the nurse’s aide who works in this building for assistance getting back inside, or god forbid the cops, 911, for help, if I couldn’t reach the nurse’s aide. I think of everything. And I brought with me the usual plastic bags for poops, a treat, and my keys to get back in.
Puzzle, bless her little doggie heart, is such a gem. She didn’t mind walking at the slowest snail’s pace at all, didn’t pull on the leash (well, not much that is), and did her “business” right away. And you know something? Walking with the cane wasn’t bad at all. I did okay. I was lucky. I leaned on it heavily and was extremely careful. As soon as I got back in, I switched to two crutches immediately, leaving my cane at the door. Oh, by the way, I did remember to brush her teeth before we went out. I brush her teeth twice a day, and that, dear readers, I never, ever forget.
Then I took my meds. Somewhere in there, I think I ate something. Well, maybe. That, readers, was my morning routine I have described to you, leaving out a few parts that I don’t care to mention. Of course, when I’m not injured, my morning routine is quite different–I go over to the track at the crack of dawn. Fat chance of that, for quite some time, I’m afraid.
That was my morning. See ya.