I was allowed home with my crutches two weeks ago. Having got over that initial excruciating pain in my ankle, I now manage quite a few steps. It does still hurt, A LOT, but strangely at the other side of my leg from the metal work (broken fibia /tibia on good leg side).
Last week at physio I learned how to use stairs with crutches with a huge 100 metre-ish walk through the hospital. I suffered for it the next day, but it was nice to be back at the same height as everyone else.
The hardest bit I guess for most one sided amputees is balance, i.e. not falling over. It takes a bit of practice but I think I’ve cracked it now, although I did fall over at the end quite fantastically. I think I’ve finally got my crutches licence now.
I actually feel confident enough to ‘crutch it’ to the local shop or chippy, although maybe not on my own. My wheelchair has pretty much made me house bound at 35, I can’t go out alone, I can’t drive, I can’t work, I can only just about look after myself but am generally a bit stuck. This is a frustration that everyone with life changing injuries goes through, independence down to zero and then having to build it back up.
Getting my wheelchair was a major milestone from getting out of bed after the first month in hospital. The crutches are the next milestone of getting that independence back, but after four months of getting around by ‘bum shuffling’, it’s going to be an interesting, yet difficult transition from being down on the floor to life on one leg rather than two.
Using crutches, is hard, especially on stairs. My good upper body strength really helps, but it’s still easier to go up on my arse than use crutches. I remember a time when I didn’t even have a leg to help me go upstairs, making every floor change a massive arm workout
At home I still bum shuffle around. Having four storeys I often leave the crutches in the basement and get around on my furniture boards. Perhaps keeping my four storey house is still working against me. But I really couldn’t cope moving as well as two broken legs, one missing and a relationship going to hell.
So I am going to try my best to use my crutches, learning to love them, I’m going to try strap them up some how so I can have them with me at all times. At the moment they are only really used in the garden, so the next stage is to try get back up with everybody again, standing up tall, even if a bit off balance.