Saturday, September 04, 2010


On Crutches

It has been about a month now that I have been without the use of my left foot after breaking my ankle. Some observations:

1) Having limited mobility changes the way you see the landscape. Small inclines are suddenly significant, and stairs loom like mountains. I have become very good at locating elevators, and also at resenting the placement of those elevators.

2) I am deeply conflicted about accepting help from other people. It's not in my nature to let people do little things for me, but now I am grateful for it. It probably has made me a more humble and better person.

3) One thing that has changed will be the way I relate to people with handicaps of one type or another. I have too often felt awkward and have failed to just ask people what they would like me to do in a given situation. Here is one example... One of my best friends suffered a stroke several years ago. He did a heroic job of rehabilitation, and got most of his faculties back, but still walks very slowly. We often ate lunch together in Waco, and the same thing would happen every time: The hostess would zip off to show us our table at a breakneck pace, leaving my friend far behind. I never knew what to do. Should I stay with my friend, or leave him to go with the hostess? What I didn't do is significant, though-- I never just asked my friend what he would prefer that I do. I will not make that mistake again.

All things work to the good, and this relatively small injury has made me see more clearly the shape of the world and the people in it.

Since wearing a hearing aid, I have come to appreciate what I have lost and what I have gained.
Six weeks with no weight on my left foot after surgery, added to the fuzzies from the meds - bummer. Gives you a new appreciation for being able to move.

And you are right - it does teach you to ask for help!

it is hard to ask for help for most people, I think. Maybe you were supposed to learn stuff from this.
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