Saturday, December 11, 2010

A little perspective here...

This week, I was picking up Thomas trains, as is my wont, and something extraordinary happened.

An accident, a lot like what happens on countless Thomas episodes, is what happened. Unlike the Thomas stories though, someone actually got hurt. Me. As one leg flew forward and one stayed where it was, and I fell to the ground shouting 'Oh golly, this is interesting', or some such words... I got hurt.

My knee (the one that stayed still) took the next few hours to turn into a very ugly flesh football. The next morning, the doctor and the physio proclaimed a ligament injury, gave me crutches and sent me on my way.

I was secretly thrilled. Crutches! I've never had crutches before. How exciting, I thought.

Clearly, my brain was clouded with endorphins or hormones or whatever the things that make you think it's OK to go grocery shopping when you are hungry. Let me make something clear. Crutches are not cool. Nor are they fun. They hurt your armpits and the heels of your hands. They smell like the person who used them before you. Oh, and they help you get around, but very very slowly and a little like a cow on stilts.

I have spent a lot of time this week trying to work out how to park the car as close as possible to wherever I was going. I have taken to leaving an hour to go on a ten minute journey. I have been sweating like cheese at a picnic.

There's a serious point here. Actually two.

One, is the fact that I seriously need to think more carefully about what Billy, and many many other folk go through on a daily basis. The strategic planning. The avoidance of obstacles. The constant assault on your senses. The extreme interest and indifference (from totally separate people) to your challenges. The lack of dignity that hits you out of the blue.

As I crossed a pedestrian crossing on my way to pick up Billy from school this week, a car got bored waiting for me to get across. So it just sped in front of me. Thankfully, my eyes and ears were still working. And also my fishwife voice that hopefully managed to reach them as they drove away.

I'm more proud of Billy this week than ever before, because I realise I have the luxury to take stuff for granted. I don't have to think through each painful step of my day. And let me guarantee you, me exhausted from planning is not an attractive or rational sight.

My second point. I'm not so proud of this one.

My leg is getting better all the time. I'm hobbling happily now without the crutches. I'm slow and ungainly (a word once used to describe my presence in a phys.ed class). But I'm OK.

But this week, Oprah is in town. Waaaaaaaaaaaah!

And I am one of the 12 000 Australians who scored tickets in a ballot. Me, slow, sweaty and freaked out by the presence of the other 11 998 people in the queue (my friend Linda is lovely and I can handle close proximity)... but you are getting the picture. It's not going to be pretty. I kind of need the crutches to maim my lymph nodes... oh sorry, I meant to get around easily. And I can't help thinking that the crutches might circumvent a bit of time breathing other people's sweat while I make my way to see Opraaaaaaaaaaah. Well, I'll still smell the dude who had the crutches before me, but that's a smaller price to pay. I'm not proud of myself, weighing up my compromised mobility over currying favour with Oprah's door bitches.

It's a murky path I'm walking. Hobbling. Murky and stinky. But Oprah's at the end of it, and as much as I vow I will not scream like her other audience members, I may cry. My armpits are bruised... what does Oprah expect?

If this is the first blog of mine you have read, please do me a favour and click through and read another entry. I promise I can be a lot nicer than this entry implies.

I guess, this week I learned that having different abilities than the rest of the folk, can make a girl feel a little cranky... and ride the horns of an ability dilemma.

That sounds like it hurts as much as my armpits.


Fi said...

There were no parts of this post that didn't make me laugh, giggle or smile.....
I'm so sorry that you got hurt but I'm thrilled for you that you get to go to Oprah!!!

And....."oh golly, that was interesting"......funniest line I've read in ages!!

Katie said...

Use washcloths or dishtowels, wrap them around the armpit part and secure them with packing tape. Ugly? Yes. Much, much more comfortable.

I felt the same way when I got crutches, and after 2 days realized it reeeeaaally sucked. I became a hopper for the most part for 6 weeks.

Good news is your arms are so strong after you get done with those things, LOL!

Jenni said...

Crutches are horrible things ... One thing I figured out though is that they are more comfortable if you have them on the right height. You shouldn't be able to slump down at all when standing. I had mine an inch too low.

And No, you do not sound horrible on the Oprah front. Hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

Lisa said...

Did I ever tell you about the time...
Let's just say it involved a floor covered in toys, a trip, a cocyx (sp?), and the handlebar of a rocking horse.

At least there were no crutches in my story.

Rebekah said...

"oh golly, this is interesting"...

agree with Fi...awesome, lol.

btw, i think you with your crutches and Hugh Jackman with his black eye would make a dashing couple.