My but the body is a resilient tool, and the mind’s capacity for adaptation is a wonder!
Three weeks on from my hip replacement and my skill on crutches has developed apace. I’ve almost got used to having no free hands, shuffling items from pillar to post until they reach their final destiny (I WILL position that cup of coffee next to my easy chair). I can use the crutches like chopsticks to move some things along, but the greatest amusement in my day is had with my long handled gripper. I’ve been honing my gripper skills with determined ambition; knickers from ankles to washing basket with one sweep of the arm. Target practice at the dustbin for extra sport. I can pet the dogs, or even prod them when they’re scratching at my carpet. What fun! A comedy of terrier confusion as they try to work out that one.
Life isn’t without frustrations. Tell me I can’t bend over and I instantly start dropping every thing I touch (not to mention a few that were sitting around minding their own business until that sweep of the gripper got them). I have been known to drop the gripper too, and my crutches. Proper stymied in those moments.
Support stockings have driven me close to madness. The surgeon chopped my leg in half, but it’s those bloody stockings that bug me. Erotic they aren’t. When I have taken the time to imagine a man kneeling at my feet freeing me of hoisery, this wasn’t the scenario I dreamt of. The only release I yearn is escape from their deadly boa constrictor grip.
I long for the loo to be a haven again, where I can sit in comfort. I learnt the hard way that slow progress to the dunny+lack of scissor leg action+more wasted minutes reversing onto the bog and dropping my troos (not too low!) is a receipe for disaster (especially if someone has put the lid down – thirty years of marriage when he didn’t drop the lid and suddenly he’s Mr Diligent.) Oh how we laughed.
Every cloud has a sliver lining. Housework has gone out the window, swiftly followed by the ironing. My mother filled the freezer with delicious home cooking. A joy for the first fortnight, but we’ve now fallen prey to a sordid ready-meal habit. The sister has been on dilligent standby duties, instinctively absorbing all the gritty jobs which I couldn’t ask anyone else to do (I won’t abuse you with detail). I baulked at calling even her when the terrier puked on the carpet. It was a weird sort of torture, observing the glorious mess from my seat, unable to clear it up. Now I never thought I’d miss the skills to do that job, but at least the farmer learnt something: don’t give old dogs eggs for breakfast without anticipating consequences. Even if we are out of Chappie.
As I type said farmer is washing the kitchen floor. Unasked and unprompted. And that my friends is an indication of just how low this house has fallen.