Seven weeks ago I fractured a bone in the ball of my foot. It takes skill to fracture this bone...and apparently it takes skill that I lack to mend it. So, it's been seven weeks of get-to-know-your-crutches really well. Seven weeks of crutching around Costco, swim meets, hospitals, home, and outdoor concert venues...and we have no idea when the close proximity to my tall, skinny, supportive friends will end.
So this week at swim practice, we were decorating flip flops with team colors, when one of the moms laughed and said we should decorate my crutches. Someone piped up and said, "They make crutch skins!" which set me off on a google search just because I was curious.
What I found were gel crutch handles. Skins are cool, but gel crutch handles are, well, amazing! Those major callouses on my hand and the sore palms at the end of the day may actually have a solution? No way!
So I put them in my cart and saw the "crutch tips" link. No, I don't need the snow and ice tips...it's been one of the hottest summers on record. But it's so cool that they exist! I found these spiffy pivoting ones. No way was I gonna order them, but I did check mine for wear...just curious how many miles I've actually put on them, and ... Yikes. Um, yeah, mine are a little cracked and...thin....like you can feel the metal through the bottom. So, I put those racing-striped, pivoting tips in my cart and checked out.
And then I realized how incredibly geeky I have become. I just got excited over pivoting, racing-striped crutch tips and gel hand grips. These crutches have been with me for way too long. I'm gonna get a brand new ride next week...kinda...and I'm like a kid at Christmas. This is just so cool!
I'd love to order crutch skins, just because they are fun, but the practicality vs expense just doesn't seem...practical. But new handles that ease fatigue and pain? I'm all over that.
The broken appendage has definitely slowed me down and made me appreciate the ability to ambulate about my kitchen...or stand and make a salad. (You stand on one leg for forty-five minutes making dinner while trying to balance because you need to use your hands to cut something or move a pot but you need your hands to actually hold onto your crutches...) But it has also made me appreciate those who have sacrificed so much for our country. I was at a concert last week when an amputee with a military cut strolled in on his crutches (which had a really cool skin on them!)...and one leg. While my bone is not necessarily healing at mach speed, and I may yet lose that bone due to an interruption in the blood supply to it, I'll keep my foot and will likely get to run again...eventually. But this guy's life is forever changed...as well as his family's. My family has been inconvenienced by my fracture, but it's temporary. His is permanent.
So, it's all about perspective. Yes, I'm geeked about my new ride, and I'm so glad that the technology to create snow and ice tips for crutches exists...but I'm more grateful for the sacrifice this young man made for me and my family so that I can have the freedom to be geeked over my soon-to-be-new ride.