Monday, April 11, 2011

Buff arms and disproportionate legs

Three girls in front of us while watching a free Shakespeare play in the park, Philadelphia

For the longest time I thought I was a patient person.  It's one of those things you think but never say.  Worst way to make friends or get people to like you is to list all your best attributes while making the other person feel like crap.  Happens a lot.. But I digress ~ 
It's been week 5 on crutches and I've learned quite a lot on crutches apart from patience which (surprise!) I do not have very much of.  First off, you get to appreciate doing really simple things. Case in point: Morning coffee.  I'm only really awake once I've had my cup of joe (if you talk to me before this, most likely, i will not remember 90% of what you just said to me although I'm nodding periodically). That said, as I made my cup of coffee in the coffee room, I was left standing there with my hot cup and crutches unable to bring my drink back to my desk because I realize I don't have three arms (darn it!).  So I ended up just shouting all of my coworkers names out the hallway and then drinking that cup all in the coffee room.  Sad...but now that I have a cupholder attached to my crutches. Problem solved. :) 
There have been situations where there really is no solution except just to ask a second person to help me out.  Some people think I'm high maintenance.. And I'm sure I can be but jeez people, disabled people have it tough! Give them a break.  Open the door for them.  Help them when they drop something.  Give them that seat on the train.  It makes a difference. 
I met a woman with MS which spread to her legs.  (Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system)).  She had been walking on two canes for 6 years and we befriended each other as we took the elevator from the train station every morning. It's amazing how people like that commute each day and still have the ability to find pity on someone like me.  I really began to appreciate the strength in people like that.  
On the other hand, you begin to hear the stories of other people's broken bone stories.  It usually starts something like this: "I remember once my brother's coworker's daughter had a fracture in her wrist..."  Then some monologue.  Don't get me wrong, I've gotten some really good advice but let's just say, they've been from like two people out of the many in our department.   I'm at the period now where I'm a  bit exhausted about talking about my leg.  I have 5 different stories about how I broke my ankle (one of them involves a gang fight in a dark alley) just to keep it fun.  I realized that a little bit of humor makes everything a little better.  As well as strong pain meds and reruns of glee... 
I'm learning and for that, I can truly say what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.