06 September 2007

Rub-a-dub-dub-- DON'T GET THAT CAST WET!

I have no pictures for this one. You'll thank me for that here in a bit. I am not allowed to take showers. I get to take baths, while in the cast. The gentleman who put the cast on me in the doctor's office told me that if I get the cast wet, the chemicals in it will eat my skin, so he doesn't recommend getting it wet. Then he said that sometimes people try to dry the cast with a hair dryer, after getting it wet, and they wind up with 3rd degree burns from the heat of the hair dryer, so he doesn't recommend that, either. All in all, it's best to not get it wet. Showers are bad, because the water will run down my leg and into the cast. Baths are really the only way to go, for me, for the next few weeks. Here's a thought for you.

How would you get into a tub without putting your feet in?

I'll let you ponder that for a few minutes. Go ahead. I'll wait. I'll just hum quietly to myself, for a moment. Don't mind me.

OK. Do you have an answer? Well, here's what I came up with. Sit on the edge of the tub, and tilt backward until you fall in. Simple. Easy. To get out, just repeat the process in reverse (which is much harder than it sounds).

So, last evening, when I got home (FINALLY!) from work, I decided to take a bath and get my hair washed so I could be clean. I had gotten overly-warm hauling myself around on my crutches, taking the wrong bus (another story for another blog entry), etc., and I thought it would be nice to get out of those clothes and take a nice bath. Once I was in, it was nice, to lie in the bathtub with my cast (in a trash bag, of course) propped up against the wall... until I decided that I actually needed to get clean, shave my legs, wash my hair, etc. None of that was as simple as you'd think it might be. Try doing any of those things with one leg sticking straight up in the air, without drowning. Good luck. I didn't drown, no. I did keep the one leg straight up in the air, yes. I also managed, at one point, to get stuck perpendicular to the length of the tub while trying to spin around so that I could rinse the shampoo out of my hair. That was fun. I was actually glad that I live alone, because no one heard me giggling about being stuck with my legs sticking out and my head under the soap dish.

It has been suggested to me that, perhaps, I should do sponge baths during the week, so that I don't endanger myself in a slick tub any more often than necessary. I've discovered that it would be a very simple matter to break something ELSE trying to protect my wounded wing.

I'm quite tempted to go to the salon downstairs to have the nice beautician lady wash my hair for me on Saturday, as I seem to have not quite gotten all of the conditioner out of one little section of my hair, while trying to rinse my hair without sliding back so far that the faucet would run directly on my face.

The fun of bathing aside, the toughest thing about being on crutches is all the stuff you normally do with your hands that you don't even think about until you don't have them available anymore. Since it takes both hands/arms and my good leg to get me around, I don't have my hands available for things like opening doors, carrying things, moving things, etc. For instance: drop something. While standing on one foot and trying to control 2 crutches with one hand, squat down on that one foot (without using your other foot/leg-- no cheating!) and reach down with the "free" hand to pick up the thing that is 2" farther than you can reach, because you misjudged the distance because you forgot that you can't use that leg. Then try to scoot or hop, without standing all the way up again, because heaven forfend that you have to do TWO squats, or lean without tipping over, to reach the item. Success! You picked it up! Now stand back up with your one leg (remember one-legged squats in gym class/aerobics/tae bo?) Now what are you going to do? You need that hand, in which is the item you so precariously grasped, to use the crutches, and that item is still a room away from where it needs to be. Depending on the size/shape of the item and the size/shape of your bra/shirt or waistband or pocket, you may just tuck it between your boobies, under your waistband, or into your pocket and lurch over to where it goes, on your crutches. Now think about trying to figure out how to get a glass of water into the next room without any hands. Right.

My diet has been reduced to whatever is in the fridge that I can pick up and eat without having to move it anywhere. If it requires heat, you can forget it. If it requires a utensil, nope. But, if i can balance on one leg in front of the open fridge and put it in my mouth, that's what I'm having for dinner. Lunch today is the last of the left-over bacon from Tuesday's breakfast (which my wonderful mother made) and some almonds. I have become a scavenger. haha. I'm going to have to break down and order pizza or chinese or something. Of course, when they deliver it, they'll have to carry it over to the table and stand there and wait for me to eat and then throw the trash away for me and put the leftovers in the fridge. I wonder if they charge extra for that...

This may be a gift, straight from the hand of God, though, in that it will force me to bless others by allowing them to help me. I am not able to take care of myself. That much I know. This is when I have to start making those pride-swallowing calls. "Hi, friend. I need help. Could you please come?"

Much love.


Sara said...

I had to giggle at your witty description of your helplessness! On the bright side, you will have really strong arms in the end :)

Amy said...

Shame L- you're really going through it! Maybe you should take a much needed vacation and head out west for awhile!!