14 September 2007
What WILL they think of next?
I have a dear friend who works as a security guard in the facility where I work. He helped me move, he shows a genuine interest in my life, he's very kind-hearted, and I count myself blessed to know him. He's a good man. Anyway, when he saw me come into the building with my brand-new white cast and my tricked-out crutches, he began to talk to me about these "scooter" things that someone in the other building uses, since she, too, is in a cast. I had never heard of such a thing, but apparently, this is a somewhat popular crutch-alternative that is made by several medical equipment companies. He suggested that it might not be as exhausting as the crutches.
At some point, shortly thereafter, he spoke with the young lady with the scooter, and she sent me an email. Her email said that she had gotten the device through her insurance company because she's in a hard cast (non-weight-bearing) for fourteen weeks as she recovers from ankle surgery. (Eek!) She said that the one they sent her didn't fit her properly, as it was slightly too tall for her, even on its lowest setting, so she had them send her another, smaller one. She said that I was welcome to use the first one, since she didn't have any use for it, for as long as I need to. She brought it to me the following afternoon. (It was pretty funny, because she was on her crutches, and her co-worker was wrangling the scooter, and I went to open the door for them on my crutches. We were a circus. haha)
She and I are about the same height, but she said that she was able to use it just fine, that it was just less comfortable than the new one. I have been using it to putter around the unit, since it frees up my hands to carry paperwork, etc. I brought it home for the weekend, because I haven't decided whether it is a better option than the crutches, and I thought it deserved further experimentation.
One of the benefits of using it to get around is that when I sit, I can use it to put my foot up, or I can sit on the little seat, if necessary. In truth, I'm not sure that it's the best choice for me, because when I put weight on my leg on it, it mashes the cast into my shin, which becomes uncomfortable, and with the atrophy in my injured leg, I'm finding it exhausting to use those muscles again! (Yes, it's true. Atrophy begins in the first few days that you stop using a muscle, and already there's a visible difference between my left and right legs' muscles.) Beyond that, if I need to go up a step, get on a bus, or remain stationary on an incline, I don't feel particularly stable. While it does have a brake (cute, eh? How fast do they think I'm gonna be going??), it doesn't have steering capacity. I can go in a straight line REALLY WELL, but I gotta stop and pick up the front of the thing and re-position it in order to change directions.
So, I brought it home for the weekend. You should have seen me coming home with crutches and the scooter. I'm sure I was quite the sight. I was thankful for the help and sympathy of both bus drivers (one of whom actually parked the bus, came over, and helped me onto the bus and situated, and took my fare card to scan so I didn't have to get up.) and a couple of kind-hearted passengers. I did make it home in one piece. :D Wish me luck in my experimentation!
P.S. Yes, the picture was taken on the diagonal to get the whole thing in the picture. If you just cock your head to the left, it'll make more sense... :D