Monday, December 03, 2007

Grumpy old man

I felt this afternoon that I'm becoming a grumpy old man. A bitter, twisted, grumpy old man.

It's been 8 weeks now since the injury and I'm sick of just about everything. Sick of the boot. Sick of the crutches. Sick of being stuck at home. Sick of having to go places. Sick of the aches and pains. Sick of not being able to drive my car. Sick of everything.

I got the boot replaced again on Friday, but got told an interesting tidbit: the boot isn't supposed to take my full weight. That's the first I'd been explicitly told that. Everything else I'd been told up until that point was that the boot will allow me to walk almost normally, and the crutches are for balance. So since Friday I've been having to get around without asking the boot to support my weight. That means I can stand up straight on it, but that's about it - I can only rock my weight forward ever so slightly before it's going to put the force through the boot in a way it's apparently not designed for.

Trying to walk like that is asking a lot of my right knee, and it's not liking it too much. So I'm having to avoid that as well, which means if I want to get around without the crutches - or without using them (and my hands/arms) to support my weight - I can only put the right foot forward a little, then bring the left up beside it. It's a slow way of getting around.

This afternoon on the walk from work to the car I barely used that leg at all and relied totally on the crutches. I'm able to cope with that much better now, but it still took it's toll and left me exhausted. Climbing the stairs at home made me realise that when I get exhausted I get extremely irritable and impatient and every little thing frustrates me. In fact I don't even have to be exhausted to run short of patience with something that poses any obstacle.

Maybe I've always been like that. Maybe my current state is only exaggerating it. I don't want to be like that though. Frustration never helps anything. But it's difficult not getting frustrated when every small task is made a thousand times harder, without something stupid not cooperating along the way.

At the start of this I'd not imagined just how physically demanding this was going to be. There's almost not a part of me that's not affected by this: my right foot hurts if the boot is too tight; the right shin took a beating a few weeks back; the right knee is being asked to do things that it can't quite do, the right quadricep is doing the work of an entire leg; my back is constantly askew (and really pointing that out to me of late); my left foot and knee are taking most of my weight; the left quadricep is sore tonight for some reason; my hands have calluses from the crutches; my wrists aren't liking supporting my weight; neither are my elbows; and neither are my shoulders. Thankfully my chest muscles have learned to cope with the extra work, so they've been ok lately. But just for a bit of fun my neck decided it'd have a bad night's sleep and give me headaches all weekend just gone.

The only part of me that's not complaining right now is the achilles itself. The right calf is even able to tense up now: it's beginning to feel like a muscle again and not just useless fat.

The one glimmer of hope I have right now is that I have another checkup in eight days time, at which time the boot should be brought all the way up to zero degrees. Hopefully at that angle the curved sole of the boot will allow me to return to some form of normal walking without bending it all to hell.

I think that might be the main cause for my frustrations - not uncooperative inanimate objects but the fact that there's still 5-6 weeks of all this still ahead of me. :(

PS my work's Christmas party is this Friday. Yay for booze!

Edit: wouldn't you know it - this post is refusing to publish on my blog. Grr!

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