I only have one week left on crutches and it’s changed the way I view things.

I am so excited to be getting rid of these crutches soon! I am no longer in pain and I am so glad I had the surgery. No more feeling helpless. No more sitting around the house all day.

My experience with having a knee injury and recovering from surgery has changed the way I view things. I have spent so much time lying around on the couch. I’m so excited that warmer weather is finally here and I’m going to be able to get out more. Having my surgery at the beginning of April was really good timing! I will be recovered by summer. I want to walk to the park with my daughter and go for bike rides. I haven’t been able to do those things in almost a year and I just don’t want to take my mobility for granted. I feel so fortunate to not be in pain. I’m not getting any younger and now I want to be active for as long as I can. 

This has also made me view disabilities differently. Using crutches has been so much work. I’m slow and I’m tired. Everything I do is more complicated. It’s very frustrating and there have been so many tears. I’m constantly asking for help and now I really know the importance of handicapped parking spaces. I avoid going out. My husband does all the grocery shopping. 

Another reason I don’t like going out is that the crutches and brace attract attention. I already have social anxiety, and it’s overwhelming when complete strangers are asking me what happened. I get very annoyed. I just say “I had surgery” and leave it at that. I think people can sense that I’m uncomfortable and I shut down the conversation pretty quickly. It’s not like what happened to me was embarrassing, but it’s really none of their business. 

Things have indeed gotten easier as time has gone on, but it’s still a lot of work. I am so excited to be walking on two feet soon, but it has been in the back of my mind what this would be like if I were on crutches longer or even disabled for life. It’s just something I’ve never thought of before. This was an eye-opening experience. 

I just want to get back to normal. One night I broke down sobbing because as I was lying on the couch I was watching my husband doing the dishes, cleaning the house, and taking care of our daughter and I just couldn’t help him. I felt so guilty.

I can’t wait to drive again. Freedom! I can’t wait to go back to work. My first day back is the 22nd. Now that I’m almost off of crutches I am looking for a second job. A new arts and crafts store is opening nearby this summer, and I’d really like to work there! (I also hope there’s an employee discount!) 

I can’t wait to finally get rid of the crutches, but at the same time, it’s a lot to think about. It’s been such a difficult experience, but also it was only six weeks of my life. 

I hope the optimism and enthusiasm I’m feeling right now lasts.

Have you ever had a similar experience?



    This one hits close to home. Spouse has been hobbling for a year, trying this and that to avoid a hip replacement, finally surrendering recently, and now shopping for a surgery sooner than nine months out from now. He’s never had major medical issues before, and is learning the lessons you describe on being crippled. I had a heart attack seven yeas ago, made some major lifestyle changes, am now healthier than I’ve been in decades, and contemplating all the reasons I did not make these changes without having to have a close brush with mortality first.

  2. Alan G. Humphrey says

    What many people don’t realize is that their supposed well-meaning inquiry into your health issue is really their selfishness in using your precious time under uncomfortable and sometimes painful circumstances to unconsciously boost their own self esteem. Unless they know you, it is just a performance without mindfulness of your situation.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    I’ve done a couple of intervals on crutches, and that experience also made me more sympathetic to the handicapped-rights movement. Not just the physical problems of getting around, but the social reactions of looking away, walking around, and me generally embodying what-people-don’t-want-to-think-about.

    Long ago, I hitchhiked across the country on a (single) crutch: it took about twice as long, on average, to get rides compared to a trip along the same roads on my own two feet.

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