Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Crutching with a vengeance

That was how Jacqueline described my quasi-perambulation around the office today. Evidently, I'm nearly as fast on crutches as I am on two feet. However, my armpits are so sore they feel like they should be blistered--the crutches say theyre' for folk 5'-2" to 5'-10", and I'm only 5'-0". So, ouch. At least the office is full of people who wanted to help me out today. Ethel followed me to the bathroom/kitchen twice today, and even Wanda carried some shop drawings up to the front desk for me. I hate having to get that kind of help all the time. It's really inefficient and annoying. Tomorrow I have to go walk around the procedure suite area with Billy Ray to figure our where to reroute a duct into the basement. yay. According to the flooring guy, the floor in there is the worst he's seen in ten years, and he needs to fill the pits and holes left in it (which remain from demoing the CMU walls and chunks of random slabs), but before he fills that in and then pours leveling compound on it, the abation experts have to come in and remove the old VCT tiles because the adhesive containes asbestos. We wanted to just pour the leveling compund over the old tiles, but in order to apply the compound, you have to bead-blast the slab, and in doing so it's gonna tear up the tiles and release the asbestos. Asbestos in the air, right next to the asthma clinic. And me trying to walk over this really uneven survace. Yippee-fuckin'-do.

Meanwhile, I'm convinced that we're saving entirely too many lives with smoke barrier walls. In a rated smoke barrier wall, you need a closer on every door. The closer is at the top of a door; it's a contraption that pulls the door shut once it's opened. My experience today has been that closers are set to shut waaaaaay too fast, usually they shut on me as I'm zipping through the door. Or, zipping as much as one can on crutches. We have an elevator in our building, but it's in a back hall, where we share it with the other half of our building (presently vacated). The elevator is in a rated enclosure, so I have to keep stumbling through doors with closers to get between floors. Hence, it's crutchcrutchcrutchcrutch to the other side of the office, fight the door open and get through, trundle upstairs or downstairs in the ancient elevator, then fight through the next door and crutchcrutchcrutchcrutch back across the office to go pee, check the large-format plotter, get anything done. Then repeat the laborious process back to my desk. I know that in a few months, I'll be back to normal, but fuck if I could handle this the rest of my days. The constant stumbling, leaning, taking forever to get anywhere or get anything done. If I could reach the bottle in the cabinet, I'd have a drink.


ms. kitty said...

Makes you really wonder how folks who are badly disabled permanently keep on keeping on, doesn't it? I am in awe of what people learn to do just to keep moving.

Miss Kitty said...

Maybe your regular doc will give you good drugs to help you deal with the aggravation. Make sure to tell him/her that Percocet made you sick last time.

I have a student with cerebral palsy, and seeing her walk amazes me. She gets around fine and is getting a college education, funny walk and funny speech be damned. The hilarious thing about her is she's a smartass, and nobody expects "disabled" people to have a sense of humor like that (if at all).

BaxtersMum said...

you know what you need?


think insurance will spring for one?

how about a walking cast?

hang tough!

faded said...

Maybe the folks at MHRC will lend you a wheel chair and a hot looking guy to push it.

For doors with closers you can try something I do when I am carrying a large object thru an aggressive door.

I pull the door open then turn so my butt will stop the door as I move thru the opening. You will need to be sure that you are not in mid step with the crutch when the door arrives to hit you in the butt. It is a bit short on dignity but it works. Hope you get better soon. Take your time and don't push getting back to running to soon.

faded said...

I forgot to ask in my previous post, now that you are laid up, where would like me to send the beer?

Mile High Pixie said...

Rev K: It's a wonder indeed.

Kitty: Now that I have my Vicodin, al is well in Pixieland.

Bax: I got a walking cast/splint late Thursday, so I'm slowly getting better, but not by much.

Faded: I have indeed been using the butt-hold trick when I don't have anyone walking with me. Hold off ont he beer for another couple of weeks: I can't drink with the Vicodin. :-p

Willderness Gina said...

Have you looked into getting crutches rated for a child? Ok it'd be hard on the self esteem, BUT they're shorter. Been there done that, t-shirt, poster, souvaneeeer cup AND bendy straw... and all before I was out of highschool. Some people are BORN clumsy. Me.