– is not PC term. I should, perhaps, say disabled, or even mobility impaired. But the plain fact is that I cannot do things the way I am used to, and that means I am currently crippled. I have a great deal of empathy for those who are more permanently in that state than I hope I will be.
This morning after fasting until 0930 so that I could go to the medical lab for another round of blood and pee samples (in readiness for an upcoming consultation with the nephrologist) I came home famished and attempted to prepare the simple yet somehow satisfying dish of beans on toast. I could not even hold the can while opening it. After dropping the can and spilling some of the beans on the floor, I had to resort to steadying it on the bench while I wound the can opener handle with my good hand.
That is not the only problem I have of course. Hanging clothes on the washing line is – entertaining – to put it mildly. I have to grasp the item to be hung with my bad hand, use my good right arm to lift the crippled left hand to the line, hook the little finger of my bad hand over the clothesline to hold it there while I peg the clothes item with the good hand. When i let go the crippled hand springs back to my side as if it is on elastic.
Being disabled causes problems opening doors, showering, reaching into cupboards, getting dressed, pulling on a tee shirt or a pullover. Socks are a problem. Shoelaces can be tricky. Doing up my belt buckle is only possible if I brace my left arm against a doorjamb. It has no pushing power and limited reach. I cannot apply any pressure with it at all. Without the assistance of my right hand I cannot lift my left hand above my waist. Fortunately I can manage a gear lever and handbrake in a car. I think I could ride a bike, but I am not taking any chances on that. I have grounded myself from motorcycling until I am on top of this. That is distressing.
I probably don’t have to add that it hurts. It didn’t at first. That is the mystery of it. For the first week after I sustained this injury I felt no pain, nor even any discomfort other than a bit of stiffness, such as one might expect after a bit of unaccustomed exercise. Then it started to hurt, and I became increasingly less mobile. Now without a pretty strong analgesic it is damned uncomfortable. Yesterday when I was contorting for the benefit of the sonographer, the pain became so intense that a couple of tears leaked unbidden from my eyes. I have been told before by medical professionals that I seem to have a fairly high pain tolerance. I have mentioned this before.
Maybe so, but it still bloody hurts.
I mention it again now only to get a bit of sympathy.