Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Getting Old

The novelty of this boot is wearing off.     While it's nice to be able to take the thing off to have a shower and what not, it still sucks.

I am trying to go full non weight bearing, but do you have any idea how hard that is?   Taking crutches up stairs, to the bathroom, into the shower.  I would say that 80% of the time I am non weight bearing, but going up the stairs, bathroom and shower, I do walk.

Now to be clear, it isn't a true walk and I don't put my full weight on it, I lean on my heel as the damage is in the front/side part of my foot.  If I do it too much, I will notice it aches a bit.

I have been getting rides to work which is so kind and considerate.  I feel beyond guilty about it though.  While I tend to talk ALOT in groups and what not (not always my best quality), I really don't like the attention my foot has brought me.  At first my explanations were complete.. "fell down the stairs carrying my dog... broke 9 bones and tor ligaments"...etc.  But now, the have been boiled down to their essence... "I broke my foot", I sometimes throw in a disgruntled face attempting to discourage any follow up questions.

Shopping has been a bit of a mess.  I tried to go the mall with my Mum last week and it was a gong show.  I first had to take the bus from work to Polo Park.    That particular bus runs the length of portage ave, so by the time it gets to my office, it is PACKED.

I hobbled onto the crowded bus and could almost hear the groans as people shuffled around trying to let me on.  I had to ask a woman if I could sit down in the handicap seat and she actually rolled her eyes.  Nice.

I made it all the way down Portage and got off at the mall.  I didn't take into consideration the distance from the bus stop to the actual entrance of the mall.    Gazing into the distance seeing the doors, I would have paid a good $50 if someone would give me a lift.

The plan was that I was going to meet my mum at guest services and pick up a wheel chair.  Do you know where guest services is?  For your reference, it is smack dab in the CENTER of the mall.  Another epic crutch marathon.  I nearly avoided disaster a few times as the snow on the bottom of my crutches made them wet which then slipped on the mall tile floor.

Finally arrived at guest services sweating like some sort of farm animal.  I asked for an scooter, the pinnacle of wheelchairs that is battery operated and comes with motorcycle like handlebars.  I was thrilled when he brought out this shiny new model.  He gave the coles notes version, but did point to the instruction manual under the seat.

That made me laugh out loud with visions of someone sitting in the middle of the mall reading instructions on how to work the scooter.  I decided to try it out, a twist of the throttle and I was off... well as least for 20 ft.

Seeing as it is the busy Christmas season these scooters are getting used a lot.  Add to that it was the end of the day and the battery was too low to function.  Awesome. 
I returned the shiny new scooter and asked for a conventional one.  The guy behind the counter gave me a sheepish frown and said they didn't have any left, but he could offer me a walker.  I gestured to my broken foot to which he replied, "yeah, maybe not".

My mum hadn't arrived yet, so I had to wait anyways.  I was hoping that perhaps someone would return a wheelchair before she arrived.  Prayers were answered when not 5 minutes later someone arrived with a circa 1984 aluminum wheelchair.  Didn't matter to me though, it was beautiful.

 My mum got held up so I had to wait in the wheelchair feeling pretty darn decrepit.  She did finally arrive and we were off.   In this short time that I have had to deal with this foot, I have begun to realize how hard it is for those with disabilities.    Everything is so much harder.

I have also come to realize that human compassion is on a spectrum, much like anything else.  One one end there are people who go over and above, offering rides, carrying my bag for me, holding doors and the like.  On the other end, there are those that give you nothing but dirty looks as you slightly inconvenience them by getting in their way.

The mall was a perfect demonstration of that whole spectrum.  Also, I have never really noticed store layouts before.  Some stores are nearly impossible to navigate in a wheelchair.  I am not exaggerating here either.   I had to go into Bluenotes to pick up a hoodie for Zach and I couldn't even get in the store.  Racks of clothing were jam packed.  If I went between them, clothes got caught on either side of the wheels and there was absolutely no way I could turn around.  The salesperson did their best to help, but there was only so much they could do as the layout was what it was.

Bath and body works was another sh*t show.  Towers of lotions and potions were carpet bombed haphazardly around the store.  Weird corners didn't leave any room for a wheelchair.  I was a bull in a china shop knocking things over every time I moved.

Despite all the challenges, we did get a lot done.  I still have more to do, but we put a solid dent into it.  Almost all of my online purchases have arrived, but three are outstanding; my Dad's, Zach's and my nephews shirt.

I ordered my nephew a shirt on DECEMBER 1 and it has yet to arrive.  This happened last year as well and so I made a conscious effort to order early this year.  I feel so bad.  So to compensate, I printed off a picture of the shirt and wrapped that.    I also made him the following video that I gave to my sister-in-law to show him Christmas morning if his gift doesn't arrive.

I have to come up with something for Zach as well.  One of his gifts is a Loot gamer crate.  It is a subscription service that will send him a box each month.  In the box will be a shirt and 5-6 official collectibles from all of his favorite games.  I also got him gear crate subscription which is a shirt, underwear and socks (all gamer themed).  Super cool and I know he'll love it, but again, nothing to wrap.  We also ordered him a gamer chair from Wayfair, which is supposed to arrive on Dec 21.  It is coming via FedEx, so I have a little more faith than if it was Canada post.

When it comes to gift giving and receiving my Dad is beyond laid back and while I am hoping that his gift will arrive, it is coming Canada Post, so who knows.

It's hard to believe it's Christmas again and then a week later New Years, aka my birthday.  This particular year it's a big one.  I'm turning 40.

40 people!  40 is grown up.  By 40 you should have your house in order.  The truth of the matter is that I don't feel that way at all.  In my head I'm still in my early twenties figuring sh*t out.  It's been a long time since we went out on New years to an event or something similar.  The reason we don't is that it is such an undertaking, waiting for cabs going and coming, big crowds.  Maybe it is because I am getting older, but the idea of just chilling with my friends sounds so much better.
My friend Debbie is throwing a party for me at her place.  My crew likes theme parties, so they were all asking what I wanted.  New years seems like enough of a theme for me.  My only request was that there was no "40" signage.  No "Over the Hill" garbage, cheesy shirts and hats.  None of it.  Other than that, wide open.
So that's where I am at the moment.  I am on holidays starting Friday and I'm really looking forward to the break before the craziness of year end starts.
Happy Christmas Everyone!


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