Saturday, November 06, 2010

strong as bull

Since I'm barely able to go a block on crutches I've been taking a taxi to and from work every day.

In the morning this is exceptionally easy. I've never had to stand in front of my apartment more than 30 seconds waiting for a free cab to drive by. Even in the rain.

After work a bit more challenging. Rock center, smack dab in the middle of corporate central, is not an easy place to find a cab after 5:00.

The first week I lucked out, was able to get a cab relatively quickly. In under 15 minutes or so. This week? More of a struggle. I've found myself limping west on 48th street to find a free taxi before anyone else snatches it.

Which worked. Until yesterday.

That's right, yesterday I made it from 6th ave to Broadway without a yellow car to be found. So I kept going. And going. With stops every 40 heaves or so. Yes I did count, as a motivational tool.

Half an hour later I was home. I thought I lived maybe a quarter of a mile from work. Which I was proud of being able to navigate. Out of curiosity I just checked the distance on gmap pedometer. And wow.


Half a mile. I used my arms to propel me home half a mile. That's right, I rock. Strong like bull.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

gimp life

Here I am, two and a half weeks on crutches after my surgery.

The cutting went well, and the incision went even better. I lucked out with a resident who decided to use internal stitches which equals almost no scar on my knee at all. Woot!

First week after the cut it was painful. But there are drugs for that, so I took my pills and stayed home from work.

Second week after surgery I was back to the daily grind. Turns out walking on crutches was MUCH more challenging than I expected. Kind of crazy hard. I was out of breath just going a few yards. I even worked up a sweat leaving my apartment, taking the elevator, and then leaving my lobby. My muscles were tired and stiff every evening.

So much so that the weekend after the first week back on the job I rested and was so stiff I pulled a shoulder muscle. Which then of course meant I was out of work two more days because my shoulder hurt too much to use crutches.


Job-wise it all was fine. I have the paid time off available and my staff kicks ass. So no harm no foul.

Home-wise I was fine too. New York City...the place where everything is delivered. They do it all the time anytime, so it kind of seems normal.

There have been a lot of people on a daily basis who ask me if I need anything. My friends have been amazing. Seriously, I feel almost guilty turning down all the offers of assistance. "Can I get you anything?", "What do you need?", "Do you need help?" I've said this before, being the girl who somehow ends up in the hospital too often, but you learn who you can count on when you are actually down for the count. Its the people who show up. I can be there for any number of people on their worst days, but those aren't necessarily the people who come around when I'm on the skids.

Or in this case, since I'm an outpatient, the people who ask me on any random day if I need something. These are good people.

Not that I've needed anything. (Or let anyone help me) You all know me, the independent Rockstar. I take care of myself. And I am proud of that.

So much so that I have not taken anyone up on the random daily offers. Not a one. In my mind not so much because I'm proving myself, but the monologue in my head says because heck, I'm fine. Some things are a little harder, but ain't no thag.

Yes, I do think that way.

Then the weirdest thing happened at work today. I was in the pantry to get my coffee (of course I had purchased a travel mug I could use with my crutches to maneuver all the way across the building to fill it up myself. Who am I to ask someone to get me coffee? That would be elitist.) and I run into the girl who had been on crutches in france while on a college exchange program. Crutches in french? That had to be a bitch.

We seem to have the same coffee schedule, we've seen each other several of my gimp days. But for some reason today she insisted on brewing my coffee. Taking my mug, putting in sweetener, milk, the coffee. AND IT DROVE ME CRAZY.

Seriously, she practically had to take all the elements of my coffee out of my hands. Not practically, she actually did take things out of my hands. It was the smallest thing, but I couldn't just let her make me coffee if I could do it myself.

Is it a control thing? An independence thing? A proving myself thing? I dunno. I just don't know. All I know is that so far since I've been disabled the only things that I have let people do for me have been the things people haven't given me a choice on.

Like the guy who ran across 6th Ave after work to flag me a cab. Or the lady in the basement of the building who tore the garbage bag out of my crutched hand to throw it in the trash. Or the guy who entered the revolving door before me then after exiting slowly kept turning it so I could navigate through. Or the random person who came and closed my cab door after I struggled my crutches and myself into the backseat.

Weird right? But I have to say these were random moments where I really did need help, that I couldn't plan on or schedule. Things that you can't really call a friend (or a new york delivery guy) to help you with, because it is a surprise that you need that help at all. At least a surprise to me. Most days I get that cab, can manage my garbage, navigate the revolving door, and get my cab door closed. But those are the random gifts I'm happy to receive.

Those and the offers for help. Come to think of it, knowing someone would help if you needed it kind of takes a lot of pressure off. Maybe it isn't so much that I need to prove myself as much as I just see how far I go before I need to call out a favor.

Kind of like riding a bike on training wheels. You keep going because knowing that those little rickety wheels on the side of your bike are there gives you the confidence you'll stay up.

That or like Dumbo's feather. That one I don't need to explain as much. But the idea holds.