Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Limpin' Lou

My top tip for all the kind readers out there:

If you are going to tear a ligament in your foot, try not to do it a week before the Rollerskating Disco you have been looking forward to for months.

Yep. I tore a ligament in my foot. I stumbled down an uneven gutter- and to be honest with the state of the gutters here in Shanghai, I'm surprised I haven't done it sooner really- and now I am on crutches for a month or so (4-6 weeks, according to the doc, but I'm hoping my foot will be a ligament-healing prodigy).

Some observations from between crutches in Shanghai:

  • When you go to the hospital with an injured foot, they will put you in a wheelchair to take you across the huge grounds to the right wing, however if you leave after 5pm (i.e. when all the orderlies have left for the day) you will have to hop back to the entrance.
  • The doctor will demand strict bed-rest, but finally concede to the use of crutches during work time, but when it comes to administering medications he will ask YOU what you want.
  • Random people who see you on the street will look shocked and then utter a (sometimes embarrassed) chuckle.
  • Crutches are really bloody inconvenient when you teach a nursery class of 2 year olds.
  • When you trip into the gutter strangers will shout "Ai-ya!" ("Oh no!"), but then just stand there and watch you struggle to get up.
  • Some of the strangers watching you in the gutter will actually laugh at you.
  • The gate guard of your compound who stood there chatting with someone while you were lying in the gutter will feel guilty enough to get you a chair and find a taxi for you when he next sees you on a pair of crutches.
  • Crutches are sold packaged as a pair, but priced for one only. It's like pricing shoes individually.
  • Muphey's Law says it will rain the first day you have to use crutches- everything is slippery, and you have no free hand to hold an umbrella!
  • If your colleagues start calling you "Hobbledy", it helps if you don't have a surname also starting with 'h'... alliteration can be so cruel.
  • An accepting close-lipped smile coupled with a slight shoulder shrug will become your facial expression of choice when you meet inquisitive people throughout the course of a day.
  • 'crutch' sounds enough like 'crotch' to make some really inappropriate jokes (childish, I know, but it helps when you are feeling a bit useless and pathetic)
  • Handbags and crutches don't mix. I am back to a day pack/backpack- what a fashion victim!
  • Likewise, Crutches + Gin = Disaster.
On a personal note, I have the best boyfriend in the world... thanks for taking such good care of me honey.

I must say though, my new hero is my sister Liz, who was on crutches off and on from the age of 11- 16. I don't know how you did it, but I'd take my hat off to you if I had a spare hand.

My un-broken, yet still rather useless, right foot.


Liz said...

Don't worry Lou - in a few weeks you will be able to carry a drink in one hand and your plate of food in the other while using your crutches! It's not as hard as it sounds!! :-)
Hope it feels better soon!
P.S. If you were in a cast i'd have to start talking about how much my ankle itches... Oh and if I was nearer I'd have to come over and kill a mozzie on your foot when you HAVE to be quiet (like in the middle of mass - although to make it really realistic I'd have to make you get stitches only a few days earlier!!).

miss in need of crutches said...

where did you buy the crutches?

Louise said...

I bought them at a Chinese pharmacy outside of Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai.
Hope that helps.