I did it six years ago and I’m doing it again now. Living life on one leg comes with its own set of challenges. When living with such an inconvenience one must keep a positive eye on the future, for this will change and the future holds promise of greater mobility once again.
If you have been a reader for a while you know that six years ago I was riding my motorcycle when I was broadsided by a car. As a result of that accident I had numerous injuries, including my left leg suffering three breaks and my ankle two breaks so severe they weren’t sure they could save my foot. As time passed the ankle deteriorated to the point were it required an ankle fusion, which I had done on November 15, 2016.
The procedure literally fuses my ankle at a 90-degree angle to the leg so I will never have flexibility in the ankle again. The advantage, the ability to walk without pain. The disadvantage, it is a three-month non-weight bearing recovery. I had to set up my house to live on the main floor for three months. I have to depend on others to pick me up and drive me everywhere.
In my own domain I have mastered the basics of functioning on one leg within my own home. Knee scooters are the next best thing since sliced bread. My little scooter allows me to stand without risk of putting weight on the ankle while providing the ability to move fairly freely within the home, or any other building or surface where I am. All I need is a transport person with the ability to lift my scooter in and out of their vehicle….and of course a vehicle that will hold the scooter!
I have mastered running my scooter with a hot cup of coffee in one hand, at least on most trips. Carpet cleaning will be scheduled in the spring to remedy mishaps. I can back up (frequently over my own toes, but we aren’t mentioning that), lift and drop the wheels to gain a better angle. The scooter is handy when doing simple things like cooking and laundry. I have also mastered locking the wheels, bending over with my knee on the scooter and placing my hands on the floor beside or in front of me to retrieve any item I may need. This includes reaching to the back on the lowest level of cabinets. I would give a safety specialist heart failure.
Now, all the wild maneuvers I have made which are outside the realm of safety have never caused me any issue. Leave it to me to blow it when following all the rules. Once evening I stood up to go somewhere within my own home I don’t know what happened but somehow I fell. I thought I had my knee on the scooter when suddenly my body was tipping sideways. I realized I was headed head-first into the exercise machine and grabbed onto the handle to avoid clobbering myself in the head while concentrating on keeping my leg bent and flat to the ground so as to lessen the impact and avoid putting weight on the ankle. Once on the ground lifting myself back up using my right leg was a walk in the park.
That knee scooter is my lifeline to mobility and happiness no matter where I am. It is wonderful for shopping, and allows me to easily navigate a restaurant when dining out. I am held back only by my inability to manipulate it in and out of the vehicle and drive myself.
Now that winter has hit I am inhibited by my ability to operate the knee scooter on ice and snow. It tends to be uncooperative when offered those challenges. For that reason I asked my daughter’s boyfriend to drop me at the front door a grocery store with my scooter, only to have him step out of the vehicle and immediately go down on the slippery surface. Luckily he was not injured and quickly sprung back up off the parking lot while saying “I’m good.” Needless to say precaution goes to the extreme when your support person wipes out in the parking lot and your foot hasn’t yet touched the ground.
Weather always offers its own set of challenges. My daughter and I learned that when one of the platform steps she built for me to hop up and down the porch was covered in ice. She was holding the edge of the walker to make sure it didn’t slide as I hopped down. The problem arose when I leaned forward too much and our heads hit. Knocking the assistant out with a head-butt is not recommended. Luckily she maintained her footing and was none-the-worse for the knocked noggin.
Work is always interesting. An empty trash can turned upside down makes a great footstool under your desk, but confuses clients who ask if that thing under there isn’t blocking the way of my leg. An office chair on wheels is wonderful when navigating in a small space near your desk. Boarding house reach also works beautifully for retrieving necessary materials no matter where I stand or sit.
Being immobile does have certain advantages. My mail is picked up and delivered to the inside of my house. I don’t have to stand outside and pump gas. I don’t have to take out the trash. I can make a “to do” list and have someone else do the running up and down the stairs to obtain whatever I need. Unfortunately all the paperwork I thought I would be tackling full-force is not getting done as quickly as I had hoped. Don’t ask…I haven’t thought up an excuse for that yet.
So the bottom line is, living life on one leg isn’t the easiest thing, but it isn’t the most horrid thing that could happen either. Life is a Melting Pot of adventures, and this is just one of mine.