I have been off crutches for three weeks since having surgery. Since I tend to go from 0-80, I had to use one crutch for a few days at first because it forced me to slow down. My mom says I’m hyper, and my sister calls me Type AA. I just don’t know how to move slowly.
Fortunately, I only needed to use crutches for three weeks after surgery. In that short time, however, I had difficulty getting around in some public places.
I won’t lie. I was excited to drive a scooter at Kroger. After a few halting starts, I quickly got the hang of zipping around the store. I kept my crutches in the cart but had to be careful while turning. I almost took down a Monster drink display when going around a corner too sharply. I also became conscious of people behind me, and I tried to stay out of the way as much as possible. I gave the right of way to parents with the huge kiddie grocery carts too. My only problem at Kroger was not being able to fit the scooter in the aisle that carries the cane, crutch, and walker accessories. I had to park the cart, get out, and hop over to look for crutch accessories because the aisle was too crowded with store displays.
Automatic doors became my best friend. I liked using a crutch to tap the button, and I could boogie right in with my crutches. I noticed that most places do not have automatic doors, including the Tax Assessor’s office on Rodney Parham. Some, like the Thompson library, have automatic outer doors but the inner doors are manual. I was at the mercy of a kind person to help me, or I had to cheat and put some weight on my left leg to get inside.
Some retired gentlemen that regularly meet at the McDonald’s where I get my tea during the summer were especially helpful. They would carry my tea to a table (I like to drink tea and read the paper in the mornings away from the cat) and check on me if they left first. I call them the Charlies because I’m pretty sure at least three of them are named Charlie. I have another name for the self-absorbed business people on phones or laptops at a west Little Rock Starbucks. The Charlies could teach them a thing or two.
I’m lucky. I only needed crutches for three weeks. I can’t imagine a permanent disability. I’m planning to call the City of Little Rock about the Tax Assessor’s doors. I think Little Rock can do better by it’s temporary and permanently disabled citizens.