Friday, April 30, 2010

One Small Step...

Jon took me down to the medical supply store today and I got a walker. It was a frustrating experience, to say the least. For one thing, I had to suffer the humiliation of sharing my weight with the owner so that he could help find a walker that can support my size. And even then, he had some doubts that their biggest one would be able to hold me. It seems like no matter what I do, I just can't escape my weight!

Once I actually tried the walkers, it wasn't as easy as I'd hoped. Jon kept pushing for me to try this one that has a knee rest, where you kind of wheel the bad foot and then walk normally with the good leg. I didn't like the lopsided feeling of it, though, and wanted something that gives me full support in the front. I then tried a couple of regular walkers with the bars in the front and was able to hop around a bit -- but the walker kept kind of sliding from side to side, making the owner nervous.

Finally, I chose a rolling walker wih two large handles and a built-in seat. It's easy to grip and because it has wheels, it has less friction that the standard walker. It's definitely better than the crutches, but I still have to hop on one leg -- which given how much weight is coming down on it hurts.

Right now, I can do about five steps with it. I was really proud of myself because while Jon was chatting with the owner, I managed to lift myself up off of the bench I was sitting on, grab onto the walker and pivot myself into my wheelchair. I did this without any help or support so I guess it's a big deal. Still, the idea of walking long distances with this thing seems impossible at the moment. My goal for today is to do five steps away from the bed and then five back. And then tomorrow, I'll do fifteen and then twenty. I'd love to reach a point where I can actually get around our apartment with this thing, but it's going to require a lot of upper body strength and practice on my part. I know that I'd be able to use it with more ease if I weighed less, so it's extremely frustrating. I don't wish a broken leg on anyone, but if there ever were the wrong person to break her leg, it's me.

I wish that they made some kind of mobility device for injured obese people. Everyone is saying that there's an "obesity epidemic" in the United States, so surely I can't be the only fat person with a broken leg, right? I'm not an inventor so I can't really think of what this device would be like, though I'm envisioning something where you can kind of rest your leg on a low platform and then work the walker more like a scooter. It would be a similar set-up to that knee-rest walker, only it would look more like a standard walker where the rail surrounds you. This way, you don't have to worry about accidentally putting your foot down AND you'd have the support and balance, which is so necessary when you're overweight.

For now, though, I guess I'm just going to have to learn to get around with the walker I have. It's not the best for me, but thankfully, I do have the wheelchair so I can at least get outside. I suppose that hopping around will also give me some much-needed exercise on my good leg -- and it does feel good to be upright. I'm still not fully convinced that I'm ever going to walk again and this gives me a little hope.

I just hope that I don't end up injuring my good leg in the process.

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