The hassle of getting around

Tomorrow will start week #4 on crutches. I am still really babying my leg. I am scared to put too much weight on it because I can’t handle the pain when my knee gives way or the sharp pain in my knee when I bear too much weight on it. The majority of the pain I was experiencing at rest when not moving or putting weight on my leg is gone, which is good.

I am learning the hard way that my work place is not so accessible to people with disabilities. It seems as though it is, a number of doors have the automatic door buttons, there is 2 elevators, a larger stall in the bathroom, etc. But there is more to it then meets the eye.

For example, of the doors with automatic door buttons, only three out of 6 that I go through on a day to day basis have the button and only one of which actually fully works. The other 2 you have to move to the side of the door to press the button and they only open about 1 out of 5 times on their own, the other 4 times you have to then move to the door and pull on it then the automatic  part takes over and they open the rest of the way. They (the buttons) are on the correct side at least, it is not behind the door as the ones upstairs are… seriously, wtf?

If you have ever seen someone on crutches or in a wheelchair (or god forbid have been yourself) trying to struggle with a door, especially a heavy one you will understand what I mean. The door to the larger stall in the bathroom opens outwards, as it should, only there is a wall in the way, so to open it when on crutches or in a wheel chair you need to be on the wrong side of it then can not get by the wall. Who comes up with these plans anyways, really?

Being on the third floor I have to take the elevator to get there, which is great, we have two in a 5 story building with about 30 offices of about 800-1000 people in total. At 9am or 5pm you can literally wait, 20 minutes to get in one and if you happen to be on crutches be careful cause there is a large enough space between the hall floor and the interior of the elevator for a crutch to get caught and potentially fall down the elevator shaft (oops).

I have also found that trying to carry my lunch from the microwave to a table when it is hot out of the microwave a bit tricky to do. So I have been living off of either Gatorade and beef jerky or root beer and beef jerky, neither of which is all that appetizing. Trying to get a hot chocolate in a spill proof mug without a handle or fill my spill proof cup with straw that I won during Summer Days at work last summer and carry it from the lunch room to my desk is not possible.

I learnt that holding a small plastic pop bottle or water bottle by the top with my fingers while using the crutches is doable, even if it hurts my fingers. I have also learnt that the office chair (mine thankfully has arms, as not all of them do) is great to push yourself around in as long as you don’t bang your good leg on anything or anyone.

Overall though, I can not wait to be able to completely walk on my own again. I miss my freedom and mobility.

2 Comment

  1. Maria says: Reply

    I do not have any experience walking on crutches myself in a work environment, even though I severely sprained my ankle (tore the ligaments) a number of times in my life. Since I worked in a bakery (and went to University), I just stayed at home when my mobility was so bad that I needed my crutches/couldn’t walk properly on my own.

    In other words: I can only imagine how frustrating all of this has to be for you! We take our mobility pretty much for granted and so when something as “simple” as heating up your lunch becomes impossible and you have to resort to gatorade & beef jerky instead, that must be pretty humbling.. (and not necessarily in a good way either). I imagine a lot of workplaces leave a lot to be desired when it comes to disability accessibility, and it sounds like your workplace is no exception.

    I hope you’ll regain some of your mobility, and subsequently your freedom soon!

    1. Thanks Maria. I miss my mobility and cant wait to get it back!

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