Getting out and about using crutches is not so bad…if I’m with someone else. However, if I need to go out on my own, things aren’t as simple.
Needing to use crutches to get about is a chore by itself. I’m having a bad time with my left shoulder so I’m not even going to entertain the idea of using a crutch on that arm, plus, they are just a nuisance, as I learnt today…..
So, I drove to the supermarket by myself and went in with one crutch on my right arm. I knew I only needed 2 items so this would be easy enough, right? WRONG! I took my bank card in the back pocket of my jeans so I didn’t need to wear a handbag (shoulder probs) and that’s all I needed. What I didn’t think about was when I got to the supermarket. I had nowhere to put my car keys! I can’t leave them in the car for obvious reasons! I had to stuff them in my back pocket and head into the shop. I picked up a colourful bunch of flowers and then headed towards the ‘wine’ aisle, all the way at the back of the store. 🙄 All was going well. I winced and struggled but I managed to grab the bottle I wanted (for my mum) from a low-ish shelf and I somehow managed to fit it and the flowers in one hand. Note to self: next time, get a flipping basket!!
I headed to the till and the queues were long 😩 but I spotted one with 2 people who only had a few items so I stood behind and waited my turn. The nice man in front of me must have seen the distress on my face of holding 2 items in one hand, a crutch in the other and the pain of desperately needing to sit down because he offered me to go in front of him. Obviously I took him up on his offer and hobbled to the front of the queue. I handed the cashier my flowers and wine and paid with my bank card. I didn’t need a bag, I was just going straight to the car and I’d managed alright in the supermarket, right? WRONG! As soon as I stepped outside, a gust of wind blew my cardigan off of my shoulder and down my arm and I had no hands free to pull it back up. Ok, so I would be a little chilly and scruffy looking as I hobble to the car, never mind. I made it to the car and realised that my keys were in my back pocket. I had to rest my forearm on the cuff of my crutch to steady myself and grab the bottle of wine from my left hand. I put the flowers on top of the car, grabbed my car keys, opened the car, put the flowers and wine on the back seat followed by my crutch and then got myself in the front. I sat down feeling like I’d just done a huge workout!
I realised that I don’t always think about how much of a struggle certain things are going to be for me. All I thought about was getting the 2 items for my mum for Mother’s Day; not about where I’d put my keys or carrying the items or getting back to the car with my hands full. I don’t normally go out by myself so I’ve not really faced these issues before. I rely heavily on whoever is with me (normally Paul) to drive, carry the keys and my bank card, carrying the items, putting things through the till and bagging them up and getting the car loaded up with everything afterwards. Or I will stay at home while Paul goes and gets the shopping. Using mobility aids is meant to make life easier but what should have been a quick trip turned quite hectic, quite quickly and left me flustered!
If I do that again I’m going to make sure I take a cross-body handbag and wear it on my right shoulder. It might feel weird but it will save me from having dramas with my keys! I’m also going to take a carrier bag for my items and I’m going to use a small shopping trolley even if just for 1 item! That way I won’t be putting too much pressure on my shoulder by carrying a basket, I can push it to the car and I can carry my crutch in it once I’ve got to and from the trolley park.
I suppose that I have to learn most things the hard way but I’m definitely more appreciative of how much help I get from Paul when we go shopping.