Cans and can’ts

Apr 23rd, 2024

Cans and can’ts

I’m off to the hospital on Thursday and should be able to switch to partially weight bearing on crutches. I’ll be honest and say that for the last couple of days I have slightly cheated in that although I have not practiced putting any weight on my foot through the crutches, I have stood up in the kitchen cooking with my bad foot on the floor for balance. I’m pretty sure that this has involved putting a little weight on it at some point. I’ve also done my best with sitting with my foot elevated as much as possible – but this is very, very restrictive, because short of reorganizing my office, I can’t type or draw with my foot up, so all I can do is read about AWS or watch pointless videos. Hopefully this can stop on Thurs because I am pretty sure my foot is not swollen – I can also wriggle my toes.

I’ve started doing some of the household tasks from the wheelchair. More is possible than I thought would be the first time that I tried.

Things I can do at the moment. Most of these things involve using the chair to move but then standing up when I have reached my destination and balancing on my good leg because nothing in our house is actually made to be at wheelchair height.
Dishwasher load and empty. Put dishes away.
Clean kitchen (sort of – not to a very high standard)
Clean bathrooms (as above)
Cook – in the sense of taking things out of the freezer, defrosting them and doing things like chopping veg. I have stood at the cooker and stirred pans, and I guess I could do simple things like a stir fry, but I can’t carry anything hot across the kitchen so many dishes aren’t possible without assistance.
Laundry – wash, dry and distribute

Things I can’t do at the moment.
Anything involving going outside because the entire house is surrounded by deep gravel which is not wheelchair friendly. There is a ramp at the front of the house, but it goes round a steep corner to the gravel area, so it is only really useful for getting to the car.
So can’t feed birds
Can’t deal with cat litter tray
Can’t find a way to hoover with the main hoover. I can use our small handheld hoover (we call him Badger because he has black and white stripes) but it is not possible to push our current hoover from a wheelchair. I suspect it also won’t be possible without being able to put all my weight onto my bad foot.
Can’t really carry things. I’ve not managed to find an answer to this. In our big house I need to be able to gather crockery together for washing. I need to be able to refill a water jug. In the kitchen I need to move things which are hot, wet, greasy and potentially dangerous from one area to another. I can with difficulty manage the crockery and water jug (very slowly) by balancing things on my knees – but this is a no-no with hot pans. On a related note – I was researching this topic on the internet with a search of “carry, wheelchair” and the top link was “how to concealed carry in a wheelchair” (this means guns to anyone not familiar with the term).
Anything involving climbing on things or lifting very heavy objects.

So in short, I can function at about 80% within the house itself with minimal help from R. I can get up, move about, wash, and dress, fetch snacks, feed the cats. I can shower with minimal help from R (in fact I could probably manage this on my own now – but why take the light out of the poor guy’s life…). I can do some of the basic household work but need help with other bits.

I’d also point out that whilst our house is pretty wheelchair friendly, it is not all that it could be made to be. For example the gravel problem outside could be easily solved by tarmacking it. The kitchen problems would require ripping out the current kitchen and putting in a new one, and still would not resolve the carrying issue.

Hopefully all this is moot anyway.