I’ve posted this photo before but I thought I would let Teddy take the limelight again.
Today is his birthday. I can’t remember life without him as I was given him on my second birthday.
In general, I don’t like to generalise.
But now that I’m back working, doing a bit of shopping and catching public transport, I’ve found it interesting to discover that people definitely do seem to fall into distinct categories when it comes to how they cope with a middle-aged woman using a crutch.
The most helpful are elderly women – I presume that’s because they’re a generation of women brought up to be the care-givers and also that so many of them have suffered similarly, with hip and knee replacement operations etc.
The second most helpful group seem to be young women – teens and twenties. I’ve absolutely no idea why that is but I’ve found it most heartening. Whenever a fragile elderly woman tries to give me her seat, a younger, much more agile one, always pops up to offer me hers. And young shop assistants and waitresses have been incredibly helpful and thoughtful (far more so that when I’m able-bodied).
And the worst groups. Unfortunately women with children come near the bottom of the pile. They’re probably always in a hurry and want to push past me if they don’t think I’m moving fast enough. I’ve lost count of the buggies I’ve nearly fallen over and am dismayed that mothers will push their toddlers in front of me where they’re likely to be tripped over, kicked or hit in the head by a crutch.
The worst group is without a shadow of a doubt middle-aged and elderly men. I’ve yet to be offered a seat by a man over 50, I’ve been pushed past to get into lifts and I’ve had doors let go in my face.
As I said, this is a rough generalisation but, for safety’s sake, I’ll keep out of the way of mothers and old men for the time being.
I’ve spent a great deal of time since my accident communicating with an insurance company. And I’ve dealt with a helpful and polite representative there, who I shall call Anne Smith.
The Occupational Therapist at the hospital also had to contact her but informed me that Anne would not give her last name “for privacy reasons”. She’d given it to David, so I passed it on.
All correspondence I’ve had from Ms Smith since then has been rather strange. She no longer calls herself Anne Smith. She’s now Anne Fexc3 (I kid you not)!
My privacy of course has completely flown out of the window – I’ve given them very personal information which only just falls short of the complete details of my sex life.
I therefore don’t really feel inclined to respect the privacy issues of Ms Fexc3 – she’ll always be Ms Smith to me.
When I was rushed into hospital, I of course had some knitting with me – a simple garter stitch shawl with lace edging. Unfortunately, on the train into work that morning, I’d finished the garter stitch and was looking forward to starting the lace that evening.
It was not to be but despite being in a hospital bed at St Vincent’s hospital, doped up to the eyeballs with some form of morphine, I carried on regardless. Needless to say, it was a complete mess. At the end of each row the stitch count was completely out but I carried on unperturbed. A few days later I looked at this dreadful mess and did the decent thing – I ripped it back to the garter stitch bit. I decided that dealing with lace was a bit beyond me at that point so just put a ruffle on it and cast off.
The yarn, Tanis (it’s Canadian) was given to me as a kind present from a friend last birthday. I’ve called it the St Vincent’s Shawl and I’m sure she won’t mind if I give it to charity.
I’ve also knitted, while convalescing, a baby jacket and hat for the new baby of a friend (sex unknown at the time of knitting but it was a boy). Just a very simple jacket which I made to practise the art of knitting single row stripes. The hat, knitted in the round, I had to knit very quickly so just put in random stripes.
Another bit of knitting from when I was in hospital. A friend, Ingrid, came to visit me and brought the yarn (hand-dyed by her), the pattern (Multnomah), the needles and stitch markers. Everything I’d need to get knitting. That was a perfect present for a knitter stuck in hospital.
I messed up the last few rows (I blame the drugs again) so just cast off. It looked pretty dreadful, which I realised when the effects of all those opiates had worn off, so I was a very good little knitter, ripped it back a few rows and finished it properly. Love it.
But I HAVE been knitting and now that I’ve the use of at least one hand (I’m using one crutch or one walking stick at the moment), I can block items and photograph them.
I wanted to knit a scarf for a lovely woman I’d been working with for only 3 weeks when I had the accident. She held my hand, she came with me to hospital, phoned David and stayed with me until he arrived. When she started the job I don’t think she realised that this is what it would involve, and I’m truly grateful. I didn’t know her well enough to discover her colour preferences so I played totally safe and made it in black and grey.
It’s the Scrappy Lengthwise Scarf knitted with Bendigo Woollen Mills Alpaca – a lovely yarn by the way – very soft.