When I was around four years old, I was diagnosed with Leg Perthes, a degenerative disease of the hip joint. I spent a year or so on crutches and in traction, but the details are fuzzy. The traction occurred at night, and my mom would put my legs in these foam slings, then the legs would be hoisted up into the air. In reading the wikipedia entry, I guess this was to relieve pressure from the joint. They were terrible; I couldn't move and always had nightmares that I was trapped. Or that I was peeing. It took me forever not to wet the bed.
I also remember the crutches, which were a huge part of my pre-school and kindergarten life. The thing I remember most about the crutches - which were little and wooden, like Tiny Tim's - was hating them. See, the disease wasn't painful, at least I don't remember it being so. It was just the traction and the crutch armpits that were painful. And not being able to seesaw or swing like the other kids during recess. So I would do things like pick up my crutches and run my little ass off when I thought the nuns weren't looking. I remember conferences with my parents about my lack of use of crutches.
I was reminded by this today, because I'm on crutches again. And, like 25 years ago, I feel like I don't need them. The doctor at Urgent Care looked at me for a grand total of 30 seconds, and I told him my foot hurt to walk on it and I could really put weight on it, so he gave me crutches. I wore them to class today, which was a big production, because you're walking into a room full of 35 people and you're hobbling along on crutches. I think I'd rather just limp. But now I'm wearing them, and it's too late to say I don't really need them, at least there.
I'm happy that this is the same kind of injury that baseball players take about a weekend to heal from. I just don't want it to keep happening. There are a lot more triples in my softball bat.
I'm seeing a podiatrist tomorrow. That'll be interesting. I'm still quite a bit of pain.
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