Friday, September 24, 2010

The Crutch Dynamic

I've spent the past few weeks getting around on crutches. And now that I'm down to one I've noticed something. A crutch is a double-edged sword. It is useful for providing support but it can also create a dependency that prolongs the healing process.

My knee is getting stronger every day. However I sometimes lean on the crutch instead of allowing my leg to bear the weight that it is capable of bearing. I must consciously remind myself to "stand on my own".

While it is necessary for my mobility, leaning all the time is not comfortable. The crutch was not intended to be permanent.
Honestly, it's creating a new set of discomforts like the pain in my wrist, hand, and shoulder. I also realize how much my other leg has been over compensating for the injury.

In therapy I was given a set of exercises that are difficult and painful. And I'm required to do them every day. I was told that they important not just for rebuilding strength. They are necessary for reprogramming those movements and coordinates into my brain because I haven't done them in such a long time.

I have to admit, I'm struggling. There's a balance between allowing my body to heal properly and being sick and tired of the pain, inconvenience, and the crutch. I've been assured that if I do my exercises as instructed and allow myself the time, my knee will be as good as new.

Aaaaaah, now I understand the reference to something or someone being a "crutch". Initially it serves an important purpose but over time it impedes progress towards strength and self-sufficiency. When relied upon too much one never learns to handle the situation on his own. The crutch is always right there by his side.

If this resonates with you, join me. "Work-out" your situation and wean yourself off of the crutch.

Until next time...


Dr. Celeste said...

So true. I had problems with my knee the earlier part of this year and had to wean myself from the crutch which had become a "crutch". Goes to show that healing always involves a little pain.

Cheryl said...

Thanks Celeste for letting me know that I'm not alone. ;-)

Anonymous said...

This is true. When I was much younger, I did'nt want to understand this concept; but now that I've matured; and im sure mommie is proud :-), I understand completely! I have found that people are more comfortable depending on a crutch to carry them through because it prevents enduring the pain that inevitably will GET THEM THROUGH! Being carried through experiences and getting through them alone has a much different end result. Thank you mommie and Cheryl! The Dancer

Cheryl said...


I agree with you on all points. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to share.

flyngmunky said...

heal well, sister. and why didn't i know that you ski?! dianne and i both got injured on the slopes in march, too.