These crutches are ruining my life

It has been two weeks since my last workout.  I’ve been on these crutches for almost a week.  Is any of it doing any good?  I have no idea.

I have an appointment on next Friday at Bone and Joint to get another opinion.  All of my imaging is being sent to them, so they should have a good idea of the background by the time I get there.  I’m really hoping that they can give me an idea of what is really going on.  I don’t know if they are going to order any more tests, or if they are just going to shrug in frustration the way everyone else seems to be.

What I do know is that the addition of the crutches was more than I could handle.  I was barely keeping it together without being able to work out.  The normal stress of regular life with kids and housework and my last semester of nursing school was taking me to my breaking point.  Add in the crutches–and I pretty much imploded.

I had my Capstone assessment on Tuesday.  This is basically a cumulative nursing simulation experience to make sure that I have reached a certain level of competence and that the instructors aren’t going to release me into the world as a danger to patients.  I was nervous going into it, but I thought I had a pretty good handle on what I needed to know to be able to take care of patients with different medical conditions. 

The crutches completely took me out of my head.  I was a disaster.  I was trying to hang some IV drugs and my crutch fell which took me out of my routine.  Then, because I was distracted, I forgot to close the clamp and I ended up with water running out of the tubing all over me.  I tried to reach for the clamp, but my arm was stuck on my other crutch.  I felt like a complete idiot.

When I get frustrated, I end up getting overly emotional.  And when I get overly emotional, I have a hard time organizing my thoughts.  I ended up spiraling downward.  I fell apart.  I missed things in my assessment because I didn’t have my normal mobility.  The instructor would ask me a simple question and I would completely freeze up.  I had to do my math three times to figure out the pump rate because I didn’t trust myself to do it right in my frazzled state of mind.

The other problem was the amount of discomfort I was in.  The Capstone assessment is roughly and hour and a half.  Mine took a little longer because of my ineptitude…and the crutches slowed me down. The whole time I was standing.  On my left foot.  Because I can’t put any weight on my right foot.  My left foot was throbbing.  My arms hurt.  My hands hurt from holding myself up on my crutches.  I was sweating because I was working so hard to maneuver the crutches and I was so nervous.  I would have done anything for a chair at that point.

When I finally finished, I was simply relieved to have passed. I know that the instructor is aware of my abilities from the past 6 weeks of being in class with me.  I know that my performance on that day is not indicative of how I usually take care of patients.  But it left me feeling completely defeated.  I may or may not have hobbled out to my car and had a breakdown.  Tears, tears and more tears.

The instructor had some kind words for me about making sure that I have an outlet for myself during stressful times in my life.  Right.  If I had been using my normal stress relief strategies, I wouldn’t have been in this situation in the first place.


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