Crutches and Hearing Aids by Paul Leonard

Whilst away on a trip to Belfast nearly 3 weeks ago, I was a tad clumsy to say the least.  On my last day, whilst walking through a park and talking to a friend, I managed to trip over a tree stump and had my first self propelled flying lesson.  I flew back home, which was an interesting experience to say the least and a tad painful!  (I know, I know!)  Various hospital appointments later (don’t even get me started) I had discovered I had an “alvusion fracture of the lateral malleolus” and an “osteochondral fracture of the talus”.  Because that wasn’t enough, I have also damaged the ligaments in my left wrist and obtained my first sick note since going out to work when I was 17.

Although, the pain is beginning to subside slowly and the swelling is finally starting to going down, the whole thing does have a few frustrations.  I guess some are quite unique in having a deaf wife whom we use British Sign Language as our preferred home and first language.  Frustrations such as:

  1. If I want something, I can’t just shout.  I have been sending countless text messages from bed to my wife downstairs asking for drinks and for other things to be brought up.  (She’s been ever so good!)
  2. My crutches went crashing to the ground in the bedroom the other day.  (The living room is below our bedroom.)  Upon feeling the vibration of this my wife flew up the stairs to check that I was ok.  (I guess not so much a frustration, but showing she cares.)  But I guess a hearing couple would just shout up, “is everything ok up there?”
  3. Having conversations whilst I am on my crutches is different and awkward.  A hearing couple can just continue to chat but if I want to say something, I need toJust after the accident stop and then sign.  Then when I am finished get going again on my crutches and then stop again where necessary.  That said, seeing a conversation whilst concentrating to walk with the crutches isn’t easy either!
  4. If I am not walking, I am sat down. (Logical huh?!)  I saw a lot of deaf people last weekend and was sat down a lot to rest my leg.  But looking up to sign to someone who is about 2 or 3 feet taller than you (because you’re sat down) and looking right up into their nostrils is a bit disconcerting and makes me think from now on, is my nose clean?
  5. Try understanding BSL when you’ve got a dose or two of codeine inside you.  I thought it was hard enough trying to understand sign language after an alcoholic drink or two but codeine is definitely much more challenging!  (Even more so now my GP has upped my codeine dosage by basically 4 times!)

Oh and here’s another photo of my ankle.

Big foot


(Originally published on Paul’s blog where he can also be found rambling)


One thought on “Crutches and Hearing Aids by Paul Leonard

  1. Bloody hell…. first of all OUCH! That seriously does look painful and I hope things are going much better for you!

    When I read 1 and 2 on your list, I was smiling. When my husband and I are in different rooms, he also uses the text message or Facebook message method (depending whether or not I am at the computer). Your wife sounds like as much of a treasure as my mister 🙂

    As for the rest, I empathise with you. I use a walking stick and know how hard it is to sign while using it. We use ASL so can have a whole conversation with one hand. But at the grocery store, the walking stick always ends up inside the shopping trolley and I push the trolley. When my husband is signing to me, asking me if we need milk and asking how many, I can easily sign back and no shouting is involved.

    Finally, I vow to have a clean nose when I leave the house, from this day forward. Should we ever cross paths, you will not see any hidden surprises up my nostrils while you are seated. Feel better soon 🙂

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