to be a petulant child and feel Hard Done By?

(76 Posts)
Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 15:23:46

am stuck at home with a knee injury, I can't weight bear at all and need crutches to get even a tiny distance

I have been referred to the Acute Knee Team (who knew?) and should be seen fairly quickly. My GP thinks I have torn my anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus

The real bugger is that I can't get to the loo safely without help, because I can't get the crutches up the stairs and I need them to get to the loo from the top of the stairs. When dh or kids are here they take the crutches up and give them to me when I get there

I needed the loo earlier and obviously dh couldn't just pop home and help me, he is 5 minutes away by bike and would come if he could but he is under serious pressure today. So we agreed (via messenger) that I would try by myself and take my phone so I could ring him if in trouble. So I did it by myself, couldn't get the crutches up the stairs so had to half-hop/weight bear on the bad knee, which is now agonising. Am aggrieved and sorry for myself. Especially as when I was trying to hop to the loo the phone fell on my foot <childish wail>

I can't phone a fried to come and help me go to the toilet, I really can't. And I can't get at food and drink either because I need both crutches to get to the kitchen. This has been going on since last Monday and I am fed up!

self-pitying rant over. Please don't flame me. Am not blaming anyone.

PITA. It sounds rotten. You need a commode, sorry.

Awww sad That does sound annoying. Can you go in a bucket downstairs somewhere? It's needs must if you're hurting yourself trying to struggle upstairs.

ChristmasJubilee Wed 13-Feb-13 15:31:04

Phone out for a pizza and get them to bring you some coke! Hope you feel better soon.

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 15:31:38

I really couldn't do that, I am a bit phobic about it. My dh would have to empty it, it would be hideous

I will cope, it's just horrible, and scary at the top of the stairs when I could slip. And dh would have remembered to leave me some food and drink where I could reach it, but mornings are a bit of a nightmare at the moment with Aspie ds1 who is being Mr Awkward.

HKat Wed 13-Feb-13 15:31:48

No flaming here, that sucks. Could you bum-shuffle up and down using good leg to push?? Alternatively, yes, commode could be the answer! Good luck anyway!

Billwoody Wed 13-Feb-13 15:32:11

It does sound rotten.
Can you get another set of crutches to keep upstairs?

Sounds awful sad

Are you on Facebook? Can you put a plea out on your local boards for a spare set of crutches to keep upstairs? Or phone your GP and ask him/her how you'd go about getting hold of a spare set for upstairs.

Amazon have some for sale at around £20 with delivery, or maybe go on and find your nearest mobility shop and get your DH to pick you up a spare pair on your way home. And chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

ImNotaPheasantPlucker Wed 13-Feb-13 15:35:04

Could you keep one pair of crutches upstairs and another downstairs? (Assuming you can bum-shuffle up to get there)

ImNotaPheasantPlucker Wed 13-Feb-13 15:35:35

Massive x-post!

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 15:36:06

I did think of getting more crutches, but it's a bit of a nightmare - these ones are borrowed from dh's friend. The GP said I needed them but that I would have to go to A&E to ask for some as they don't have them at the surgery. The A&E is two bus rides away and I am struggling even getting to the loo.

I cried when the phone landed on my big toe blush

soaccidentprone Wed 13-Feb-13 15:37:00

you need to shuffle up the stairs on your bumb using your good leg to weight bear. you need 2 stools or chairs at the top of the stairs, one higher than the other. you then bump from the stairs onto the lower stool, the again onto the upper stool. you should then be able to stand with your crutches.

vice versa for going back down again.

hope you knee gets sorted soon - it must be a pitk (sorryblush )

DeSelby Wed 13-Feb-13 15:37:33

Can you bum shuffle at all? If you can weight bear on one foot then could you take one crutch up the stairs to help you to the toilet? Then slide it down after.

I broke my foot and had pins sticking out of the bottom for 12 weeks so could not weight bear on that foot at all so I can empathise.

I used to put my food and drink in a rucksack, so you can use crutches to and from kitchen. Tea in a flask, bottles for drinks.

Hope you get your referral soon, and good luck! The only benefit I found was that it was the only time in my life I had well toned arms!

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 15:37:40

we're skint, so I can't just buy some unfortunately.

I will cope, dh has been popping home at lunch time to help me to the loo most days. It's just unfortunate today. I just wanted to moan really. It's so BORING.

soaccidentprone Wed 13-Feb-13 15:38:04

I've some spare crutches if you are near me. I'm in Yorkshire

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 15:40:09

I bum shuffle up and down the stairs, it's getting from there to the loo and back that's tricky. But hopefully my referral will come through soon

I'm supposed to be bloody working today as well. I'm a supply teacher so no work, no pay. Grrrrrrr

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 15:41:23

lol at juxtaposition between your username and the offer of spare crutches grin that has cheered me up! I'm in Devon but thanks for the offer x

Softlysoftly Wed 13-Feb-13 15:41:55

Freecycle plea for help?

WhatNow2013 Wed 13-Feb-13 15:45:19

I used to sort of balance crutches half way up the stairs and bum shuffle up, then get them and throw them on the landing/post them up the stairs to the top step if that makes any sense... then bum shuffle the rest of the way and retrieve at the top. For getting down, slide them down the stairs to the bottom and bum shuffle down.

I was in plaster for 5 weeks after ankle ligament reconstruction. All I can say is I know it SUCKS.

Adversecamber Wed 13-Feb-13 15:48:40

I would just pee in a washing up bowl or some other receptacle for the time being, not worth the stress on your leg or the danger of going up and down,

There may be a local Red Cross equipment loan service near you.

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 15:52:38

I wish I had a nice mum to come and make a fuss of me, I think there is a little poorlyzilla inside me that thinks dh should be mollycoddling me, cos I waited on him like Florence Fucking Nightingale when he had his hernia operation

but he can't help the fact that he has to work <grudging>

I can't piss in a bucket, I just can't blush

NoelHeadbands Wed 13-Feb-13 15:56:56

Wee in a jug, pour down sink. Leave gravy off the menu for a while.

sleepsforwimps2010 Wed 13-Feb-13 15:59:56

op you have my sympathy!
i had very similar issue a couple of years ago; my solution was sting around the top banaster rail - i tied the crutches to it while i sat on the bottom step, went up on my bum then pulled the crutches up by sting!
went up and down like that for about 8 weeks...

hope you get seen quickly knee pain is the pits!

Bum shuffle for loo has to be done.When I broke my foot exdh would do me a tray in the living room every morning with kettle, cappuccino sachets, cup a soup, food, water, books, crossword book etc. I think I would have gone nuts without it. You have my sympathy, it's a pita.

valiumredhead Wed 13-Feb-13 16:02:01

You need to get over yourself and wee in a bucket - sorry to be blunt but it's either that or risk falling and doing more damage - I know which one I'd rather do!

My dh had to empty my commode for 3.5 months as I couldn't get upstairs at all - he didn't bat an eyelid, not once and I wouldn't if I had to do the same for him.

Red cross are good ime.

magimedi Wed 13-Feb-13 16:04:32

Poor, poor you.

I ws also going to suggest some sort of haul rope & tackle device to get crutches up to you.

valiumredhead Wed 13-Feb-13 16:06:30

The stats iirc are something ridiculous like you have an 80% chance of falling and hurting yourself after an accident/injury so be VERY careful OP. I remember being shocked ( and scared!) when my physio told me.

whois Wed 13-Feb-13 16:12:08

Sounds rubbish!

I would defo wee in something and tip down the sink tho, not gong to kill anyone if you give the sink a clean afterwards.

Second the idea for having a rucksack that you can put food and bottles of drinks in to carry from the kitchen to sitting room. Or move the kettle into the sitting room so you can make a cup of tea without moving.

valiumredhead Wed 13-Feb-13 16:15:29

How does one see an OT if you aren't being discharged from hospital? This is what they go through with you before you are discharged.

soaccidentprone Wed 13-Feb-13 16:15:45

something like this and a juggrin

thanks for the juxtaposition comment greensleevesgrin

valiumredhead Wed 13-Feb-13 16:16:10

Get dh to make you a thermos of tea before he goes to work to keep in the front room.

Re food and drink - get hold of a flask, or one of those travel coffee mugs - you can then safely carry a hot drink from the kitchen (friend of mine had a hip replacement and this was brilliant, she just kept her china mug beside her chair in the sitting room and refilled it from the flask)

Also a small rucksack - if you are making food, do it like a packed lunch, put it in a Tupperware in your bag, pop it on your back, and then you have two hands free to use the crutches.

A bar stool like this is useful in the kitchen so that you can sit and use both hands to prepare stuff.

If it's the tinkling sound in the bucket that puts you off, put a nappy in the bottom to soak up the wee?

Also, can you manage with one crutch? Leave one upstairs and one downstairs? Do you know anyone with a spare walking stick or two so you could have one crutch and one walking stick?

e.g. my granny's old one is under the stairs in my parent's house, she died 10 years ago but the DGC's still take it out to play, and my DD used it when she had a twisted ankle

valiumredhead Wed 13-Feb-13 16:18:27

Ime a jug is much easier to pee in wink

Can you not just get DH to move everything you need to upstairs?
Supply of food, telly, phone etc.

Sorry, not offering my granny's stick unfortunately it's not mine to give - but you never know who might have something similar!

Floggingmolly Wed 13-Feb-13 16:20:04

Can't you borrow another pair of crutches from the hospital, or is one pair the limit?

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 16:20:04

I am a bit annoyed about how things have gone actually

I injured the leg once in Feb and once in April last year, both times I was in agony and went to A&E. They x-rayed it and said go home and rest it, so I did. It hasn't been right at all but did get to the point where I could "use" my leg properly. The second time, it was the same doctor, she smirked and said "Still nothing wrong with your knee Mrs X". I felt like a right knobber

so last Monday it finally goes completely. I went to the GP, he poked and prodded, looked at the history and said it's probably anterior cruciate ligament tear and torn meniscus. Says he will refer me and to go home and keep weight off it. Oh and nip up to A&E to ask for some crutches.

It's been a bloody long week, stuck on the sofa on my own. Hence the grumpy whingey thread. grin

soaccidentprone Wed 13-Feb-13 16:21:22

I have a couple of friends who popped round and made me a drink and a sandwich after I broke my leg.

thb it was a complete pita. I did internet shopping and bought foods that could easily be cooked. we also had take ways quite a lot, otherwise dh would have been completely shattered.

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 16:22:17

They also said dh couldn't go up and get crutches for me, even if the GP rang ahead or wrote a note or whatever. I have to schlep up there on one leg, on public transport. Luckily he had a workmate who hadn't given his back yet.

The rucksack/flask idea is brilliant, thank you. Will definitely do that now!

Here is a link to the Red Cross free loan service in case you have a branch near you.

I think you have every right to feel hard done by. Don't write off pissing in a bucket, it's a very handy skill if you ever decide to take up wild camping.

witchwhoknitssocks Wed 13-Feb-13 16:42:24

As regards not liking to pee in a bucket because someone else has to empty it, you can use a pedal bin liner with cat litter in (the wood or paper type stuff is best). the wee gets soaked into the litter so turns 'solid' and can be tied up and disposed of. Its no worse probably better than a disposable nappy in the bin smile and will save your knee

top camping tip so you don't have to trek across a field at night in case anyone was wondering how I discovered this grin

witchwhoknitssocks Wed 13-Feb-13 16:43:30

whoops should have said pedal bin liner in bucket with cat litter blush

maddening Wed 13-Feb-13 16:47:26

Could you get a comode for downstairs? I think the nhs would have one they could lend you?

You need it set up so everything is in easy reach and just go upstairs when you have assistance.

maddening Wed 13-Feb-13 16:47:46

Yanbu to feel hard done by btw

Darksideofthe80s Wed 13-Feb-13 16:52:04

I feel your pain op, I had the same injury a few years ago sad

I wouldn't attempt to pee in a bucket, jug etc, not only would it be impossible for you to squat over a bucket, the chances of you keeping your balance on crutches whilst holding a jug would be quite slim.

Are you brave enough to try tena [grim]

soaccidentprone Wed 13-Feb-13 16:59:14


soaccidentprone Wed 13-Feb-13 17:00:46
Booyhoo Wed 13-Feb-13 17:07:30

hook arms through crutches and bum shuffle back wards up the stairs using good leg and hands to push yourself. crutches will be there with you when you get to the top.

why cant you use both crutches to get to the kitchen?

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 17:11:01

I can get to the kitchen on both crutches, just about, although I can't stand for any length of time once I get there. I would have huge difficulty in getting a glass of water/anything out of fridge/cupboard and carrying it back.

I have tried to get upstairs on my bum with the crutches hooked onto my arms but I just can't do it. I come downstairs that way but going up is more difficult, I need all my arm and upper body strength to keep any weight or pressure off the leg. I am doing my best sad

gallifrey Wed 13-Feb-13 17:18:45

They should have shown you how to get up stairs using crutches while you were in hospital.
if you have a hand rail on your stairs hold onto that with one hand and use the other crutch in your other hand. sort of tuck the other crutch into the same hand. Then you can hop up the stairs and have both crutches with you. Remember to hop first then bring the crutch up after. hope this helps and I just haven't confused you xx

CabbageLooking Wed 13-Feb-13 17:20:28

My DH has just read this and being both a man and an engineer has come up with a helpful suggestion. Get a piece of rope/washing line/whatever. Tie it to crutches. Take the end of the rope to the top of the stairs with you. Pull crutches up behind you.


Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 17:20:50

I haven't been in hospital gallifrey, nobody has shown me anything. I'm waiting to see a knee specialist until then I am just stuck.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 13-Feb-13 17:27:18

You need for your GP to arrange for a physio to show correctly how to travel up and down stairs with crutches. There is a specific technique, though as you have just been given crutches and not taught how to use them you may not be using them correctly either.
I spent several months on crutches and initially had no specific teaching then when I did from the physios my world was transformed. I travelled to London, on the buses and tube all safely as I knew how to use them properly.

Booyhoo Wed 13-Feb-13 18:44:08

i wonder if there was a MNer near you that could come and show you how to use them properly and go up and down the stairs. only of you wanted that of course.

Lyrasilvertongued Wed 13-Feb-13 19:08:26

could you set up camp upstairs - is your bedroom up there next to the bathroom? that way you could wait until dh comes home, go down to the kitchen and prepare yourself some bottles of water/juice and food for the next day to keep upstairs and ask him to make you a flask of tea in the morning before he leaves? I know it's a bit 'cabin fevery' but in the short term it might be easier than what you're having to cope with just now. Sending you get well soon wishes, it sounds awful sad

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 20:05:32

Lyra, I could decamp to upstairs but I would be horribly bored - no tv up there blush and our room is pretty small, I would feel quite trapped - and at least down here I get to eat with the kids and help with homework and bedtime etc

Those who have had similar injuries - have you any idea how likely it is that I will have to have surgery, or a cast? And how long the recovery is likely to be? thanks for all advice x

Roseformeplease Wed 13-Feb-13 20:10:00

Surely the District Nurse should be involved and giving you a commode / cardboard hospital bedpans or whatever you need?

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 20:56:51

No district nurse mentioned, nothing until the appointment with the knee specialist comes up. I do feel a bit "dumped" tbh, but I suppose there is nothing anyone can do at this point.

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 22:20:04

just bumping in case anyone knows anything about treatment/recovery for this (though I helpfully don't know exactly what I have done)

Roseformeplease Wed 13-Feb-13 22:30:17

I have no experience of this, or anything like it but surely you must be able to phone the surgery and ask for nursing help? Phone up and ask - you have nothing to lose!

soaccidentprone Wed 13-Feb-13 22:47:41

I'm afraid your knee is going to take a while to heal, so you are going to need to work on how you are going to safely get around.

there is normally lots of advice on the internet that may help you. when you get your referral you need to ask for a referral to an occupational therapist who will do an assessment and give you practical advice and maybe equipment to help you manage.

maybe you could ask on freecycle for some more crutches?

Greensleeves Wed 13-Feb-13 23:48:46

I will try freecycle for crutches, that's a great idea. And will google for more info o recovery time etc. It's frustrating just sitting here in pain waiting to find out what's actually wrong

Greensleeves Thu 14-Feb-13 00:13:29

soaccidentprone, when you say it may take a while, do you mean weeks? I work with young children which is quite physical

sorry to harp, can't sleep and am fretting a bit

holidaysarenice Thu 14-Feb-13 01:23:05

Your local physio dept will give u more crutches. It might need a gp call/letter sent over as well.

Ps there are safe ways of stairs and crutches too

ZebraOwl Thu 14-Feb-13 01:38:33

Sorry if I missed the explanation, but why can't you go upstairs using your crutches? I've had an awful lot of time on crutches, including several months following major reconstructive work to both knees at the same time (not as clever as plan as my surgeon insisted, really not) so do know that crutches-on-stairs can be tricky (& nerve-wracking), but it should be doable. If it's a stability problem, do you have a bannister so you can use one crutch & hold the bannister for more sturdy support.

I'd guess the reason the hospital want you to attend to get crutches is so that they can ensure they're adjusted correctly & so a physio can show you how to manage stairs etc safely. Which I get is a PITA when the hospital's a massive trek, but does make sense. Please be careful if you get crutches via Freecycle: check the bottoms of them for wear&tear as you can end up injuring yourself if they suddenly split or if they've got uneven patterns of wear. Make sure they lock into position fully & that the arm supports aren't cracked or anything. Tbh people shouldn't really be Freecycling NHS crutches: they should go back to the hospital when you no longer need them. I do still have three lots at home, in fairness, but that's one up & one down & my really quite knackered pair I can get manky in fields etc...

Definitely use a rucksack/bag that can go across you rather than just over one shoulder to trot your stuff about the house. Establishing a Base For The Day (as far as is possible) is also a very good plan. A supply of things like cereal bars/fruit & if possible a packed meal left for you for a mealtime you'll be on your own's v important. Water bottles are your friend. A flask for hot drinks is a plan. Having a variety of amusements to hand is vital: a choice of books, playing cards, craftstuff, access to the interwebs, teach-yourself-Mandarin course (or, y'know, whatever) so that ifwhen you get bored with something you don't find yourself stuck twiddling your thumbs in frustration.

Bit worried your GP didn't sort out suitable pain relief for you & that you seem to be being left so much to fend for yourself. I know there's only so much anyone can do & there will always be a wait to see a specialist but I can't help but feel if you'd presented at A&E you'd've got more help & advice for The Wait.

On the loo front, if you've not already discovered this, PJs/jogging bottom-type-trousers are your friends. Not only will they be loose around the knee area, they're much easier to get in & out of. Also, you only need to get them down enough you'll not actually be sitting on them before you sit & it's a good idea to pull them as far back up as is possible whilst you're still sitting. With practice you can do an impressive manoeuvre where you get your bottoms as far up as possible then sort of slide yourself slightly forwards off the seat to get them a bit further up before you stand up whilst finishing the ascent of the clothing. If you get a bit overenergetic you might fall over though. (I never actually fell, but there might've been a spot of flailing on a few occasions. Hem.)

Oh & before I forget YADNBU. Not even a little bit. It is vile being in pain & feeling so helpless. Not being able to do basic things is massively frustrating & can be very distressing. Hope that referrals etc come through soon but in the meantime don't be afraid to contact the GP again to ask if there's anywhere you can apply to for help, eg District Nursing Team.

How are you feeling this morning Greensleeves? Did you manage to get some sleep?

HintofBream Thu 14-Feb-13 08:36:38

It seems crazy that you are having to wait for a proper diagnosis. I tore my ACL skiing and was xrayed and plastered immediately in a french clinic with a letter for UK consultant and was re -xrayed and re plastered again back home. Leg in plaster for six weeks, a bit skinny and wobbly when plaster off but ok for skiing on in less than twelve months. Agree with Zebra, if you had turned up at A&E you would have been seen and sorted.

maddening Thu 14-Feb-13 09:19:24

Can you make a nuisance of yourself at the gp? Really fight for the things you need - straight away you need crutches and a comode. Then you need to know the current situation of the referral - where are they in the process?

valiumredhead Thu 14-Feb-13 09:58:29

Personally I would go to A and E and not move until I had seen someone - it is an emergency if you are left at home, not shown how to use crutches properly and can't get to the loo safely.

soaccidentprone Fri 15-Feb-13 22:44:19


just wondered whether you had rec'd your referral letter yet and how you're doing generally?

steppemum Fri 15-Feb-13 22:56:06

Hi sorry if repeating. I had bad broken ankle last year and was on crutches and couldn't weight bear.
(we do have downstairs loo though)

I went up and down stairs on all fours, or on bum with crutches in one hand. it was slow and and painful. I couldn't use crutches on stairs, I just didn't feel safe, partly because I felt wobbly anyway, so felt more wobbly on crutches.

I used an apron and a thermos. Made a thermos of tea, put thermos and mug in apron pocket and then crutched back to lounge. rucksack is a great idea (which I didn't think of)

I got dh to bring everything into the lounge in morning. It was a nightmare if I forgot something.

Worse part was when he went away for 1 week 3 days after i got out of hospital. We have 3 young dcs, and they needed to get up dressed, packed lunches school etc etc. Nightmare week. I only survived because my friends made a rota and someone came every night to bring dinner and put kids to bed.

Greensleeves Sat 16-Feb-13 00:14:07

Hi, thanks for asking after me! And thanks so much for all the advice and encouragement, it's bloody lonely being stuck day after day and MN makes it all OK grin

ZebraOwl your post was so packed with helpfulness I have printed it out, thank you x

I'm still in pain and still can't weight bear, with the added fun of now having trapped a nerve in my shoulder so I can't turn my head properly or use my left arm properly! I have done that before though. Am using scarf as a neck brace and gritting my teeth a lot. Am unbelievably fed up.

I got a strange document from the GP surgery today, it is a form with a password on it; apparently I have to ring up the specialist and quote the password at them to get an appt. My suspicion is that the magical "two week wait" the GP waxed lyrical about begins when I make the call. And the almost 2 weeks I have been housebound in pain don't count <cynic>

ZebraOwl Sat 16-Feb-13 18:46:50

Golly. Look at me being useful & not just a babbling fool. Am glad to have been of some help: you are v welcome & feel free to message me if you think I might be able to help more...

Oooh, is that a choose&book thingy? I had one of those once, I think. Mostly I can only see one person in one place IN THE WORLD so I don't get any choice... Um, yes, waiting time starts from receipt of referral. You should've been given the choose&book stuff at your appointment, though (or had a "normal" referral sent through by the doctor) not be getting it now. Boo. And also hiss.

Seems a bit mean for your shoulder to be picking on you too. Is it that it's not liking the crutches, do you think?

maddening Sat 16-Feb-13 20:57:01

You can also do it on line - that's how I did my hernia referral - you can view the available hospitals and look at ratings, wait times, patient reviews and book your appointment - actually a v good system - if there is a hospital you prefer but not ob your list ask the gp if that hospital has the right facilities and they can add it ti yiyr list of available hospitals to book from.

sydlexic Sun 17-Feb-13 09:15:32

Stay upstairs, get DH to make you a packed lunch and a flask before he leaves.

Katla Sun 17-Feb-13 11:22:36

I'd pee in a jug and put down sink - my grandad used to do this as he was 90 and peed all the time (prostate issues). I always used to bleach the sink when I visited.

I used to pee in sink in room when I stayed in uni halls to avoid trek along corridor in night blush

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