Wandering Thoughts

December 8, 2008

The Perils of Words

Readers I need your advice.

There are not many of you I know, but I suspect that you are kind and thoughtful people, and quite possibly more wise to the world of words than I.

My story starts happily enough. Thanks to the wonders of prednisone, for the time being, I’m not in need of crutches. It may only be a temporary reprieve but it’s still making my life easier. In every way except one.

The trouble is, while I no longer need two crutches I still need to keep one with me at all times. My legs can lock up with little warning and caught without help I’ll be crawling.

Still, one crutch is much easier than two. Kind of…

Let me illustrate:

Last week I travelled to and from a conference with a very helpful colleague. We were carrying some gear and this kind person went out of their way to help me.

“Can I help you?” The question came as I was trying to fold myself into the car.

“Sure,” I said. “If you could just grab my cr…”.

I was saved by my mouth’s automatic safety mechanism.

Alternative phrases flashed through my mind. “Yes, if you wouldn’t mind holding my crutch…take my crutch for a moment…” and so on. None of them any use.

And so my eventual answer was. “Oh, no, I’m fine”. A statement I immediately disproved by collapsing painfully in the seat and dropping the crutch, with a clatter, on the ground.

Readers, I have a problem with my crutch. No wait…I mean…I have a problem with the words for my crutch…no…oh I think you know what I mean.

Knocking about, as I do these days, in bureaucratic circles my first solution was to refer to it not as a crutch but as a ‘ambulatory stabilisation and assistance device’. Yet the little litarary instinct I have suggests that to do this would be to offer a grave insult to anyone who has ever tried to make the English language a more beautiful thing.

So what am I to do? Get better I guess. In the meantime, alternative words welcome…

November 10, 2008

Crucking Futches

Filed under: Reactive Arthritis — terence @ 5:48 pm


Ok, I really shouldn’t complain.

As the sticker shows, they let me perform my democratic duty on Saturday. And without them right now I would not be able to walk.

But, dang, crutches are annoying.

Prop them up on any wall without due care and they will fall. They’ll take out your shins (happened today) or break something (during a previous spell on crutches they managed to fall on and break a vase that Jo was given by her grandmother). And then they’ll be on the ground, taunting you, as you play slow motion twister, trying to bend yourself into a shape that lets you reach them.


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