Zimmer Tales

My neighbor tells me the Brits call a walker a Zimmer – that sounds so speedy – skimming along on my Zimmer. Not. But, along with a leg brace when upright, it is my constant companion.

At first I bore all weight on my arms, at three weeks I could toe down for balance when not moving, then (if locked into my brace and holding the walker), I could stand still with weight on both legs. Now, at seven weeks, my brace is unlocked 10°, but my arms support most weight. In three weeks the plan calls for all weight on “lower extremities,” as the pros say, and none on arms – just holding the walker “for guidance.” Progress – but weeks left of Zimmer support.

Everything takes a long time. Never before did I realize how many things we carry all day long. Pockets prove invaluable – now I can often walk to physical therapy (just 162 steps each way), phone in one pocket and garage door opener in the other. To move my computer it goes in a tote bag, along with needed papers or books. To move objects from one side of our small kitchen to the other or from kitchen counter to table, requires sliding dishes or pans along the counter till I can make the reach to the landing spot.

Outdoors the Zimmer gets stripped down for speed, but indoors I tip ridiculously large things into a little basket velcroed on the handle. I can balance a glass of water for drinking or painting, a heavy book, charger, ibuprofen, a bag of popcorn (all at once would be pushing it). I chuck things a lot – tossing balled-up socks toward the laundry basket.

But now we have a spring week here – welcome sunshine and warmth. Birds sing, bulbs stand tall with buds, and rose bushes and trees sprout tiny leaves. The other day I clumped around the little patio trying to clean up winter debris. Grateful to be outside and for healing, but all the while wishing I’d stopped in the past to appreciate wholeness – using hands and legs at the same time – a Zimmer-free life!

6 thoughts on “Zimmer Tales

  1. I loved my walkers when recovering from both back surgery and a broken kneecap (years apart, two different models). I found I could lean on them and truly “zimm” along once I found my confidence. I am thinking of you, dear Katy, as you make this recovery with your spirit and grace and reflective instinct intact. You are a bright spot in my already quite bright and shiny days. Hugs to you, and your dear ones.

    PS Jack continues to enjoy “The Bear Snores On.” but is most enchanted these days with machinery of any kind whatsoever.

    • I didn’t realize we were comrades in broken kneecaps! Now that I put less weight on my arms, I start to look at walkers with wheels – wondering if. Maybe you had one of those. And lucky Jack to have that heavy equipment obsession! So much fun and such a fine body of literature to support that passion these days. Thanks Bonny- always good to hear from you!

  2. You have described your walker and its accessories to me in words before, but it was so nice to see the painting of it. Now I can really picture both your daily difficulties and your clever solutions. I hope it gets easier by the day. Keep on truckin’! xoxoxo

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