Navigating The Hudson Valley on One Foot
It's been just about 7 weeks since I had reconstructive ankle surgery, leaving me in a cast from my toes up to my knee, with extremely limited mobility. "Non-weight bearing for 6 weeks" was the last reminder I got as I was wheeled out of the hospital in a wheelchair.
For some people, being told to 'take it easy' for like 6 weeks might sound like a dream come true. For me, who was already struggling with the COVID-related limited social gathering blues, it sounded like pure torture.
For the first few weeks I went nowhere, in fact, I wasn't even in my own house because I have too many stairs and my full bath/shower was completely inaccessible, so I took up residence at my parent's house.
Once I switched from the bulky and heavy splint into my first cast, I started to get a bit adventurous with my travel - back to work at the radio station, went with some friends to the diner, and my biggest adventure, the grocery store!
That's where this navigating the Hudson Valley on one foot part comes in. I'll admit, I never realized, truly, how difficult it is for people with mobility issues or accessibility needs to get around.
For the most part, many Hudson Valley businesses have automatic doors, ramps, and clear entrance ways, but there are still some places out there where you need to push, or pull, to get in and out, which is extremely difficult on crutches or a knee scooter. There are also places that don't have ramps near their main entrances.
While there are a lot of friendly and helpful people out there, sometimes I got the feeling, based on people's masked looks, that I was an inconvenience. I understand that it takes me longer than most people to navigate down the grocery store aisle (yes, in the right direction), or getting stuck behind me and my crutches as I hobbled to my table in a restaurant isn't ideal, but currently, that's my life.
To the wonderful people I met along the way that offered a hand - opening a door, offering to put my groceries in my car, and even asking if I needed help physically getting into my car with crutches - thank you! It's nice to know there are helpful people in our area. To those people who sighed heavily, rolled their eyes, or made comments under their breath - here's to hoping you're never in a situation where you need a helping hand...or foot.
The A-Z of Hudson Valley Restaurants
Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic: