Many years ago I broke my hip. A day or two after the operation I already walked to the shower by myself, with the help of a walker. When I entered the shower I dismissed the nurse who accompanied me. There is a chair in the shower-room that I can sit on, I don’t need her help to wash.

My independence and pride lasted a minute, perhaps… The bar of soap slipped from my hand and I, the independent hero, couldn’t possibly pick it up. I had to call the nurse…

These days I have a problem with my knee. Walking is difficult. After several weeks of suffering, I finally went to Yad Sarah and borrowed a crutch. I don’t use it all the time. I never use it at home. But when I go out I take it with me. Often my knee starts to hurt after I walk for 2 – 3 minutes, and then, if I am outside, the crutch saves the day.

But as my knee starts to improve… as the pain is becoming more bearable… I start to get an argument from my family, from my wife and my children. “Why do you take the crutch? You don’t need it anymore! Why do you want to look like an invalid?” And I find myself in the defensive… “I never know when the pain will start again…”, “I feel safer this way, it gives me confidence…”

And then it happened…

I dragged myself down the stairs from our apartment; I got into the car with difficulty and drove somewhere; I parked the car and struggled to get out of it; I got the crutch, I straightened myself out and got ready to take the first step… and then the car key fell out of my hand, hit my foot and went under the car…!

Now what? What do I do now? Having a crutch in my hand I don’t feel embarrassed to ask for help. But there is no one around!… After scratching my head helplessly for about a minute, I hold on to the car handle and the crutch and succeed somehow to get down on one knee (the good one), peek under the car to where the key is, use the crutch to pull the key towards me and then use the crutch to help me stand up again…

I give a very deep sigh of relief!

And my new year resolution is: never allow anyone to talk me out of carrying a crutch whenever I want to!

Outside, because of the pain.

In the car, because I may lose the key.

And in the shower, because I may drop the soap…

David Wolf

Israel, April 2018