Yesterday I came home from the library to find my husband lying on the living room floor with his leg up on the ottoman and an icepack on his knee. He had been unicycling in a rocky drainage area near our house (a favorite pastime for him), when he fell just the wrong way and blew out his knee. He unicycles all the time, and wears tons of protective gear. Unfortunately, it didn’t help his knee. He’s had a bad knee since he was a little kid and had a skiing mishap that resulted in a kneecap on the side of his knee. Since then, he’s re-injured it several times, so he knows the drill. He has to first push the kneecap back into place (ouch!) and then ice, compress, elevate until it feels better. This is the first time it’s happened in the six years we’ve been together though, so it has been a while.
He was sort of hopping around the house this morning, so I decided to see if I could find him a pair of crutches. Our local thrift store has a huge bin full of them, so that was my first stop. I dug through the bin until I found two that matched, were aluminum, and were adjustable to his height. Those two didn’t have prices on them, but just about every other crutch in the bin was labeled $2.99, so I figured I’d pay about $6. Not a bad deal. I got to the register and the lady asked me how much they were. I told her that the others were $2.99, so she rang it up and asked me for $3.25. Oops, I explained again that they were $2.99 each, and that I was expecting to pay about $6. So she voided out the sale, started over, and then asked me for $1.62. I must have looked confused, because she explained that she was giving them to me half price. OK. If I kept talking, I was going to get them for free, so I just paid the $1.62 and left. Chalk it up to a lucky day.
I washed the rubber parts of the crutches with hydrogen peroxide, and my husband is happily crutching around the house now. I wonder what crutches would have cost if we had gone to a doctor to get them?