Ten Tips For The Woman In A Leg Cast

Having been in a non-weight bearing leg cast for almost six weeks, I have some advice for you, my dear, precious, wounded friend. First of all, I feel your pain, I know your misery, and I understand everything that you are going through. Hang on sister, let me help you through it, okay?

Ten Tips For The Woman In A Leg Cast

 

I have compiled ten tips to help you manage this treacherous road a bit easier. There will be nuggets of skills you will acquire that I won’t mention here, because you will naturally learn what’s best for you. I could tell you that you will spend more time on the floor than a crawling baby. I could tell you to not reach for things too far and that the walls and doorknobs will be your best friends. I could go on and on about the very details of those moments, but you will soon find those things out on your own. These tips are about managing the big stuff that all those little things create. Allow me to lead you through this tiring trail, with hopes to help and inspire you to make it through.

1. There is no hurry, no longer.

Oh sweetie, long gone are the days when you would jump out of bed and make it to the bathroom to relinquish that everlovin’ urine that had been storing all night to wake you. You will find new meaning in the “Let It Go” anthem that still rings around the world. Running late? You can do NOTHING about it. Nothing. Pace yourself, or you will fall. Promise. Those days before your cast, that fast paced life you lived? Gone baby. “Let. It. Go.” You must be very deliberate with your moves, and pace yourself through each attempt at getting somewhere- anywhere. Slow and steady hun. SLOW and STEADY.

2. Crutches or Scooter?

I am blessed with both, but have learned very quickly on, that the crutches will mangle your arms and shoulders to no return. Did you know how hard it is to balance on those things? It’s amazing how much stuff lives on the ground of this world. Steering clear of it all, and navigating the glorious unpredictable wavering levels of turf, leaves you constantly on alert. Do not. I REPEAT do NOT try to go down or up stairs! Simply drop to the floor (like that’s easy?) and scoot up or down those forbidden steps. Your crutches come in handy, yes. But they can wreak havoc if you need to go far, and cause even more pain than you are already in, so use them sparingly.

The scooter is a blessing from God. It will save your arms, but kill your knee. Using a scooter is a bit like a bumper car running with one leg. Actually, it’s EXACTLY like that. It saves your arms, but it eats at your working leg little by little as you push and pull and steer over and over again to make a turn, then lift and twist around to go a different direction. As for the resting knee, make sure you put padding on the seat. The weight on your knee should at least have a soft landing.

Be well aware of your working leg. With all the hopping and straining and bending, it can only take so much, and you have a long time to depend on it. I will warn you; this poor over-used leg will be in more pain than your casted leg after weeks of compromise. Try to rest your healthy leg just as much as your wounded leg. Before too long, you can anticipate struggling to use them both.

3. Patience owns you.

Yes, you may have thought you were a patient person before this lovely cast prison, but oh no sweet soldier… you are in for a new peeling of layers upon layers of control that will beg and plead for mercy. This is a New Patience: A torturing type that does NOT relent. It will beat you down until you surrender, thereby giving in to any tantrum brewing or screams stifled inside. Don’t try to fight this beast. The battle has already been won. Surrender. You have no choice.

Each day, every hour and precious minute, you must relinquish time, duties, expectations, desires, needs, and daily rituals- you will slowly die to patience. It will take you. Breathe through each moment you sacrifice to the pain, the limitations, and the dire need for more than what you have and what you can do. Exhale the anxiety of dirty dishes and laundry piles and the smelly clothes you may ferment in for days. Allow yourself to inhale the burning dinner and muffle the screams and whines of children as you relinquish all power over your world. Don’t worry, it gets easier to give in. You become weaker with every fight.

4. Don’t wait to pee or eat.

Seriously. Just don’t. Remember the first tip. You just can’t hurry at ALL. So if you wait- You WILL pay for it. On that note, don’t wait until you are starving to head to the kitchen to get something to eat. Just don’t. Your rule of life is this: Everything you do, will take a total of 20-30 minutes. If you wait for these two life-saving missions, you will surely fail or die. Don’t test it. You’d be a fool to, like me. When “Hurry” stepped out, “Patience” crawled in. Learn fast this sacred rule. Honor it. And your bladder and stomach will thank you.

5. Bathing is a necessary heavenly hell.

Stripping your murky clothes off and tying a garbage bag around your leg and hoisting yourself into the bath is not for the weak, especially after you have pulled yourself up the stairs step by step and crawled your way to the bathroom. You will surely need a helper with this task. You will have to hang your leg outside of the tub, and after you balance your body in the tub while scooting this way and that- you will undoubtedly start to feel it in your back/hip/leg/neck. It’s not natural to sit like that!

Bear through it, to feel the hot water on your face and the dirt sliding off of your skin. Allow that heat to penetrate your sore muscles, before you have to hoist your body out of the bath and go about the feat of drying and dressing on one leg. It’s a work out. But the soothing water and soapy cleanse is sure to invigorate you enough to get you back down the stairs one step at a time and hop on your scooter to steer toward your couch home.

6. Healing hurts.

No matter how you ended up in your cast, I’m guessing you have a mighty fine mess underneath it. Broken bones, torn ligaments, scrapped joints, twisted tendons… you name it. PAIN. And healing. Is. Painful. Those jolts that shake you awake, the thundering aches that never let up, the twinges that erupt randomly and zings of electricity that zap your nerves over and over again are healing signs. Then there is the added fiery blaze underneath the cast and the liquid acid that melts your skin, sensations that are all NORMAL. Take meds. Breathe. Hold on. Healing hurts.

7. It gets old.

This pain thing, this hopping and scooting and pulling and hoisting and no hurrying and patience thing gets old. Very old. After the first day. But after 40 days, it gets very, very old. Somewhere this existence starts to weigh on you and the gravity of the burden gets heavier and your mind starts to become vulnerable. It’s usually the pain that does it… but sometimes the very act of being ‘stuck’ strips you of all that you are and beckons you to that slippery bridge toward despair. DON’T GO! This is when you need to use all the strength you’ve got to hold on and find your HAPPY PLACE within. What brings you joy? Find beauty in this mess. It’s there- FIND IT. Despair does no good. If you need to let it out, by all means cry, swear and then pray. Go there. But only for a short time. No use in staying there. The one thing you DO have control over is your mind, and that dictates your heart. Those two things are so much more important than your physical body. Don’t ever forget that.

8. Dive into your loves, somehow.

Although you are in a captive state, you still can choose to embrace those things that are within your reach. Drench yourself in them. Are you crafty? Artsy? An avid reader? Writer? Movie critic? TV junkie? Prayer warrior? Meditation guru? Knitter? Work from home if you need to, it will be a fantastic distraction to the pain. Do SOMETHING. The moment you stop and focus on every detail of your pain, the downfall begins. Have an agenda everyday that is reasonable, and then pour your heart into it. Make this time count for something! Give it purpose.

9. Receive receive receive…

Are you a giver? Not very comfortable with people serving you and lavishing you with their time and effort, are you? You are a woman, which means you do it all. ALL. Well sister, that is gonna change. This time you will be doing very very little. If someone offers you anything, say “Oh yes, thank you so very much!” It is my prayer that you have a community around you that is willing and ready to take on caring for you and your family. If people reach out to help, you simply must allow them to do this. It feels wrong to you, because you think of so many others that so desperately need help more than you do. You feel guilty that they are interrupting their lives for the sake of serving you. Let it go. Be comforted in the caring. Your family is struggling just as much as you, because they are unable to fill your role and that leaves them stressed and exhausted. This is a new level of living, my dear broken friend. Acceptance is key. If someone asks “What can I do for you?” Pick one thing, and tell them. It’s one less thing your family has to do. Be grateful for any help you can get. Your friends are a blessing you cannot deny. Be grateful you have them.

10. Reality check yourself constantly.

This is hard. Every day, you wake up to more pain and patience in new and resounding ways. Each day, while your wounded leg slowly eases it’s furry, the rest of your body has taken the hit. It’s okay to hate it, be angry and start your day with fitful tears. It’s okay to wrestle with why the hell your wrists are so bruised and yell at your working leg to WORK. It’s okay to throw out pleas for mercy and feel the defeat of the long fought battle.

There has not been a day that I don’t thank my Heavenly Father for my two legs. This business of living on one leg? Countless warriors spend their entire LIVES like this. I think about it all the time. I suggest you do too. It changes things. While you might be slipping off into the depths of despair, adjust your lens and change your perspective. This season of struggling is just that. It is not a lifetime sentence. Can you imagine?

Oh my friend, as sure as time flies, this agonizingly slow season will be a fast faded memory. A ‘remember when’ on the timeline of your life. It will speak to your character and reveal a new-found strength. Both of which will be invaluable tools to plunge deeper into gratitude and living. Remind yourself often, of this very truth. Think of those who rise to the call of a life like this one you are living. Realize how blessed you truly are.

 

*****For more encouragement with post-surgery life, you can read these additional posts*****

20 Truths about Life After Foot Ankle Surgery

There’s Hope for Healing.

 

Author Signature

Comments

  1. says

    I love that you are still trying to find humor and light during this time.
    I’m sorry that it has been so rough. I hope you have read some great books, watched some fun movies and rested!!!
    And, mostly, I hope that you will be completely mobile soon!!

    • says

      I’ve done NONE of that Kim. Can you believe it? I keep telling Derek, “What do I have to show for all this time?!!!” He reminds me that it takes twenty minutes to pee or do anything… I pee, A LOT. And then the pain has been so *distracting* and then the parenting thing and well… it’s exhausting, so if I did have time I slept.

      So much for those books and fun tv.

      I get my cast off TOMORROW!!! Mobile… oh, I hope rehab goes FAST!!

  2. says

    Hi Twin! I also have a scooter, crutches and a walker. Triple play! Whoever discovered scooters should win the Nobel Prize. Before I got one, I was using a four-prong walker and I think I tore something important in my right armpit. And that was after a week! Since using the scooter, I’m SO much better. (Just have to watch my knees, because they ache sometimes too.)

    Pee advice is spot on. I lay in bed at 3 in the morning debating myself “Do I need to go? Really?” Yes, really Ceil. Get your sock and slipper on and get to the bathroom. Sigh.
    Don’t get me going on baths. HEAVEN ON A STICK.
    This is my life my love, as you well know. Let’s keep our chins up! I did order some books from Amazon. Here’s hoping they come soon!
    Hugs and a kiss on your boo-boo,
    Ceil

    • says

      I swear I thank GOD for my friend’s scooter EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! I just had a bath tonight… I’ve never been so grateful to be clean. And I ordered a TON of books thinking I would just have this long six weeks of nestling in and reading every last one of them.

      Nope. Not a one. They are all still piled on my coffee table. 🙁 Let me know if you get to yours!

  3. says

    Great tips Chris. My friend just had back surgery and #9 was so had for her. We practically had to have an intervention! People want to help, especially givers like you! Hang in there.

    • says

      It’s really hard for me too, Allie!! But we really must let others serve us when we are in need. I’m actually at the point where if someone says “Can I do anything?” I say “Well, we haven’t cleaned our sheets since early December, so yeah! Can you come do THAT?” True story.

      Desperate times call for… RECEIVING.

    • says

      You are SOOOO GOOD TO ME!!! Thank you for all of your love and support in this mess, Lisa! You are have been such a beautiful encouragement. <3

      They DO apply, don't they? Well look at that! 😉 Hmm... you are on to something, dear one. You GOT IT!!!

  4. says

    *grins* You’re the goodest brilliant example a person could ever ask for, Kitty – look at you taking all that awfulness and redeeming it – rendering it beautiful, even – by turning it into a ‘how to cope’ guide for others. Bless your boots, my darling, you are a miracle.

  5. says

    I so wish I could be there to entertain you, Chris! I would be so incredibly impatient with one leg. But, really, how lucky are we to have both our legs? And you will get through this! xoxoxo

    • says

      Thanks Leah. I HAVE to have humor… I just have to! I literally pretended to do a kick line from my wheelchair after I got my first cast, while my daughter was wheeling me in to the rehab to make appointments for next month. The entire staff cracked up at this CRAZY lady entering the clinic! Ya just gotta laugh.

  6. says

    I adore how you see the humor in the situation and the memorial of how yes you have one leg NOW but some have one leg forever. that you take that moment of crap this sucks into a moment of thank you Father that this is temporary, please let it be temporary because the pain is overwhelming but I am determined to get through it with my grace and humor intact.

  7. says

    I’m not surprised that you have used this experience to gain some wisdom and insight, Chris. And I have to say that #4 is always true, whether you are in a leg cast or not!

    • says

      BWAAHAHAHA!! And here I thought “all of these really truly pertain to life, except the pee/eat one.” You proved me WRONG girl!! That’s my Dana! And now that I think about it…

      You’re totally right.

  8. Amy says

    This is all 100% accurate!! I peed my pants more times than I care to admit. Hopping on a full bladder? Let’s just say I don’t recommend it.

  9. says

    You poor thing! I broke my ankle when Tucker was 6 months old and to get down the stairs, I had to sit on my butt, put him on my good knee, and scoot down one by one with my bad cast leg sticking out in front of me. Also, tried to use the scooter at the grocery store and totally knocked over an entire box of cereal display thing when I tried to turn. Yikes. Hugs to you – love that you’re keeping such a delightful sense of humor through it!

    • says

      OHYGOSH Kristi!!! I can just picture you scooting down the stairs balancing your babe on your good knee! Now THAT is amazing!!! I
      always knew you were a superwoman. 🙂

      I have knocked over more things than I can count.

  10. says

    Bless your heart. <3 Love your advice. I'm not in a cast, but the last six months I have been dealing with a seriously broken toe and a pulled core muscle. I could hobble on one foot….once I could manage to pull myself up. Ha ha. I hear you on the crutches. I tried to use an old pair, they were awful. They hurt my shoulders, and were brutal on my hands where I have been dealing with joint pain. You were spot on with the bathroom thing. One morning, when my core/back muscle was at its worst, I was in a hurry to get to the bathroom, and my back gave out on me, and the weight went…..on my foot with the broken toe. Back to square one. Ugh. This stuff is not for the faint of heart that is for sure. Love your advice about doing some things you love. Love that. That is so healing all by itself. When you feel normal again, you are going to want to celebrate! It does make you much more appreciative of what we have that does work. Hope you feel better soon, my friend. xo

    • says

      Oh Topaz! I could just picture you trying to get to the bathroom and your back giving out on you and then your poor toe getting the brunt of the fall!! I tripped on my scooter- toppled over it and fell on my casted leg, then immediately (reflex I’m sure from the pain) jumped off of it and fell on the bench in the hallway and rolled onto the floor slamming my wrist and hip. It was a good start to the day. LOL

      I just lied there facing the ceiling while the kids yelled “DADDY!!!! MOM FELL!!!!”

      ugh. You and me both girl. I SO wish we lived close, so we could nurse our wounds together!

  11. says

    This give me a whole other understanding of what my mom went through when I was in high school. She broke her ankle and had surgery and was in a cast for several weeks. I remember thinking how silly she looked going up and down the stairs on her but…as a sprightly teen, she looked ridiculous. But that would be me now. Hope the cast is almost over!

    • says

      Oh your poor mom! I can tell you Bev- it’s NOT easy. 😉 And I look completely ridiculous plopping on the floor and crawling everywhere. I’m over it. Humility wins, when you spend this much time on one leg. lol

    • says

      Oh gosh Tam, I love you for saying that!!! You know – of ALL people, how hard it has been. I pray I come out of this season running with new found faith and fortitude!

  12. says

    No matter what life throws at you — you remain upbeat, positive and are able to find a way to help lift others hearts up. Hope you are out of that cast and feeling better soon!

    • says

      Oh you are so kind Andrea! I am *trying* to stay upbeat. It’s been HARD. But Cast coming off TOMORROW! I pray the rehab is FAST. I’m ready to get back into LIFE.

  13. says

    I flashbacked to the time I had knee surgery with every single word. I didn’t have a cast, but I was immobile and in pain for many weeks. Stairs were not my friend. And I barely go anywhere fast when I am not injured, but oh yes — this was an entirely different kind of slow.
    And that’s why I do not run. Ever. Again. No way I am risking another blow out and have to go through that pain, patience and MIND numbing again.

    • says

      Do you know that I TOTALLY get this, Leslie!! I covered *every damn divot on the ground* so I WOULDN’T twist my ankle. I ran to FIRST base, and went DOWN on one there. ~Apparently I didn’t think to look right near the bases. Well played, Irony. Well played.

      I ended up breaking off the rest of a broken bone dislodged in my ankle from ANOTHER tball game I played back in my 20’s.

      Double well played… Irony. DOUBLE.

      Pff.

      I tried not to ‘run’. I really tried!!! LOL

  14. says

    Oh.. sigh. You definitely cracked me up, and made me sad.
    I’ve never had pain or any injuries (knock on wood). I did joke to Cassidy about the scooters at Disney World the other day because he has really long legs and I can’t keep up with him while pushing a stroller and diaper bag. I just can’t. However, I’m pretty able-bodied and I found it very hard to walk around for 13 hours.
    Glad for scooters for many people.
    Wishing you a faster recovery, my dear! And let it go! That pee. Let it gooooooo!

    • says

      Thanks babe. The scooters are the best- unless you have small corners to get by or a fridge that opens into the stove… whereby you cannot get to the fridge. BUT- I’ll take it. I had my first rehab yesterday… this is the beginning to the end. 🙂

  15. Viviana says

    Thank you so much for this… Broke my foot 15 days ago and I can relate so much to everything you are saying… helps to know I am not alone, everyone feels the same way! Thank you!!

    • says

      I’m SO glad you were able to read this and that it helped you in some way Viviana! I do hope that by now, you are back on your precious healed foot again?! If not, please know it takes TIME. I am still not moving fast, and still sore and aching. Hang in there… be patient… it will come. 🙂

  16. Edwina says

    Perhaps you should add a chapter about life in a full leg-toe to groin plaster cast. No scooters for Edwina. The problem you have to guard against is soiling the top of the cast. Because of the time it takes to get to and get seated on the throne I wore a diaper for three months. Kids loved it a mommy in a diaper, snicker snicker. .

    • says

      OH my gosh Edwina!! That sounds absolutely terrible!! I can only imagine how hard that was for you! You must have really broken something fierce underneath that cast! Bless your heart…

      I bet your kids ran with that one!

      How are you doing now? I hope and pray you are out of that cast, and up and moving around now. It sounds like you had a long recovery road ahead. SO sorry. <3

  17. Lisa T says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! My 7th week of my right leg in a cast ends this coming Friday. I know first hand everything you wrote is true. I CAN’T WAIT to be able to walk again. I had broken bone fragments (degenerative joint disease) and a cyst between my tibia and talus bones. Doc had to break the bottom of my tibia to get them out. I have 3 screws and a plate now. I’ll never complain again about having to park in the back of a parking lot ever again!

    • says

      Oh Lisa!!! That sounds SO painful and difficult!! I’m so sorry you have had to endure such a complicated surgery and recovery! It’s amazing what we take for granted, isn’t it? Lets dream of going for a LONG walk together, okay? 🙂 I do pray you recover and heal soon. Hold on… your first steps are coming!

  18. Rachelle Davis says

    This was such a relief to read! To know that other grown women break bones and are going through something similar doesn’t make me feel so silly. I broke my tibia and fibula of my left leg and shattered my ankle as well! It has only been a week but some of this advice was so great and I know I will be putting it to good use. I was playing softball and tried to slide into second base, my leg had other ideas. Thanks again, I have another week in a splint, than its 4-6 weeks in a cast and then physical therapy.

    • says

      Oh NO!! Bless your heart, Rachelle!! I’m so glad this post could encourage you! Hang in there, my broken friend! 🙂 I know the recovery road is long, and healing has it’s own time… but you WILL make it. Promise! (They are taking my screws out July 7th… back in the boot I go. Sigh. Baby steps… wobbly, weak, weary baby steps! But they DO go forward!

  19. Bri says

    Thank you. With tears. I broke my leg/ankle in July and I needed this so much. I didn’t expect it to make me break down and cry. I thought it was just going to tell me to grab doorknobs. Thank you so much.

      • says

        Well, now I’M CRYING!! lol

        I am so deeply touched that my words are resonating and (hopefully) encouraging you Anna! It brings that amazing feeling of confirmation that such a difficult time in my life can have a purpose. <3 HANG IN THERE!! It gets better. I know. I've lived it. 🙂

    • says

      Bri… hold on sweetie. Hold on. I KNOW exactly what you’re going through. I am your *future you* and I can tell you that it WILL get better. You WILL heal. It will come… maybe it already has?! I’m guessing you’re not there *yet*.

      I do hope you held on to those doorknobs though. And counter tops, and any railings or furniture that surrounded you!! 🙂

      If you’re still struggling to heal, just know I get that too. It all takes precious time. Try to honor it, and YOU. <3 And if you need to cry some more... go right ahead. Imagine me giving you a big HUG.

  20. Anna Marie says

    OMG…….I broke my ankle on August 11th. Just had surgery on August 19th. Every single thing in this piece is perfect. I have felt every single one of them. I am going stir crazy!!! I really am not alone. I have a fabulous husband, children and friends. I am very active but am learning to take things at a slower pace.

    • says

      I. GET. IT.

      Try to keep perspective… this is truly one dot on your timeline. Surrender to it, allow yourself plenty of grace and honor your healing. Use your down time to establish something purposeful in it- so you can still feel ‘busy’ despite not moving!! That was key for me! Make this season count for something. Set a goal. And remember all of these tips!! HUGS!!!

  21. Carol martinez says

    Loved this post–thanks for keeping it real! One the *almost* one year anniversary of breaking my foot! I now have broken my tibia! Anther 8-12 weeks off of teaching for this school year. I’m in total shock that this could happen twice! I’m heading to surgery in a few weeks, after the swelling goes down. My heart sinks to think that the 8-12 weeks of healing starts over again after the surgery. These first three weeks of agony don’t even count. Trying to not let depression set in as I face the mountain of patience that’s standing before me.

    Anyway–your article is spot on. Wish others knew what an ordeal it is. Some people just think it sounds like fun , plopping on a couch all day. Not fun!

    Carol

    • says

      Oh Carol!!! You POOR THING!!! Okay.. okay… Lets look at this as a sabbatical. You got this! This is your time to discover something new- for yourself. Try to find something that will inspire you, or perhaps allow you to grow and learn something that you couldn’t if you were active. Give this time purpose. I will be praying for your ‘down time’!! I can only imagine how difficult it is to deal with not only the pain and all the recovery, but the mental anguish as well. Find purpose! You can do this! Big picture thinking… widen your lens to realize that despite another low lying season, it is still a blip on your timeline. You will have so much more life ahead of you to live on your feet! Take this time to LIVE on your bottom, your back. your side. LOL You are still very much a valuable and worthy soul. Remember that, always.

  22. Lisa says

    I just found your blog tips for moms in a cast! I’m just out of my second surgery after I fell through the attic (about 12-15ft) out onto a concrete breezeway at a preschool where I teach 4K. I initially had a external fixator on for close to 3 weeks and then the week of Christmas I had my surgery to rebuild my entire ankle. I shattered and broke both ankle bones (one bone breaking through my skin). I’m now in a temporary splint. I’m hoping to get my cast on shortly, but have been told I am to be non-weight bearing for at least 3 months at this point. I have already found your tips to be very comforting and I love how blunt and honest your tips were. Thanks for being REAL!!
    Broken Down mommy of 2 ❤️

    • says

      OH my goodness, Lisa!! You POOR THING!! I am so so sorry you had such a horrific accident! How on earth did that happen? I’m guessing the preschool is hopefully covering all of your time off and medical bills. Just terrible! Bless your broken bones! AND you’re a mommy of 2? Oh my. I hope you are taking good care of yourself and honoring your healing, dear mom! I can only imagine how hard it has been for you! I’m so glad these ‘tips’ spoke to you and comforted you in some way. I know you get it! I will be praying for you.

  23. says

    Oh man I fell & broke my foot tonight & am sitting here lying in my daughter’s bed because our bedroom is upstairs. I could barely make it up the stairs into the house. Feeling sad, unable to sleep & having no idea what to expect your post is a total comfort to me! I’m in a splint cast until tomorrow when I see an orthopedic doctor. I can already see that you are 100% right about accepting help. I am incredibly bad about that but have had some hard lessons that have forced me in the past couple of years to receive help. I am putting out the call for help tomorrow! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom & experience!

    • says

      OH Kalani!!! I am SO sorry you broke your foot! Sigh… it’s not an easy road- but and this is a BIG BUT- this IS TEMPORARY. It feels like you have fallen into a big pit and the agonizing climb out of it will take so much time, pain, and hard work… but I promise you WILL climb out. I’m SO glad you read this, and that you are putting out the call for help! Honor your limits, your pain, your healing. Pace yourself and be good to your broken body, okay? I’ll be praying your recovery goes smoothly and QUICKLY. Hold on mama. Hold on.

  24. says

    I sobbed as a read through this. Ten days ago I broke my ankle, requiring four hours of reconstructive surgery and five days in the hospital. The real kicker is I had rotator cuff repair surgery at the end of December on the same side as the broke ankle. Essentially my entire right side is down, and the doc says I won’t be weight bearing on the ankle for two MORE months (the shoulder estimate is 4-6 months). That means no crutches and no scooter… wheelchair bound for the duration.

    No stairs. No driving. No showers.

    I’ve only made it this far on the generosity of my sister friends, women who are so wonderful, thoughtful and generous they scheduled themselves around the clock to care for me, arranged meals to be made and delivered, and attend to my every need, anticipated or not. I’m still overwhelmed by their love, and I know there are lessons in this slip on the ice (ironically, while on the way to shoulder PT)… slow down, be patient, let go of thoughts and actions that don’t serve… As a yoga teacher, I preach these things but don’t always practice them…

    Anyway, this post touched me. Now I’m going to stop being a martyr and take the pain relief I was scheduled to take an hour and a half ago…

    Thanks for sharing.

  25. Barbara Siminsky says

    You can learn to become comfortable in a cast, it is a matter of attitude and accepting you life sytle change.
    About 3 years ago I broke both my tib and fib falling down a flight of stairs. Clean break, and the doc gave me a choice surgery or not surgery. Surgery meant I would be in a long leg cast for a much shorter time like 3 months, no surgery meant I most likely could be a cast for a minimum of 4 month and possible over a year.
    I decided to go with no surgery. The doc set the bones in my leg and put me in a long leg fiberglass cast. Being in a cast does very much immediatly change your life style. First I noticed once my bones were set into place and I was put into a cast after about 2 weeks the pain started to go away. I made up my mind that I would just accept everything like it is that I will be in a cast and be on crunches for quite awhile and that was it. What I found once I got my frame of mind to accept being in a long leg cast it wasn’t so bad, I found I really interesting enough did not even mind it – which was a really good thing because after 4 months the doc had to rebreak by leg and recast me, he told me that most likely it would take a good year before I could go without a cast. I am actually glad I did not go through surgery even though I had to be casted for a good year once I did learn to accept it which is key it really isn’t that bad.

    • Alexis says

      I was delighted to read your post. I am about to be put in a full leg plaster for 4 months. Like you I decided to avoid surgery. I am in hospital now with leg in traction to stabilize my fractures. Can’t wait for the cast, but am apprehensive about what it will do to my life. Any advice on what to expect would be welcome

      • says

        I can’t even imagine four months in a full leg plaster, dear Alexis. I hope and pray you have the support you need and some good ideas on what to do with that time while you are healing! This sounds like an agonizing journey, but try to remember it WILL be over. Use those four months to work on something, pursue a new hobby or purpose that you can invest your time and your focus on so that you can still feel fulfilled in other ways. Whatever you can do to help you learn and grow while you are ‘stuck’ will be SO important. If you can, please keep me posted, okay?

  26. Kristen says

    This made me laugh!!! Thank you!! I wish I saw this 2 months ago before I got my TWO leg casts! Broke both my ankles and had surgery. I have knee high casts. My daughter (9 yrs) and I had to move back home with my parents (which you need humor for as well 😆) I needed a lesson in patience…. And I got it…, X 2….. Getting casts off tomorrow!!! I’m ready for boots!!

    • says

      YOU BROKE BOTH YOUR ANKLES?? Oh my goodness, Kristen!!! You POOR THING!! I’m sooo glad you (by now) have the casts off. Oh girl, you just HAVE to find the humor in all you must have went through. Oh my gosh. I am so sorry though. How on earth did you manage that stunt? 😉 I’m so glad your parents were able to help. I hope you are healing in those boots and almost near the end of this incredible road. And I’m so glad this made you laugh. Just perfect!!

  27. Anne says

    I’m so grateful I found your post. I had the misfortune of first discovering some posts and vlogs that shamed for using scooters to shop or wheelers to… exist insisting that I should instead be run/hopping some sort of marathon around a running track (in crutches) for cardio?! I felt like I was failing at healing from a broken ankle.
    Reading your post (aloud) I just cried! I’m not some cross-fit, superwoman but I’m not weak or lazy. I struggle so badly with letting people help me or wait on me… even when it’s appropriate. This has been like psychological torture to accept or ask for help. Thank you SO much for saying everything you said and amusingly and beautifully as you did. I needed it more than I realized.
    I think I can handle this afterall. 🙂

    • says

      You CAN handle this, sweet new friend!! I can’t even imagine what posts or vlogs are out there pushing that nonsense! Good grief. You just keep honoring your healing RIGHT where you are, and please keep letting go and letting others help you! (I know how hard that is!) Remember, this is TEMPORARY and people WANT to bless you with their help. Let them. 🙂

      Your comment means SO much to me. I’m just so glad this post helped give you some encouragement and hope. XOXO

  28. Jennifer says

    Today is 18 days for me. I stumbled upon your article, it is exactly what I’m going through. Thank you! It’s good to know that all these things I’m going through are normal.

    One thing I would add, I’ve learned ouch, is wear a good shock absorbing shoe on the good leg. It saves it from being rolled on with the scooter, lessens stress on the foot…

    God bless you!

    • says

      Ah- that is such great advice, Jennifer! I wish I had read this before my own surgery! Do you know that I finally figured out JUST last night why my pants don’t fit right? It’s been over a year and my one leg is bigger than the other- from all that my working leg had to do and the atrophy of my casted leg. Isn’t that nuts? I wonder when they will level off again.

      I hope you are healing well and quickly. Hang in there!!

  29. Patti Anderson says

    Day 6 after surgery – I sure did need to read this. I will have to keep coming back to this. I can’t imagine day 44. I am Non-Weight Bearing for 12 weeks. I see the Dr. tomorrow for my first post surgical appt.

    Thank you!!!!!

    • says

      Oh Patti! I’m so sorry. I wish my book was published NOW, so you could have it to help you through your recovery! I hope at least you can visit the other posts I added at the end of this piece, for additional encouragement. Hang in there. You WILL get through this. Keep repeating: “This is temporary.” <3

  30. Emily says

    Thank you so much for writing this! I’m in a cast now after a foot surgery, and really needed to hear all these things from someone having a similar experience. I especially needed to hear everything under # 7 after nearly breaking down in tears anytime I have to do what was previously a simple task with two working feet, to what is now a huge ordeal. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • says

      You are SO welcome, Emily! Oh girl, do I know what you are going through! I do… It was SO frustrating, and sometimes unbearable. You can DO THIS. Please be patient with yourself and remember, this will be OVER. I just had this inverted corn cut out of my foot, and I was IMMEDIATELY thrown into that same lack of control, having to be off my foot. It’s incredible how quickly those memories come. Just a few days is NOTHING compared to those weeks turned into months. Find your strength in reminding yourself that this is temporary- and distract your frustrations with all things you are GRATEFUL FOR. I swear this helped me survive.

      Keep that big picture perspective, okay? This is TEMPORARY.

    • Emily says

      Hi emily in a cast, this is another emily in a cast. I have two more weeks left, I had broken one ankle in 3 places and dislocated. The other ankle remains sprained. I just stumbled across this post and cried… It’s been flowing tears for weeks now! To go from caregiver to caregivee in an instant is a tough lesson. And usually a very lonely one! Friends that have gone thru it before are so understanding though. It s a terrible club to be in, but here we are!

  31. Alexis says

    I will be joining in a week or so. Planning to spend the next 4 months in a “toe to groin” cast. Your blog is wonderful. I don’t know anyone who has had to wear one of these casts so i am trying to learn about them Does it really go all the way to your groin? Yuck!

    • says

      OH Alexis, I’m so sorry! I can’t even imagine a ‘toe to groin’ cast… It sounds utterly awful! I hope your recovery goes quickly and I’m so glad you found my blog!

  32. Vicki says

    I needed this. I am in a cast with a broken foot. It really helped me. Did you go through depression also? What bugs me the most is not being able to drive.

  33. Kaitlyn says

    Thank you so much!!!! I had surgery on my ankle and leg 3 weeks ago and am in a cast for a while! I am a mom of three young kids(1,2,4) and have my brother living with me and my husband to help while I recover!!!! This article helped me so much on such a rough day!!!!! I love my scooter. I have all three crutches, walker, scooter. The scooter has made it so much easier to do things…..except maybe stairs.

  34. Merna says

    Oh man! It was nice to find your article and read your advice, tips & humour on having a leg cast. I am currently in a leg cast after breaking my foot on a trampoline and had surgery. It is tough at times because it’s my right foot and I can not drive. I am housebound and reliant on my mother for help with everything. Time is going too slow and I miss my old life. Can not wait to be weightbearing again and live life to the fullest! It’s nice to read about someone who has survived this!

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