You can’t beat getting outdoors for a bit of fair weather walking. I like canal paths. They’re mostly flat, easy to access and you can walk for miles. Don’t launch yourself down any slopes though. I tried it already.At least A&E wasn’t too busy. I swapped jokes with my buddy and we passed the time between triage, blood tests and x-rays. The nurse dropped her bombshell but the news didn’t really sink in. Words like “immobilisation” “back-cast” and “anti-coagulation injections” left me blank so I just listened politely.
Before long I was hopping off on my new set of crutches with “… whatever you do, don’t put that foot on the ground” ringing in my ears. I was baffled, bewildered and wobbling about all over the place.
Breaking your leg just above the ankle hurts. It hurts a lot. I’ve left out the bit between the ‘gravel slope’ and getting to A&E on purpose.
Home alone with my phone, a bottle of water, the TV controls, painkillers and my foot stuck out front on a cushion, the words “what the hell am I going to do?” rattled through my brain.
Well, two months on and I’m back on two feet. So here are some tips in case the same thing happens to you.Bum shuffling: Get used to it. Crutches are down-right dangerous even on the flat. You’ll get to a step or flight of stairs and be stumped. My ace husband made tray for my pot leg to help the shuffle go even smoother – like it?
Knicker flicking: There’s a knack to getting dressed and undressed that involves flicking your smalls into the air and catching them before they hit the floor. You have to avoid dropping anything on the floor because you can’t reach it without tongs. Tongs, the sort you flick bacon over with, are essential.Wine capping: Carrying stuff, especially drinks is really tricky. Find a plastic lid that fits your wine glass early on – it’s very important. You don’t want to drink your wine stuck in the kitchen because that’s just weird, unless you’re at a party. If you can’t find a lid that fits, the hell with it, just drink the bottle.Toe flossing: Not being smelly is a challenge when you can’t have a bath or shower so work out how to stay clean. Make sure what you need is within reach. If you need help, ask for it because no-one can read your mind, even if you think they can.Wheelchair ironing!?: I was lucky; we got one second hand (a wheelchair not an iron) and it was brilliant. Also, the big supermarkets have battery powered scooters. Just bear in mind that some go faster than others and don’t always stop just when you want them to. Take it from me.Toe warming: Wriggle your toes. They get cold though when you’re watching watch TV so warm them up. My mother-in-law will knit you a bobby hat for them or you can borrow mine.
Do whatever it takes to feel better; sleep, catch up with friends, read, listen to the radio, watch cricket. Your broken bone won’t stay broken but, when it all gets too much…
…swear loudly and launch your crutches across the room – you’ll definitely feel better then!