Saturday, November 15, 2008

Living with Crutches 101

For all of you who read the blog (all 20 of you) I thought I put together a little hint list in case you ever get stuck having to use crutches. For those of you who have ever had to use crutches, I would LOVE to have your tips and tricks on how to survive with crutches.

1. Whenever I can I go up and down the stairs on my hands and knees. Luckily we have carpeted stairs.

2. It will take a couple of days for your armpits not to hurt. You may think you are doing it wrong, but it is probably that your armpits need to get use to it.

3. To get something from one end of the kitchen to the other, move in steps. Move your "thing" up a little, then move yourself, then the "thing", then yourself. Eventually you'll get it over to the other side of the kitchen.

4. Wear clothes with pockets, this will also help you get things around.

5. Stretch

6. Sometimes it's easier to hop.

Till Tomorrow



beth - total mom haircut said...

Oh, sweetie - don't know what to say. Thanks for the tips?:) I've never had to use crutches. It certainly sounds like you're adapting!

LadySample said...

Jenn Jenn, PLEASE before you do ANYTHING- Get a NEW pair of really strong supportive shoes- I bought New Balance- this will help your healthy foot take on the brunt of the work. My first weeks on crutches I was wearing sandals because it was summer and my left leg got really tight and hurt a lot and that was stupid. Learn to crawl all over again- it saved me :o) Get a stool to sit in on in the shower. Get a little table cart with wheels if you can, this was one thing I wished I had to push things I needed around the house. Don't commit to anything if you don't have to- take your time and know you are doing the very best you can. Catch up on movies you have wanted to rent. You poor thing. I was on crutches for 7 weeks. Originally at the ER I was told that I would not be a candidate for surgery- which was lovely I thought- so I continued with my plans to go camping for a week with my boyfriends family. And I figured that if I could learn to crutch on a camp ground than I could do it anywhere! Which actually was pretty accurate- but no one prepares you for the pain and tightness that your neck and shoulders are going to endure. But keep with it, the stronger you get the easier it becomes. Hopefully you have someone who will massage it for you! Upon returning from camping and finally seeing a podiatrist they informed me that I was going to need surgery 'if I wanted it' and I said YES! DO IT! (and trust me, I am not into surgery, or insides or hospitals or any of that) . My reasoning you might ask, I had lots of time to sit on my bum and read blogs. Check this one out-

The photos of the surgery are the worst (trust me- I wasnt even able to look at them for a while but then it became like a car accident on the freeway- you dont want to look but you also cannot look away and it ends up becoming fascinating- but what I learned later was that this graphic surgery was preformed only AFTER a patient attempted to heal conservatively. My surgery was much less invasive and I only had ONE stitch, isn't that incredible? I was only at the hospital for 4 hour and was feeling better right away- I even caught myself almost walking in the middle of the night a couple nights later to get to the bathroom before I would remember to drop to the floor and crawl.

Jenn- no my fracture was not displaced. But PLEASE especially because you are a mom on the go, GET THE SURGERY!!!!! It is the quickest most efficient way to insure the re-union of the bone. I was told that because Jones fractures are so close to the end of the 5th metatarsal that re-union is highly unlikely because of a strong ligament that is attached to the back and leads up your ankle.

PLEASE read that link that I sent you- honestly read the stories of people who have commented on the bottom. ALMOST ALL OF THEM wish they had gone ahead with the surgery right away because most of the time they still are unhealed and require surgery in the long run.

Also I was in a air cast boot that I was able to remove to bathe and sleep. Which I think was wonderful. 4-5 weeks after surgery I was able to start walking on the boot without crutches- while I was slow I was actually able to CARRY things again! who would have thought. 3 weeks after that I was able to start wearing a real shoe again (which actually I thought I would be happy to wear shoes but my ankle became so weak that I was only a few blocks from home wishing I had my boot!) Quickly tho I regained my strength, and although crossing my legs feels strange now, and there are days when it is achy I KNOW i would not have healed this quickly had it not been because of the surgery. Especially because the pin insures the stability of the bone. My doctor said that if the pin becomes uncomfortable it can be removed but that it is so far in there that he thinks the bone has most likely grown over it. Getting it removed is often a simple in office procedure.

My doctor has thanked me several times for not being hesitant on the surgery and for doing my own research! And realizing that the people who have written on the blog link that I sent you- the reason they have enough time to write about how they are STILL NOT HEALED is because they didnt have it done. Or they happen to have broken their foot while overseas and many countries do not provide such surgery. I am much of a natural medicine and remidy person but I am so thankful that we have doctors and professionals who are able to properly enhance the healing time frame. Some people on the blog have been off of their feet for 6-8 months! Also I have friends who have had similar breaks years ago who never had the surgery and are still re injuring it several years later.

I say, do it for your kids. I am a nanny to a 3 year old- and getting around with him was very challenging, but I am so happy to be hopping on my feet again.

In reality from break to real shoes again was 2 months, but I gave myself a good month to walk slow and regain my right leg and ankle strength again. So that makes it 3 months.

I hope you don't feel like I am being harsh or telling you what to do, but I know as a mom (and just a average walking human being) you want to be up and about- or otherwords, you HAVE to be up and about so PLEASE take my words to heart!

Honestly nothing can prepare you to be off of your feet for several weeks. Truthfully I became a little bit depressed because I did not feel self sufficent- I had to let my bills get behind because there was nothing I could do about it, my mistake was not calling and talking to the companies because what I found later was that often times they have special breaks for people who become injured. I couldnt walk my dog, and my boyfriend and I do not have a car so I basically was house bound. After surgery we went and stayed up north with his mom for 2 weeks to recover. (I could have only stayed 1 weeks and been fine but we stayed an extra week because we are starving college students ha ha) I coulndt clean or do laundry, all I could do was think about all of the things I couldn't do. So I bought a board game called The Settlers of Catan and it really helped the time pass. It is a 3-4 person game. Ages 12 and up (but Brian's little sister is 9 and she loved it) It is complicated at first but I watched some youtube videos to gain better understanding. We played endless games of this and got people hooked, all thanks to my broken foot! otherwise I would have never found that game.

Alright. I hope you get this. Sometimes I don't see comments on my blog until way later- I tried to find your email but still have a hard time navigating through blogger.

Much love and sympathy,


LadySample said...

Oh yeah- one more thing- when going up stairs sit with your back facing up and use your arms and healthy foot, lift yourself to the next step. repeat repeat repeat.

okay two more- Also NEVER put your crutches all the way in your arm pit. I was told that there should be a three-finger space between the top of the crutches and the top crease of the armpit because when people put pressure on the armpit it is uncomfortable and can lead to severe nerve damage. Your armpits have so many nerves. This seemed impossible at first because that meant I had to actually carry my weight with my arms and back but eventually it got better.

Umm one other thing I did in the first week was make a makeshift potty by the bed, I know that sounds crazy but I am one of those people who wakes up several times a night to pee and our bathroom is on the opposite side of the apartment from our bed. I had an old foot stool that no longer had a step so I was able to place a bucket in the middle and sit on the stool as if it were a toilet seat. I only used this for pee and will admit that sometimes I would become pee shy even though I knew my boyfriend was sleeping I still couldnt do it. But the few nights I did use it it saved me.

hope that wasnt too much information!

Goofball said...

crutches in Belgium (europe?) aren't as high that they reach the armpits. They cling to your elbows.

As I fortunately don't have personal experience with crutches , I wouldn't know which system is the easiest.