It couldn’t have happened at a worse time…a slight twist of my foot and I’ve ended up with two broken (the 4th & 5th) metatarsal bones in my left foot, my leg is now in a cast and I’m coping with crutches. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, Charles Dickens famous opening line from A Tale Of Two Cities could easily describe my life now. For weeks to come, I’m not allowed to put any weight on my broken foot. The injury to my foot means that everything I need to be doing must now be accomplished on one leg and two wobbly crutches. I should call them “devil sticks” and if you’ve ever been in a cast and on crutches for a non weight-bearing problem, I believe you will understand. If not, you might think I’m just being a baby about my predicament.
While crutches have been used for hundreds of years as a way to aid in walking, my wobbly, cold aluminum devices don’t seem to help me get around a lot better than when they were made from carved wooden branches hundreds of years ago. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little but crutches definitely affect your ability to function in your day-to-day life.
Maneuvering around with these things takes a lot of upper body strength and requires good coordination and balance. If you are young and fit, this might not be much of a problem but I don’t seem to have any of those attributes. If I did, I probably wouldn’t have broken my foot in the first place. Using the crutches for even small distances has resulted in aching shoulders, arms, hands, hips, back and a sore knee on my good leg and this is just the first week.
The simplest of tasks have now become difficult or next to impossible because both of my hands are occupied holding myself up on the crutches when trying to walk on one leg. I’m a very active person and don’t like to rely on others but I’m now dependent on my husband helping me with most everything. The food shopping, cooking (thank goodness he is a very good cook) and keeping the house in order have now become his tasks. Mowing the orchard and taking care of my vegetable and flower gardens will have to be done by others as well.
Just trying to get around the house has its own problems as there are steps throughout our home. As far as I’m concerned, stairs and crutches can be a dangerous combination. Any misstep I might make could lead to another accident so for safety’s sake, I’m “butt scooting” up and down our main staircase each morning and evening. Needless to say, I’ll need to buy a couple of new pairs of jeans when I can once more go shopping.
Keeping my crutches within arm’s reach can create a problem as they easily slide and fall, knocking over anything in their vicinity. Within the first 24 hours of using them, they have knocked over a large glass of water and a cup of tea which I couldn’t reach and wipe up. Thank goodness, my husband was nearby to dry up the spills. Life is not going to be a piece of cake for him either over the weeks to come and we are both learning to adapt.
You might be wondering about my reference to the best and worst of times. The “best” is that I’m very grateful that I have the help of my husband and friends, many people who live alone are not that fortunate. I’m also grateful that I’ve got an Aircast walking boot instead of a plaster cast which I’ve experienced on previous breaks. It certainly makes life easier as I can remove it and carefully sit on a shower stool to bathe. Once my foot has progressed in its healing process in a few weeks, the hard plastic cast with its rubber sole will allow me to put some weight on my foot and walk with the aid of my crutches. After the bones get stronger, I’ll be able to get rid of the crutches. At the end of 6 to 8 weeks, I should be able to eliminate the boot.
Another positive note has been the good response of people looking at our home that is now for sale. One couple in particular seems to like our home as much as we do. If we can all reach an agreement in the next few days, we will then have to be packed up and moved out of our house by the end of August.
Now you can understand the “worst of times”. This seemingly small injury to my foot is going to create real difficulties getting ready for our move to Florida. What we are taking with us has to be packed up and ready for the movers in a matter of weeks. Everything we are not taking with us has to be moved over to the barn, priced and sold over the course of a few weekends. I’m supposed to keep my foot elevated so accomplishing all of this while slowly shuffling around in a cast and on my crutches will be a real challenge.
The limitations placed on my life are annoying at the very least and problematic when considering the move ahead of us. I’m learning to cope having my leg in a cast, using the crutches and I’m grateful that this is not a permanent situation. They are all small things compared to what millions of people have to endure for long periods of time or perhaps the rest of their lives. I’m looking forward to the day when the doctor tells me that my foot is healed and I can put away the cast and crutches, hopefully not to be used again.