The Ridiculousness of Crutches

Posted by on September 14, 2008 at 2:23 pm :: 38 Comments

Do you remember as a child how you thought it would be so much fun to break something and get a cast or get to use crutches? You imagined no doubt that this would get you endless attention, treats, and special privileges. You would of course get to skip your chores, and, if you were lucky enough to break your right arm, maybe you would even get out of doing homework. This seemed like an ideal situation, right? Well, now after my first cast/crutches experience let me tell you…your childhood self was stupid, stupid, stupid!

My cast is enormous!

My cast is enormous!

After surgery I was stuck in bed per the doctor’s orders: foot elevated, doped up, and lethargic.

After a few days of watching bits of movies between drug and exhaustion induced napping, I was feeling better and ready to start using my crutches for more than just going to the bathroom.

My litte toes in my big cast.

My little toes in my big cast.

Now that I have been using these annoying devices for a couple weeks I have realized that they, along with my enormous purple cast, make everything ridiculously hard to do. Only those who have been forced to use crutches and cope with a cast can truly understand the magnitude of this annoyance. Since this has been my first experience with casts and crutches I had no idea just how much they would drive me crazy!

Me seeking some sanity from a ride in the mountains.

Me seeking some sanity from a ride in the mountains.

For those of you who have never had this joyous experience let me help you visualize how your life on crutches would be. Imagine you have no hands (You can’t hold anything, duh…you are holding your crutches.) and that you have only one leg. In place of your second leg you have a deadweight that is tender, heavy, cumbersome, and useless. Now imagine trying to go about your daily tasks with your one useful appendage. You want to go shopping? Good luck. How are you going to hold your purse? How are you going to walk around a huge store? How are you going to push your cart? Or perhaps you just want to stay at home and take a nice hot shower. Well, too bad, you can’t. Unless you want to cover your cast with a garbage bag, tape the top to your skin with an overabundance of duct tape, try to somehow maintain your balance on one leg as you shampoo and soap up, all the while holding your other leg in an extremely awkward position in a useless attempt to keep your cast dry, only to realize in the end that you still got it wet and have to spend the next hour, following your exhausting shower, blow drying it. Sounds fun doesn’t it?

Yes, let me assure you, casts and crutches are not worth getting out of doing your chores.

Here are some of the more frustrating things about this unwieldy duo:

Stairs the Rachel way.

Stairs the Rachel way.

Stairs:

Since we have a two-story house I regularly have to go up and down the stairs. I have found that the easiest and safest way to do this is by sliding on my bum, dragging my crutches in one hand and balancing myself with the other. It looks and feels completely silly, and wears me out.

Our friend Jacob doing stairs an unsafe way.

Our friend Jacob doing stairs an unsafe way.

Bathing:

If you have a cast or are getting one on your leg it is my solemn recommendation that you do not try to take a shower while casted. No matter what you do, no matter how many rubber bands and rolls of duct tape you use, no matter if you triple bag it, no matter what! If you take a shower with a cast your cast will almost inevitably get wet. I bagged, banded, and taped my leg absolutely comical amounts and still my cast somehow ended up wet. My suggestion is that instead of a shower, you take a bath. While bathing is still obnoxiously difficult, it requires less effort than a shower and is not nearly as risky as far as cast wetting goes. I recommend you follow this procedure when bathing with a cast on your leg: bag and tape your cast, have some sympathetic volunteer (that your are willing to let see your blubber) assist you in getting into the tub (If you don’t have any acquaintances that fit this description, good luck getting into the bath without assistance.), put your casted leg up on the side of the tub, fill the tub (I advise not getting the bath too full so you don’t risk getting your cast wet.), bath, drain the water, then seek help in getting back out again.

Jas blow drying my cast after my first showering attempt.

Jas blow drying my cast after my first showering attempt.

Carrying Anything:

If you have crutches there is only one way, and one way only, to carry an item thicker than a piece of paper-hopping. Yes, that’s right; you put your crutches down, pick your item up, lift up your decrepit leg and hop on your good leg until you reach your desired destination. This is hard work, if you don’t believe me give it a try, you will be panting in no time. Last week I had to transfer a vase of flowers a coworker had kindly given me from my car to the kitchen sink, to get some water for the thirsty flowers, and then to the living room where I wanted to display it. Since no one else was home to help me I was forced to hop all that way. Good thing I’m in shape is all I can say. I have hopped more in the last two weeks than I have the entire rest of my life put together.

Sleeping:

Simply put, sleep doesn’t happen. In the last two weeks I have been up tossing and turning in bed until 5 AM or later nearly every night. An uncomfortable position and an uncomfortable leg are not conducive to sleeping.

I have been trying to figure out some cure for this dilemma, taking Advil PM seems to help.

Writing my post

Writing my post

Having a cast and crutches does get me out of doing my chores and many of my normal daily tasks so I guess in that way all those childish dreams were accurate. However, instead of actually doing something productive with my energy I get to use it all crawling up stairs and hopping around like Thumper. So if you still think having crutches would be a blast let me know and I’d be happy to break your leg.

38 Comments

  • Not to be all sunny or anything (that would be way out of character today) but crutches are great! Imagine what you wouldn’t be able to do without them. Okay, I confess I have never used them. It seems like they would be really painful, less so for someone as light as you. Be glad for that.

    If you’re going to do a lot of mountain drives I recommend the southern shore of Utah Lake from Lake Shore (by Spanish Fork) down to Genola. Then dinner at The Family Tree in Santaquin (Mmm, scones) and I-15 for the quick trip back.

    Fun (and potentially money-saving) Factoid: The sleeping aid in Tylenol PM (and probably Advil PM) is Diphenhydramine, AKA Benadryl. I too am a fan of this stuff when I need to sleep better.

  • Der says:

    WTF being on crutches was always fun when I was a kid, hell you always have a weapon that you could crack Jason in the balls with. You could have even still played soccer if you had wanted to, I know I did as a kid. And going down and up stairs was always the funnest, cause there was always that chance that you would going over backward or forwards and would die a bit when it did happen. But overall it was still fun as heck.

    That and my mom slit all my pants down the left seam and put velcro in them so I could still get them off and on easy… it was awesome.

  • Cam says:

    Now hold on a minute- having a cast when you’re a kid is a blast (cast blast, I call it). Let me take you on a little trip. You and I actually have more in common that you realize (I don’t know I hadn’t thought of this before!). When I was in 4th grade, I was involved in what I would call a serious bike accident. I had my heel cut open,and my achilles tendon was nearly severed.

    I got a sweet trip to the hospital, some surgery, and I have an awesome car on the back of my ankle. Anyway- guess what else I got? A cast, drugs, crutches, and a buttload of the good life. Yeah, stairs sucked, but I got carried. Bathing was hard, but I was a kid and bathing sucked anyway. I didn’t need to drive, people carried everything for me, no school, no homework, and being stuck in front of a TV all day was like being in heaven! Sleeping? Kids can sleep anywhere. Crutches were the shiz- set them too high and see how far you could vault. Everyone wanted to try them.

    So my point: If you had your surgery when you were a kid it might have actually been all that you had hoped. As an adult, with responsibilities, obligations, and life in general, it’s a pain in the ass. Too bad this didn’t happen when you were twelve; it just might have been fun.

  • Rachel says:

    Don’t get me wrong. I am very grateful for the crutches, without them I wouldn’t have the limited mobility that I have now. So thanks crutches, you do your job well.
    Andrew, I will have to try that mountain drive. Jas and I have been taking regular drives up AF and Provo canyons to keep me relatively sane. (I say relatively because am I ever THAT sane?) So it will be good to try another route.
    Jeremy, I mean Der, I haven’t tried using my crutches to crack Jason in the balls yet but it’s good to know I’ve got them just in case I ever need to.:)
    Jas would probably be excited if I put velcro seams in my pants-easy access.
    And Cam, yes, as a lazy child crutches would probably be the bomb but as an adult they suck! I have gotten a couple piggy back rides down the stairs from Jas but for the most part I am on my own.

  • jacob says:

    I just wanted to say that if you went up and down the stairs like I showed you, you would have some amazing, well defined legs! I mean just look at the work out! May be I should start my own work out video.

  • Rachel says:

    Jacob, I already have one very well defined leg from hopping around constantly…my other leg is jiggly like Jell-O. It’s awesome and amazing!

  • Rachel says:

    Just in way of an update, once your foot has healed a little more, Jacob’s “dangerous” way of stair travel works fine. But it is definitely not the way to go up and down the stairs in the first couple weeks after surgery.

  • Pat says:

    I think I am prob older than you lot, at 57. I live alone in uk and have no family nearby. I was very fit and broke my ankle 2 weeks ago out hiking. But I’m overweight, non-weight bearing and the crutches frequently reduce me to tears of exhaustion.
    I have borrowed a wheelchair and tend to just crawl around the house. But I think friends are suggesting I’m not persistent enough with crutches and should try harder…ouch!!

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Pat,
    I’m sorry you are having to deal with crutches. They are very annoying! They do become slightly easier to deal with after you have been on them for a few weeks. I shortened mine so that they weren’t in my armpits. It forced my arms do all the work, so they did get tired, but it kept me from getting the armpit bruises I know are common for crutch users. I hope you will be on your feet again soon, until then, just hang in there!

  • Zina says:

    Hey Rachel maybe you can help me out – I too broke my ankle and am not weight bearing. I use walker, not crutches. I am too heavy and unfit and I can’t hop upstairs on crutches the proper way. So I tried this bum sliding method up and down the stairs and here is what I simply do not get – how do I get up from the floor once I get to upstairs, and how do I sit down when I go back? I guess it doesn’t help that there is nothing to grasp at on the second floor… I hauled my walker with me, but it doesn’t seem to be stable, especially when trying to use it to sit down. So basically, this time around my son helped me to my feet and back, but I want to be able to do it myself… So, how do you get off your bum once you reach the second floor – and how do you sit down?

    Thanks a lot!

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Zina,
    I’m sorry you are having to deal with the mess of going up and down the stairs in a cast. It really is a lot of work and very tricky. I would be happy to do my best to help you. I used my stairs’ railings to stabilize myself while I was sitting down and to pull myself back up. It sounds like you don’t have a railing at the top of your stairs? That makes it even trickier. Some ideas that might help:
    Continuing sliding on your bum when you get to the top of your stairs until you reach a door frame, you could use the door frame as a brace while you are pulling yourself up.
    You could also use a stable piece of furniture.
    I hope that helps. Stairs are very frustrating to deal with when you can’t use both your legs.
    Good luck!

  • Jenn says:

    Hi there! Thank you for taking the time to write about your trials and tribulations on casts/crutches. I was searching the net for ideas on how to take showers with crutches and I came across your blog.

    I’m single and live alone and have the unfortunate reliance on crutches. On Wed of this past week I was out playing softball and as I was running for the ball I heard (and felt) a loud pop! Instantly I was unable to walk. Luckily it was my left leg so I left my ball game early (second inning) and drove myself to the hospital. After a few hours they were able to determine that I hadn’t broken anything but that I had severely pulled my calf muscle (for which I will require rehabilitation for afterwards) and the possibility of emergency surgery should it not get any better. In the meantime the doctor recommended the use of crutches for which I fought him on. Insisting that I could walk (even though I was limping and merely using my toes for stability) and he of course, was less than impressed with my hesitance on using crutches. I’m on day 2 of using them and am still having difficulty. I’ve pulled all muscles in my arms using the crutches too! I’ve even been lucky enough to fall using the crutches, only once (so far, this morning), stepping off the curb walking to my car. Luckily I landed on my bum. I escaped injured free! lol.

    I don’t really have a question for you but just simply a thank you! I may not have a cast and I maybe able to put a little bit of weight on my foot but we are all in the same boat. Happy writing and you now have a new reader! Thank you 🙂 Jenn

  • Rachel says:

    Jenn,
    Good luck with the crutches! I know they are tricky and frustrating to use.
    I fell down the stairs once when I was using mine. Man did that hurt!
    I wish you and your calf a speedy recovery!

  • Aimee says:

    I’ve been on crutches for six weeks now, and I just have a few tips for any future readers of your blog (if you don’t mind that is!).
    #1. Showers – I’m in a nonweight bearing fiberglass cast that can’t get wet, so I bought a shower seat. Lifesaver I tell you! Well worth the $40!! And then I purchased a cast cover! http://nwmedicalsolutions.com/pd-waterproof-cast-cover-adult-short-leg.cfm This is also a lifesaver! Absolutely no water is touching this cast!
    #2. Stairs – Take it slow! Going up the stairs (I broke my left foot) I take my left crutch and put that on the opposite wall, put my left foot on the stair, hold onto the banister behind me and push up with my right crutch, and I move my left crutch with each stair I hop up. It takes a while, but I haven’t fallen once! Going down the stairs, I use both crutches, stick my left foot out in front of me, lean back a little, put the crutches down to the next step and hop down. Sounds dangerous, but much more effective than sitting on your butt!
    #3. Crutches in general – Your arms will scream in pain for the first couple of weeks, and so will your “good” leg. And this is the worst thing I can say & surely not the thing you want to hear, but the pain will go away. You just have to keep using them. I’m stuck on them for another three weeks, and I get upset every morning that I can’t walk.
    Anyone who gets stuck on crutches, good luck. Take everything really slow, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and complain to everyone. No one else can feel the physical pain you’re in right now or the emotional struggle you’re going through with not being able to walk, so let them know how you feel.

  • Rachel says:

    Aimee, thanks for your additional feedback. I did use a shower chair once my cast was off but I didn’t know such a thing as “cast covers” existed. I would have been all over that!
    As I got a little more used to the crutches, and off the high doses of pain medication, I did stop sliding up and down the stairs on my butt. I got pretty good at holding the crutches with one hand, the banister with the other, and just hopping up or down the stairs.(This mode of stair travel did make my hubby a little nervous.) But Percocet, crutches, and stairs are a bad combo! The butt sliding was necessary for me for the first couple weeks after surgery; I was just too drugged to be stable. I’m glad you have found a method that works for you.
    Good luck with the crutches over the next three weeks! They are a constant annoyance!

  • Shai says:

    I was recently told that I have to have almost the same surgery the only difference is they put me on crutches now before it, because I have severe nerve damage and my toes keep going numb. But anyways I hate crutches! I used them for aprox. twenty minutes and started getting bruises under my armpits.

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Shai,
    You can save your armpits all that pain by simply shortening your crutches so that they don’t quite reach all the way into them. Then you use your arms to support you instead of your armpits. It does get a little tiring sometimes but you build sweet arm muscles pretty fast and you won’t get any armpit bruises.

  • Bryan Collins says:

    been on crutches for 6 weeks now thanks to some guy in a car who didn’t like my motorcycle…….will be riding again in about 3 weeks (so says my Dr.)…anyhow….most pain I’ve found is coming OFF the crutches….the achelies (sp?) tendon and other foot muscles have atrophied and while there is NO pain at the site of the break, there’s quite a bit of pain in my heel and arch.
    Best of luck you you!

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Bryan,
    I didn’t have too many issues from atrophy in my foot, though my calve was an entirely different matter. Good luck to you! I’m sure your foot will be feeling better in no time.

  • Pam says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Even though you wrote and posted this over a year ago, I’m glad it’s still up on the internet for the world to find. I’m sitting here in my cast (broken ankle) nursing the cramps in my upper arms brought on by those &*$##@@ crutches. Reading your post, I laughed so hard the cramps loosened up! I loved “Stairs the Rachel Way”. That’s me these days – up and down the ridiculous way. At first I laughed about it – two weeks later and it’s not so funny anymore.

    Thanks for your sense of humor and your post. I’m laughing again. 🙂

    Hope your leg is better!

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Pam,
    I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I figured I would either be laughing or crying about the situation with my leg so I might as well be laughing. It is miserable trying to deal with a cast. I hope you will be free of it soon! Good luck in your recovery!

  • Jon says:

    Rachel –

    Thanks for your blog. On week three of 6-8 week cast for a broken leg. Crutches are horrible. They are simply torture devices that should be banned under the Geneva Convention. I fell twice in 48 hrs (once on steps and one when my cruch slid wildly on a plastic food lid) and now I’m thinking of asking the doc for an x-ray just to make sure I didn’t displace the bone…because of crutches. I recommend for the best mode of indoor transit: secretarial chairs (will only work on hardwood floors or tile.) I went to a conference at a hotel last week and rented a wheelchair. Some people asked me why I didn’t use crutches. Of course these people had never used crutches or they wouldn’t have asked. Of course after I’m done complaining, I think about Haiti, and then I realize how fortunate I am. When I’m done I’m donating my crutches to a relief organization. Because at the end of the day, crutches do their job and if there was a better way, someone would have invented it.

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Jon,
    Crutches are a pain! I’m sorry you’ve fallen twice. I fell down my garage stairs once while I was on crutches and that hurt like nothing else.
    Going to a conference while in a cast…you are a brave man. I had a hard time just keeping up with normal daily tasks.
    Good luck to you!

  • Lisa Bradfield says:

    Has anyone sustained nerve damage from improper use of crutches. off crutches for two weeks now and nerve pain is awful. Taking gabapentin, which helps some, but am worried about how long it takes to heal. Was not given insructions when i recieved crutches, put weight under armpits instead of on hands. Any ideas?

  • Rachel says:

    Lisa,

    I’m so sorry you are having issues with nerve pain. I had some problems with that as well about 3 or 4 weeks after surgery – man did it hurt!

    Did you have surgery or just break your leg?
    If you had surgery then experiencing nerve pain is quite normal for the first month or two – unfortunately. But as you become more mobile it should improve and go away.

    If you were on crutches due to a break and are experiencing nerve pain now I’m not sure what to tell you. I completely avoided resting the crutches in my armpits. I adjusted my crutches to be shorter and solely used the muscles in my arms to work them. It took a lot more effort but I didn’t want the armpit bruising I had heard a lot of crutch-users complain about. For some reason doctors don’t seem to tell people about shortening crutches as an option to prevent armpit soreness. Maybe they just figure most people are too lazy to operate their crutches the hard way like I did. My doctor actually didn’t give me many pointers on using crutches either besides the basic way to step with them; I just messed around with them until I found a length that worked for me and didn’t hit my armpits. I am so sorry that you weren’t given enough information to make your crutch experience as pain-free as possible.

    If you didn’t have surgery and you are experiencing nerve pain I would definitely talk to you doctor. If you did have surgery, don’t worry, the nerve issues should go away soon.

    Good luck! I hope you get feeling better!

  • Enjoyable read. I wish I had the motivation to write such good posts onto my own blog. I guess I just need to try harder.

  • Too Phat for Own Good says:

    Oh THANK YOU! for this blog! It helped me somewhat in my suffering.

    I had a bad fall. Broke my calf bone, one of the bones in my foot and royally messed up my ankle ligaments/tendons last week.

    They gave me morphine and T3’s for when those run out. Morphine was ok, but the T3’s Work better.

    Im 260 lbs, but was in really good shape until this happened.

    I’ll share what Ive learned first, then whine after, cause this is what’s helped me survive so far.I did do some research, and will do more after posting this but here is what Ive found:

    Crutches: The device from Hell; make sure you have 3 finger width from armpit to top of crutch, and Hand grips are to be basically even with your wrists. To move, you pin the top of the crutches to your sides (ribs) with your arms, and the placement for your wrists assist in making alot of your upper body do the work, not just your arms. You dont want the top of the crutches directly under your pits, you dont EVER want to use your pits! This is what causes nerve damage, and its God aweful pain, that may not go away. When using the crutches the proper way, yes, you tire out in 10 secs at first, but gradually, your strength and stamina build, and it becomes easy-breazy, not over night, but youll see the difference every day. When up on them, move the crutches 1 foot in front of you with injured leg too, then follow through with your next step with your good leg. It does take practice, go super slow so as to not kill oneself, but avoid watching your feet, look forward, not down. It makes it much much easier, just take small steps at first, until you understanhd the concept.

    You guys have a better understanding of steps then I do. Mine are outdoors, and the only way to get out of the house, so I dont go outside. /giggles Mine are also cement, the rough kind, but when coming home, I did do the “Butt-Scooch” method, but dont think it would be fun to shred all of my jeans just to get out for some sun.

    My List of whining, in no practical order:

    I think I would like to just have my leg cut off, thank you very much, because the leg is always in the way. Have to be careful about where you sit, cause you may not be able to get up. No rolling over in your sleep. Its like having a small child wrapped around my leg, its soo heavy. At first, I thought it was circulation, so I adjusted my cast (aircast: it’s adjustable), nope. If I sit still too long, the leg starts feeling heavier, like a full grown adult wrapped around the leg. Going to the bathroom is always a riot, not! And of course I have a bladder of a 5 yr old, I try to only drink sips of water, cause the bathroom is just not a good place for one in my condition. The leg always feels like its in the way too, like: “I could just get up and go over and open the window…nooo, turn on my lamp behind my couch…nooo, Hang up my clothes…nooo, you get my point. Oh, and changing clothes, the darn thing seems to grow longer as I chase my leg down to put a pair of pants on, or sock….ugh. And to think I did yoga before my injury, and could easily reach 3 inches past pointed toes. Yes, I said I was over weight, but I was in the process of loosing 80 of it. I was doing 1 hour of yoga, 2 hours of swimming, 1 hour of tredmill, 1 hour of biking and 1 hour of weight training (every other day for that tho) just prior to my injury. Sleep, Yes please, I would love some, I only get 2-3 hours of sleep at a time. I am overwieght, and destroying my good knee, so I had to rent a wheel chair. Crutches do become fun, but its not something I would ever wish on my worst enemy. Oh, bathing was not fun at all, I only have a standing shower, and I already slipped once in my bathroom after then injury, so I stare at the shower like a demon waiting to have me for a snack, Ill do the sponge bath thing, which isnt pretty, and about as fun as trying to get dressed. /sigh

    Thank you for letting me vent, best of wished to all!

  • Rachel says:

    Too Phat,
    Yes, those sadistic devices known as crutches don’t belong in your armpits. It only took me about 30 seconds to figure that out.
    And the shower is a demon!
    Good luck and thanks for sharing your crutch humor! 🙂

  • Brittany says:

    As I lay here in bed after tossing and turning for several hours, several nights in a row, it is approaching 5 am. I had surgery 3 weeks ago and have contemplated the dremel tool many times in the middle of the night to remove my cast. My hips are so sore from being popped out of socket while trying to sit up in the tub with my leg out. I’m able to be distracted during the day, I make it through despite all the frustrations. At night is the worst when I can’t get comfortable and the cast claustrophobia comes in full force. It’s so good to know that someone understands! Thanks for the tips, after being casted several times prior to my surgery for the chronic tendonitis I’ve gotten to be quite the pro on crutches. One thing that’s very helpful for me is leaving a pair of crutches at the top of the stairs that you can use while you are upstairs, and one for the downstairs so you dont have to tote them up and down. Vaseline for the cracked skin you’ll get on your knees from crawling up the stairs and other short distances that feel like miles. There is this awesome thing called a knee walker, it’s like a scooter but you put the knee of your messed up leg on it and off you scoot! Very helpful for when you are going to be walking long distances (the mall or something, cuz the crutches are so exhausting!) and also helpful around the kitchen when preparing food cuz you are able to use your hands a little more. You look silly but hey it works! Also, if you wrap ace bandages around the cast or get some socks that are tights material, they easily go over your cast so it won’t mess up your sheets. Also, buying big socks and putting them over the cast to keep your toes warm! As far as cast claustrophobia i just elevate and ice til i can hopefully sleep. Sometimes I’ll lay back close my eyes and suck on mints. Minty lotion of sorts applied to the areas directly outside the cast help to make you feel a little more free. Massage the toes too, just to get the blood flowing, as long as it doesn’t hurt to do so. I’ll definitely have to look into the crutches buddy thing, and the shower seat for when I get the cast off and the walking boot on, since I won’t be back to 100% at that point. Good luck and happy healing! :] thanks for the post!
    -Brittany

  • Brittany says:

    Ps-the cast covers that someone above commented about are helpful just be careful! If you get the slightest hole in it (often caused by the texture of the cast when you set your foot down on the shower floor, tons on teeny tiny holes) you will be drenched and squishy and won’t even realize it til youre out. That same fateful event lead to a dremel tool and a very happy fiancée who got to peel off my squishy mess and get re-casted the next day. :]

  • Rachel says:

    Brittany,
    Thanks for all the great tips. Good luck in your recovery. I hope your cast comes off soon!

  • Susan says:

    Thanks for this blog! I injured both of my feet about 10 weeks ago falling down the stairs, (broke two bones in my left, completely tore a ligament in my right) and after surgery a few weeks ago I am going to be on crutches for about 2 more months. I tend to just stay down unless it is really necessary for me to be up and around. I am getting to the point that I am bored with reading, watching TV and other mundane activities. I would love it if someone would hand out suggestions on how to do laundry/cook/clean while on crutches….

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Susan,
    Crutches do make even the simplest task very difficult. Fortunately for me, I had a husband that was willing to take over the cooking and cleaning so I can’t say I really tried doing laundry while I was hobbling on them. I did get pretty skilled at hopping around on one foot or kind of scooting along on the ground though. I’m not sure if you can hop since both of your feet have been injured but if you can that makes some housework possible. I wish I had some brilliant suggestions for you but man, crutches are just kind of the pits. I hope your feet get feeling better soon and you are able to figure out how to do some productive activities.

  • Susan says:

    Rachel,
    Unfortunately hopping is out for a while… My left foot continues to heal but it still complains from all the strain put on it while I keep the weight off of my right. I keep crossing my fingers and saying “Only six more weeks!!” to myself over and over again….

  • Kristin says:

    To all those who say crutches are easy and oh so helpful: try walking around with a cast and crutches on a college campus with many steps on a rainy day. I recently had surgery on my right ankle to reconstruct the ligaments. The first two weeks were killer when I had to elevate my ankle 23 hours a day, that meant hygiene, movement, bathroom breaks, food breaks were all limited to an hour a day. When I finally got my cast, I had two days to adjust to not only having a cast and crutches, but moving more than 10 feet. I returned to college to realize that in order to use an elevator I had to first go up a flight of steps. Oh and before I forget, there’s hills at my college. Needless to say my arms as well as my body were beat after only a day of classes; this had been the most movement I had done in over two weeks. I started debating with myself whether I really needed to eat because I was just too exhausted to go get food, which led me to only eating about a meal or two a day. So on top of muscle exhaustion, I was also week from the lack of nutrition. Today, to make my situation worse, it decided to rain. I took my time going to classes and walking up/down the stairs, but ultimately a wet floor and crutches do not go well together. I fell and landed not only on my cast but on my arm as well. So there I lay mortified and in pain, hoping I did not make my leg worse. Many nights I want to cry because I am so sick of the cast and the crutches. I am a girl who played basketball since I was 5, a girl who went to college to play basketball and now I am reduced to the girl with the cast and crutches. No one understands the struggles I go through each day and not only the physical pain, but the emotional pain as well. Having a cast and crutches might seem fun as a child, but as a freshman in college, I can say the experience is painful and frustrating.

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Kristin,
    I can only imagine trying to navigate on a college campus with crutches. Just trying to get in and out of work was hard enough. And I feel your pain on the fall; I fell down the stairs once with my crutches. It made my leg light up like a Christmas tree. Man, did it hurt!
    All the best to you. I hope you won’t have to deal with your cast too much longer.

  • Joel says:

    I broke my ankle about 7 weeks ago and quickly learned that using crutches sucks and avoided it as much as possible. As it is snowy and wet here at this time of year, I took 2 spills that made crutches only for emergency use for me. What saved my sanity (and prevented more broken bones) was my rolling desk chair from my office desk at home. I could scoot around my home easily (no carpet) using my good leg as my oar on an ocean of hardwood. This left my hands free to do anything…cooking, cleaning and exercising were easy without fear of falling over or tripping. Of course, you can’t use this device to go up and down stairs, so I still had to resort to crutches or butt surfing to navigate those. I still liked using the crutches occasionally if I knew for sure that there were no wet spots on the floor…they are a good way to maintain upper body strength if utilized properly!

    I never even attempted to shower in my cast…the fear of losing my balance and falling onto wet porcelain while alone was overwhelming. I just bagged the cast and sat on a plastic chair in the tub, using a small bucket to pour water from the tap so I can control the water that goes near my bum leg.

    I have my 6 week appointment in 2 days at the fracture clinic…hopefully I can get rid of these things once and for all!

    Joel

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Joel,

    Yes, I agree. It would be scary trying to get in and out of a tub without help. I never would have managed it without my husband. What a pain!

    I hope you are now cast free!

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