Although this isn’t the actual xray of my fractured 5th metatarsal, I believe this ‘artist impression’ is a good representation of my fracture. I did a pretty good
job of breaking it, even if I broke it in a pretty stupid manner!
As it’s been fi
ve days since I broke my foot and I’m starting to get the hang of life with the use of only one leg, I thought I would treat you all to some top tips! These are things I’ve discovered from living with a broken foot!
1) In the absence of a wheelchair, a basic computer chair on wheels makes an excellent alternative. I am now able to move around the downstairs with quite some speed. It also enables me to carry items, which is not possible with crutches. I wouldn’t advise going out in public on your computer chair. You’d probably get some funny looks – stick to the crutches in public places!
2) Crutches really hurt your hands. I have covered the handles with my (clean) fluffy bed socks. This makes it a bit more comfortable to use them.
3) Get yourself an unbreakable flask. If you are not fortunate enough to have a wheelchair/computer chair/carer/personal assistant then a flask is essential for your days caffeine intake! I can just about carry a flask and hobble along on my crutches. It needs to be an unbreakable flask because it does clatter against your crutches as you shuffle along! The last thing you need when you’re already invalid is a trip to casualty after swallowing glass fragments!
Now I make use of my wheely computer chair, I’ve reverted back to making cuppas and carrying them (with extreme care). Be careful to avoid scalding yourself from spillages. I tend to take 2 or 3 sips before I attempt to transport my hot bevarage. I think a thermal cup with a lid would be useful in this situation.
4) A shoulder bag is essential. It’s not possible to get anywhere easily or quickly when you are minus the use of one leg. I have got into the habit of placing everything I’m likely to need in a big shoulder bag. My bag currently contains wallet, keys, mobile phone, cordless home phone, pen, paper, painkillers, magazines and a bottle of water. The bag travels round the house with me so that I’m never far away from the things I need. It’s a real pain to have crawled to the top of the stairs…and then the phone rings downstairs!
5) A tall stool is your friend. I asked my children to place a tall stool in the kitchen for me to use. This means that I am able to reach the sink/cooker and cupboards and have both hands free. I can use the stool in a ‘zimmer frame’ manner to help me propel myself around the kitchen.
6) Create cushion mountains. For the first few days it’s essential to keep your foot elevated. I have created a cushion mountain on the sofa, one on my bed and also have a stool and cushion which I use whilst sat at my computer. I also find that my foot is more uncomfortable than painful and padding it with cushions whilst I am sat down or in bed trying to sleep eases the discomfort.
7) Obtain a big sock! My poor little toes poking out of my cast often get cold and feel uncomfortable. I cover them with a large/stretchy sock.
8 ) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Being stuck in the house might be driving you round the twist…but it’s a long way to hobble to my local shop on crutches – I got half way before a friend intervened thankfully! I’ve had loads of offers of help and people really don’t mind taking a trip to the shop for you (they wouldn’t offer otherwise). Spare your arms/shoulders/hands and healthy leg the trauma.
9) Online grocery shopping rocks! No need to leave your home or have to worry about carrying anything. It helps if you have a couple of eager kids to pack the shopping away when it arrives. Also, expect them to want to sample some of the goodies after they have packed them away – it’s only fair I suppose!
10) Bathtime basics. I’ve started to master the process of keeping clean. I’m bathing every other day and then having a (one legged) stand up wash in between. There’s no need to spend £10 on a “waterproof protector” (as shown on the leaflet given to me by the fracture clinic)! A large carrier bag and some gaffer tape does the trick! Take care climbing in and out of the bath. When you are in the bath stick your poorly leg over the edge and make sure that you have everything to hand before you get in. Dry your good foot well before you get out of the bath to prevent slippage and further injury!