After going through the horrific process of breaking a leg, I vow to never use that wretched saying again. When urging someone to do their best I might instead say, ‘go get food poisoning’ or simply ‘really really hurt yourself’. I am 25 years old and had until recently counted myself in the lucky group of people who had never broken a bone in their life. Last month, whilst cycling I got hit by a beige Ford Focus no less. I broke my tibia and fibula bone and have been hobbling around on crutches ever since.
The initial pain is of course bad…very bad but what follows, such as the dragged out and uncompromising boredom, which you must endure as your bones rebuild themselves is somehow equally as bad. My friend Jami who lives in South Africa is going through the same broken leg problems. Same shit different country. She was in a car accident a few weeks before me and although she doesn’t have a cast, she did need surgery and has two titanium screws in her body like a half-baked Wolverine. She broke her femur, which is apparently stronger than concrete and the hardest bone in the body to break….ouch! Here are somethings that we both quickly discovered after breaking our legs.
I hate my crutches. They hurt my armpits, hands and put a lot of strain on my good leg. On the plus side, they can be used as chopsticks to pick items up off the floor.
You can hold small things in your mouth like your phone and still use your crutches but that’s about it.
Well the other day I took it upon myself to be independent and went to the kitchen to make myself a sandwich. Needless to say this ‘independence’ was short lived, I had to call someone to take my plate to the room because, well, crutches.
Not being able to lie on your side is awkward! I have never been able to sleep on my back but alas, I am learning. The plus side of sleeping on your back is that it helps prevent your boobies getting saggy.
Having to sleep on your back for weeks and weeks is daunting. I never thought I could, it seems I can. Or maybe its just all the pain medicine helping with that.
The first week after they put my cast on, my leg swelled up pretty bad. It was so painful I almost ended up back in hospital. You can counteract the swelling by taking Ibuprofen, elevating your leg and eating pineapples!
Getting itches in your cast is a torture they should practice when questioning terrorists. You can’t reach that itch. You literally can’t get to it.
Getting creative with your cast makes up for all the above!
My type of break required an operation, so there are these metal rods inside my leg holding the bones together. I don’t need a cast. Every damn person I encounter asks, ‘oh, but where is your cast?’ Then they don’t take it as seriously. It’s almost as if people need a visual confirmation for all this? Like it can’t be so bad because she doesn’t have a cast?
Not having anything to wear. Full leg cast people will understand. No jeans, no shorts…just dresses.
You have an excuse not to wear a bra for quite some time. Who needs boob jail?
You can also wear pyjama like clothing whenever and wherever.
Showering is no longer a walk in the park. You end up doing it out of necessity. If you are like me and can’t get up the stairs, to go from dirty skank to some low-grade version of clean, you will need the following utensils.
- A bucket
- Soap & sponge
- Garbage bag for your cast (can’t get it wet)
- A down ass friend (most important…remember you can’t carry things)
Not being able to shower! I think it gets to that stage where your body produces those natural oils that body lotions and hair products apparently inhibit. Na I’m kidding you do wash but not under running water. More with a bucket of water and a cloth.
Not being able to do shit!!! Kneeling down to pick shit up is a thing of the past.
Simply going out of the house is an adventure. Going to the corner shop is an expedition which requires assistance.
Getting fed up at the fact you can’t just pick your shit up and walk will become a thing.
Not being able to dance kind of sucks… just bobbing your head.
Boredom will strike like a blunt rusty knife. Netflix is great when your days are filled with other things like going out and socialising or working but starting, continuing and ending your day watching Netflix is another matter.
Watching one episode of something becomes alien to you. You watch entire series without even noticing. You may say you will take up hobbies like drawing, knitting, learning French or playing the guitar and you may even start all these things, yet inevitably, you will end up back at Netflix.
You have a reason to read all the books you wanted too but didn’t have time too (or learn to make ‘loom’ bands – like me. Saying that, all the time on your hands does get boring. Watching movies or series gets tedious, and you find yourself daydreaming of outfits you want to but can’t wear.
LIFE GOES ON
Although it is sometimes impossible to imagine keeping your sanity in tact after 6 weeks of sheer boredom and relying so heavily on people for pretty much everything, you will get through it. People really pitch in, which is lovely and you will value walking, running and sleeping on your side all the more when you finally can.
Most of all you realise how lucky you are to have your life and although losing your independence is crappy, you see how awesome people are, and how people you never even thought of pull through and are so considerate… thank you 🙂
Jami is a Drum and Bass DJ. Click here to follow her musical escapades https://www.facebook.com/jamiellag?ref=hl