Friday, June 15, 2012

Must Have Items....If You Ever Break Your Ankle

 I have been in this current cast for a week now, and the pain is really gone at this point. Almost 5 weeks since the fall, and since then I have had five different casts, and a really painful recovery from surgery.  If you ever have to have this surgery, and I hope you don't, plan for the first week post surgery to be pretty bad, and take it day by day.

Right now, I sometimes get a stinging feeling where my three incisions are, but overall, I am dealing with discomfort and just the general feeling of being in a cast and dependent on others.  I am pretty much over it at this point and looking forward to walking again very soon.  I still get those random spasms/shocks up my leg, but not as often as before.  I had one last night when I was trying to fall asleep and it was sooooo painful.

Anyway, that's not technically the purpose of this post but thought I would share...

So, if you EVER break your ankle or have any sort of ankle injury (and I sincerely hope you don't) there are some items that I highly recommend you purchase, borrow or rent to get you through the journey to recovery.  It's kind of been a learn-as-you-go process for me, because this is all new to me, here are the items that have really gotten me through, to this point.

  1. A large water bottle/jug - I have been drinking A LOT of water these days and because its not easy to get a refill and you don't always want to wait or rely on someone else to get you more water, having the largest water bottle you can find is important.
  2. A backpack - I learned very early in this process that there are certain "things" that I need to carry around with me when  move from the bed to the couch and back to the bed each day on my crutches.  I was initially relying on my husband to transport all these items for me, but then had the idea to use my The North Face  backpack to carry everything I needed.  Now, I am packing my backpack with my laptop, phones, chargers, water bottle, books, pens, notes, medicines, whatever I need.  It's small and sounds silly, but I feel so independent doing that!
  3. A bath bench - So, in addition to all the things you can't do on your own when you are immobile, the main one is obviously regarding hygiene.  I will just say this....find a caregiver that you trust and love, and invest in a bath bench.  It can be quite dangerous without one - tried it.  
  4. A cast cover -  While you're using that bath bench, you don't want to get your cast or split wet AT ALL, especially after surgery when your incisions are healing.  I was skeptical about using this cast cover, but we tested it out, and so far so good.  I haven't completely submerged it in the water, but its really helpful for how I am using it right now, and I am so glad I have it.  
  5. A knee scooter - This may be the coolest thing to come out of this whole ordeal.  It certainly has been a conversation piece.  I use this to get around downstairs and will likely take my new wheels out for a spin at the mall or something this weekend.  It's so much faster and safer than crutches.  You can purchase these or rent from a medical supply store.  I think doctors may also write prescriptions for them too.  I bought mine, I hope we never need it again though.  You can also buy baskets ad other accessories to help you with getting around and carrying items.  So far, every person who has visited us has had to test the scooter out for themselves -its pretty fun :)
  6. Patience - You can't really buy this, but you have to have it to get through this.  If you don't have it, it will be miserable.  I believe we are each allowed the right to "pity party" days, and I have certainly had a few a lately.  But really just be patient with your recovery, your family and friends who are helping you, and with your injury - its a long process and returning to normal life will take a while - there are still many times I wonder "Why Me?!?!" and "WTF!!!" but I am learning to be patient and focus on each milestone as an achievement.  
I'll quote one of my favorite movies here ("What About Bob?") - "Baby step to four o'clock. Baby step to four o'clock."  Each hour, each day, each week is a small step to recovery.  Celebrate it.