About Me

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I love to create, be a mom, a wife, a teacher, and a Jesus follower. These are just some of the musings about who I am!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Don't Break a Leg

So, when I was 13 I went to a year-end party on the last day of school.  We did all sorts of crazy things, among them was throwing eggs at each other (kids!!).  While I was attempting to dodge an egg, I misstepped and fractured the 5th metatarsal in my left foot.  In plain talk, I broke the long foot bone that connects to you pinkie toe, about mid-foot.  

(this is not my actual foot, although the fracture line looks very similar!  Image source)

Great way to start the summer, eh?  I spent 8 weeks in a fiberglass cast, touring France on vacation on crutches.  (We lived in England at the time, so France was literally just a hop away)

Fast forward about 20 years...TO THE DAY.  Well, almost.  I'm off on a pleasant Saturday morning jog along our beautiful highway...and I misstep again.  And I break the same bone, in the same foot, again.  I'm really good at wrecking a summer break aren't I?!?  

This time, however, I got to wear an air cast--Praise the Lord!!  Those things are removable and I could shower like a normal person.  

Let's just say trying to be a wife, mother, teacher, and sane person is really hard when you have to be on crutches.  It is like losing your hands and your ability to walk all in one go.  You can't carry anything because you have to have your hands on those darn things helping you walk (this means no vacuuming, grocery carrying, child carrying, running to the rescue, etc.).  Life was hard for about 6 weeks.  I am so thankful that some very loving and generous ladies from our church came over and helped me vacuum!  A floor can get seriously dirty in a matter of days around here!

So, why am I writing all of this to you?  Well, because I learned a few things throughout this whole ordeal.  Maybe you'll never break your 5th metatarsal, but you might find yourself needing some help, or ending up on crutches--then you'll remember this post and hopefully find a little word of encouragement.

Things I learned while in a cast:

1.  Don't be afraid to ask for help!!  This is especially hard if you are a type A, over functioning person like me.  But, the truth is...you need help!  I certainly did.  Once I got over my inability to ask for help, I was showered by willing servants.  Now, I mean that word in the best of ways--these men and women helped me with so much and had a servant's heart the whole time.  Not only did I receive physical help, but I got to observe and learn from some very humble helpers.

My lovely summer accessory!  For all the good of this boot (it is removable!!), it still weighs a ton!!

2.  Take care of the rest of your body.  So, this one I didn't do so well, and now I'm paying for it.  I "rested" really well over the 6 weeks I was in a cast.  I followed doctor's orders; I slept, put my foot up (as much as a mom of two boys can), and generally didn't do much.  
That wasn't the problem.  The problem was, when I did do something, I allowed my body to create some pretty bad habits.  You know when you see a mother holding a child slung on one hip, how she sort of pushes her hip out to accommodate the little one?  Well, when you do that for 6 weeks because you are weight bearing on one leg only, it makes you walk funny.  Seriously...I'm in physio now and most of the exercises I'm doing are to rehabilitate the glutimus minimus (that little but muscle that connects your hip and bum).  When you stand on one leg, make sure you're remembering proper physiological form (that sounds so pretentious, but man I wish I had).

When you need to do a stationary task, like washing the dishes, put a chair under your knee and try to keep your body's posture in line!!

3.  I can hop a really long way.   Okay, I really did learn that (you can't exactly carry laundry and use crutches at the same time!), but I just mostly wanted to see if you were still reading.  What I really did learn was to be a good sport.  I didn't always do a good job of this one.  You see, everyone wanted to ask me about my foot.  I live in a small town and I swear I was the only stinking person smart enough to land a 6 week stint in a black cast during summer.  I couldn't go anywhere without someone making a comment or asking about my foot.  Most of the comments were good natured and easily handled.  That being said, it gets old--quickly.

This is how I toured around Albertan museums...in a rented wheelchair!  

My recommendation?  Joke about it!  I told numerous people I broke my foot kicking my husband.  We all got a laugh and then they reported me to the police they knew I was poking fun.  Sometimes I just shrugged and smiled, to others I explained the whole story.  Whatever you decide, just remember that most people who are brave enough to say something are really trying to show they care.

Need more ways to survive your time in a cast?  Check out this great post on a blog I found while trying to pass the time!  Remember, if you can avoid it, don't break a leg!! (or a foot)

 Me and the boys enjoying a lovely prairie view!  

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