Loss of confidence since breaking wrist

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I broke my right wrist just before Christmas - fell off a chair whilst putting up Christmas decorations - yes it was not clever I know!  I had the distal radius fracture pinned and plated and did 6 weeks in a cast, but when the cast was taken off which I was longing for, I found I was scared to walk anywhere and felt light headed and dizzy, this has continued over three months since the accident.  I feel anxious a lot of the time which I never did before the accident, I used to go horse riding cycling etc, now I am scared to walk it is awful. I have been taking herbal medication for anxiety and have had 4 sessions of clinical hypnotherapy some days are not too bad but others are awful. Has anyone else had this anxiety and panic following a fracture?  I never broke anything before or was really ill before.  I have started going back to work and driving to work which feels fine but it is walking that scares me and sometimes I find I am so anxious I feel I am losing my balance.  I would love to know if anyone else has had this and how long it might last.   

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  • Posted

    Hi Rosa

    I broke my radius when I was a child and hadn't have any issues since then.

    However at this particular time I am recovering from two major fractures on both my legs and I had fear of walking (I still have it) for the simple reason that I broke my ankle while walking on a parking lot. I slipped due to a slippery surface. ..I was not running I just walked.

    My second fracture happened in a more bizarre way ....I was getting off the sofa while still recovering from the broken ankle with heavy cast. I lost balance and fractured my right femoral bone.

    I was scared of walking ...in fact I could not walk for a long time with both my legs being broken.

    But when I started using the walker I needed someone next to me all the time.

    I am still at home recovering, haven't been out yet and don't know how will that work out.

    So I guess it is normal to have certain fear after a fracture so don't worry.

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    • Posted

      Yes I think it is the shock of something breaking that causes some of the anxiety, in your case that sounds some really bad luck as breaking one bone is bad enough but to break both legs would be horrible.  I think it is also the fear of repeating an injury that makes one feel anxious.  When you use a walker or walking sticks I guess when you give them up that is the time when you have to test your confidence.  I have good days and bad days with confidence issues and sometimes I don't even have to be going for a walk anywhere it can just happen.  I never had this before the accident so I am hoping that my anxiety levels will return to normal soon.  I hope you do not have anything like this when you start going out again.

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  • Posted

    Hi, sorry to hear about your troubles. I had a similar injury (right DRF while ice skating about 2 months ago), but I'm afraid I can't quite relate to your experience. I think it would be understandable to be anxious about standing on a chair again, but I'm not sure why you'd get that from just walking. Do you understand the reason behind it? If you do, please share; if not, maybe you need to reflect and analyze what's going on.

    If you're afraid that you might slip and get hurt again, maybe it would help to wear some shoes that you trust to be stable and not slippery? You could also try telling yourself repeatedly that it's fine, you know how to walk and nothing bad will happen.

    As for me, I'm looking forward to skating again later, but I'll definitely be more careful and plan to wear wrist guards.

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    • Posted

      I think it was the shock of doing it and then getting a viurs that affected my balance after this whilst I was still in the cast.  I never felt like this when I had a horse riding accident some years ago, but I think maybe the anxiety was there already and falling and breaking my wrist made it more powerful.  I have started to do a lot of things as my wrist has healed, I can drive and I go to work and do not feel at all worried it is only when I am walking, I think it is also possibly linked to the fact that the week before I broke my wrist I fell down on our patio which was very wet and slippery - all I did was bruise myself but I had not fallen in years, so two falls in quick succession one with a painful outcome with a broken bone, dented my confidence.  I know in my mind that I see myself doing my  normal activities so I guess I just have to be patient and let my emontions sort themselves out.  Thank you so much for your message.
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  • Posted

    I'm 71 and almost three years ago I slipped in the garden and broke my femur clean in half. It was my own fault as I was wearing plastic Crocs and the grass was a bit damp - lethal combination. I knew my leg was broken straight away, mainly because I heard the crack as I fell and the fact that when I moved the top of my leg the bottom stayed still.  My muscles went into spasm so it looked like I had a football stuffed down my trowsers, just as well they were loose fitting!  My husband had gone out and after calling for help for 20 minutes but no one coming I decided I had to get back to the house to get the phone. As I was about 40 feet away  I had to drag myself an inch at a time back there which took another 20 minutes.  Luckily the phone was in the kitchen and my arms were long enough to reach behind me and knock it off. I rang my husband first as I wasn't sure if the paramedics would be able to get in.While I was waiting for him to come home I even managed to ring and cancel a hair appointment I had that morning!  Eventually I was taken to hospital and had a nail and screws put in the following day and luckily only had two small dressings on the wounds, no plaster and no metalwork sticking out.  After seven months my leg was healed but 17 months after the operation I had to have the screws removed but the nail was left in place.   During the healing period I used a walker and sticks but was anxious about falling again, even though I wasn't walking very fast.  It's only natural to be anxious in case it happens again and I am reminded of it every time I walk down the garden which helps stop me doing something silly again. Having said that, since the accident I have been more aware of doing things like standing on chairs to reach things, although I did it one day and managed to fall off but luckily I didn't break anything, (my thinking is, if I can move and get up I must be OK, even though I could be in pain for a couple of months after)  If I had known how dangerous and even life threatening a fractured femur could be I would have been really anxious at the time I broke it but luckily I was in blissful ignorance when it happened. Over the years I have broken many bones - ankle and wrist from falling off horses, broken fingers from tripping over carpets to name but a few but I haven't felt anxious about it, just blamed myself for most of the things that happened.  I can be quite a "nervy" person, worrying about the slightest silly thing  but I wasn't anxious to the extent that you obviously are suffering but I know that anxiety can make you feel awful. I have also had a couple of hypnotherapy sessions which helped a bit with the general anxiety  but I also listen to a relaxation recording every night which gets me off to sleep and I think that has helped calm me down.

    Anxiety after breaking a bone is natural but I think you have to tell yourself that you broke your wrist by falling off a chair and up to that time you  had been walking about all your life with no worries. Just as long as you don't stand on a chair there's no reason why that accident should happen again.  Just keep telling yourself that it was falling off a chair, NOT walking, that caused your broken wrist and the light headed and dizzy feelings that are just anxiety will hopefully pass and you can get back to how you were before you had that fall.  Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for this it does help and it was interesting reading what happened to you, this also happened to my Mother In Law when she was mowing a steep slope and she fell and broke her ankle.  I think you have some very good advice and I will try to take it.  When I am not feeling anxious it is very nice!
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    • Posted

      I think the anxiety is really my main problem rather than the break, as  I do not worry about using my hand, or carrying things and thankfully my fracture has not caused me much pain after the intital break, for some reason this accident caused me to become anxious, which I did not really think I was, apart from sometimes having a bit of a stress before I have to do TV interviews or radio interviews for work.  I really appreciated your suggestions and advice which I will try to take.
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