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I broke both my ankles 5 weeks ago, with surgery, pins and plates in one and a closed reduction in the other. I have not gotten through a day without crying yet. I’m so tired of not walking. Nobody explains how bad your shoulders, back, elbows will hurt from trying to move around in such strange ways. Self care is hard to impossible and I have figured out some short cuts.
I’m trying to be patient, and appreciate the small things I can do. One of which is to post here!
1. Try to have a family member stay with you for the first two weeks. You will need help peeing, (use a “pee pot” by your bed.) bathing, eating. You will also need someone to pick up prescriptions, rent shower chair, wheel chair......especially if you injured both legs like I did.
2. Establish a nest, mine was in the bedroom, with a satilite location in the living room. Fluff your nest with:
A mini fridge (we had one anyway)
Tv and remote
Pens and paper
Knee scooter, cast boots, ace bandages
We put mattress on floor in bedroom
Lots of pillows, blankets to elevate
Cooler with ice if you are still icing
A couple of sheets of 4 inch foam to kneel on when getting to chair or scooter
Baskets to hold things like snacks/fruit
Phone charger/ change of clothes......
Pinchers extendable to reach for things
.......please comment with additions to the nest..............
3. Satilite nest is just smaller version of above
4. Showering- get a shower chair or an upside down 5 gallon bucket will do. Just drape a folded towel over it for comfort. You will drop things...a lot. Move from wheelchair or scooter to sit on side of tub. Swing legs into tub. Then putting weight on hands move over to sit on chair or bucket. Have helper nearby. Enjoy hot water, have help shaving first few times (razor was what I always dropped) get out the same way you got in stopping to dry off on the edge of tub. You will need at least 3 towels. If you are not too modest you can air dry on your bed. Use cream on legs if you can ( not stitches). Before my stitches were out I used a bag on my leg.
5. Eating, I usually snack during the day and hubby makes dinner when he gets home from work.
Now.....what’s in my mini-fridge?
Chocolate milk (calcium)
1 coke....a treat not everyday
Yogurt strawberry whips
Sugar free chocolate pudding
Cheese slices (for cheese and crackers)
Bran muffins (pain killers can constipate you 1-2 Kellogg’s bran muffins solves this)
What’s in the snack basket?
Bread and crackers in snack basket
I did not put a microwave by my nest but I really thought about it for things like hot tea, warm sandwiches........... couldn’t hurt, especially if you have a small extra one sitting around.
6. You can send your “help” to the local thrift store or goodwill, Salvation Army to look for things like walkers, crutches, even the stabilizing boot, new they cost about 200 each, I’m not too proud to have doctor look at and approve a used one. Unfortunately we had been issued 2 before I discover this. We rented a wheelchair, but then bought one for 25 at a thrift store. Also, you may find a small tv, mini fridge, or microwave for 10-40 dollars. I also needed a fan as it was summer and I hate being hot.
6. Healing you Mind
This whole process can send you into a dark spiral of self pity and depression. I’m at 5 Weeks and still I cry every day. I also have PTSD like flashbacks to when I fell and the sound and feel of the cracking. You must keep busy. But let yourself have some moments to cry. We all cope differently. I have made lots of lists! I have a notebook with:
Remodeling my house, room by room drawings with paint chips and ideas.
I also printed some Pinterest ideas to tape into the notebook.
Schedule things to do each day, have hubby bring me the junk drawer with garbage can and zip loc bags to organize it.
Dump clean cloths on my bed, I will fold and put in hamper.
Sit me in kitchen, I will cut and dice things
(Do this in am with hubby, you can smell stew cooking all day in crock pot)
Write thank you notes if others are kind enough to visit or bring meals
Have your pet ( mine is big golden retriever marshmallow) beside you......my fine boy just knew to stay with me, such kind loyalty. It helps to rub a furry head.
Invite friends over to watch a movie or to watch a final or beginning episode of something. Potluck of course (no drinking it’s bad for healing)
I didn’t read but you certainly can. I watched vintage tv because Andy Griffith and MASH just makes me happy.
You Tube can teach you ANYTHING! Teach yourself to crochet or to knit or loom knit which is easier. Learn how to write in italics, origami? Listen to educational podcasts (iTunes has lots for free)
Online shopping! eBay or Amazon, I even ordered our groceries online from Walmart and the hubby picked up on his way home. That way I always got what I needed.
Organize your music on your phone into playlists
Go online and use a service like Shutterfly to make photo albums with your family photos. You can also make and order gifts with family photos like calendars aprons, bags, or pillows.
Keep in touch with others! Everyday my husband came home from work we would roll me up, put me in the car and drive around. Just getting out helps. When you are ready you can use a store scooter to motor around grocery or Sam’s Club or hardware store. A real restaurant makes you feel human, as does shopping.
That is all I have for now. I will see my doctor next week for 6 week check. Hope I can start weight bearing, maybe driving....not sure about work. Take care everyone and please post more ideas. We have to stick together and help each other!!!
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