Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tips on Managing a Broken Ankle

I went ice-skating with my husband this Saturday for our date night. We thought it would be fun, active, and romantic. We've been watching couples at all the outdoor skating rinks this winter and it looked so sweet. We had tried before in college and we had done okay with it.

Unfortunately, something that you were "okay" at in college may not go so well in your mid thirties. I am now sitting at home with an ankle broken in 3 places. Yes, 3 places. The fibula, the posterior tibia, and the medial malleolus. I am in a splint and scheduled for surgery in 5 days. I can't work and won't be able to for 3 weeks after surgery, my doctor tells me. I can't help around the house. Playing with my two year old daughter is limited to reading to her on the couch or playing with toys she brings me. I am getting around on crutches but not very well. And of course, my ankle hurts quite a bit.

So, what to do? Here is my list for managing a badly broken ankle.

1) Have a sense of humor. I remind myself that really, this is pretty funny. Once I get through all the pain and inconvenience, I've got a great story to tell.

2) Ask for help. I'm putting my pride aside and asking my co-workers to cover for me at work, my husband to wash my hair, my mom to stay with my daughter during my surgery...

3) Be grateful. I have a lot to be thankful for. A supportive family. A job that offers health insurance and sick leave. Good friends who are helping keep my spirits up.

4) Get a scooter. I haven't actually accomplished this yet - I am waiting for delivery. But I am hoping it will dramatically improve my mobility with less pain than using the crutches. And it didn't cost much and I hope to be able to sell it back when I'm done with it.

5) Find something to do. All those little projects I didn't have time for? Guess what - time to get it done. So I'm writing, knitting, reading books that have been on my list for ages, emailing friends... Hopefully by the time this is all over I will at least feel accomplished.

6) Follow the doctor's orders. Don't put weight on your foot. Take your medicine. Keep your foot elevated. Guess what? It helps!