How to Survive with a Broken Foot!

After a lot of thought as to what my blog should be about now that I’m not traveling for the moment I decided I should just stick to what I know, speak from experience.

In my last post, which you can find here, I touched on my recent injury which bought me back to the UK. I thought in this post I would go into a bit more detail and try to offer some advice at the same time.

I’ll start by telling you to NEVER do what I did! I attempted to lift a brand new, completely full barrel of beer…on my own…with no other member of staff, or person at all for that matter, in the close vicinity.

Now some of you may be giving me sympathy right now “aw she’s naive” “maybe she didn’t know how heavy they are?”

Well to that I say stop! I’ve worked in bars on and off for 10 years, I’ve had all the relevant training and could recite off by heart the correct stockroom behaviour and how to correctly and SAFELY move a beer barrel. I was just being plain stoooopid, with a double oo!

I had it in the air for about half a second before it came crashing down to flatten my poor little size 4. I remember it all in slow motion. Goodness knows where I found the strength to lift it off of my foot but I did, and immediately grabbed my toes, felt the crunch of broken bones, and immediately let go again! Now I’d never broken a bone before up until that moment and had always wondered what it would feel like…it’s not pleasant I can tell you! The pain was so bad I couldn’t even force myself to make any type of noise, so continuing with the genius path I was on, I figured I’d just lay there until someone found me…on a cold stockroom floor…in a relatively empty bar on a Monday night.

Eventually someone came running. To be fair it probably wasn’t very long. They thought I’d fallen and hit my head, I was trying to tell them what happened when I heard my friends voice…and then burst into tears!

The next however long was full of me flying through a lot of emotions. I’d cry, then shout at myself for being so irresponsible, and then crack a joke and start laughing. By the time the ambulance came I was in full acceptance mode and even though everyone was telling me it “doesn’t look broken” I knew there was no way it couldn’t be.

I was living in Spain at the time and had been learning Spanish but apparently the barrel knocked all knowledge out of me as I couldn’t understand a word anyone was saying. I was alone, my friend had to work and I was pretending to be brave so I told him it was fine…I regret that! So I was in a hospital where nobody spoke my language, with an injury I’d never had before. After the doctor told me very bluntly “5 bones, crack the nurses took over. Failing to tell me that they would have to push my broken bones into place before they fit the cast, they just grabbed my foot and started pushing. Safe to say they almost got booted in the face by my good foot!

After a lot of foul language, sorry mum, the cast was set and I was free to go…but oh by the way, Spanish hospitals don’t give you crutches ORΒ  a wheelchair so I was hopping home! Luckily my manager had followed the ambulance to the hospital and he took me home and carried me to my house, all 4 foot nothing of him sweating and almost dropping me with every step, but he got me there bless him πŸ™‚

spanish hospital

Friends bought me crutches, painkillers and food but it was the beginning of summer which meant the beginning of 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week so there was only so much they could do. After 10 days of staying with a friend I decided it was time to give up and go back to mum and dad. Lucky I did as when I went for a hospital check up back in the UK they discovered that the Spanish nurses had set my foot crooked, which would cause me a lot of healing problems. So it was bone crunching time again to get the right position, and then 6 weeks in the correct cast. Oh and can I also mention, I had to inject myself in the stomach every day to avoid blood clots…every. single. day 😦 I am no longer afraid of needles!

broken foot

Those 7 weeks in a cast taught me a few things that I’d like to share with you all in case you ever need any advice on this matter, some things I wish I’d known.

  • You WILL Get Depressed!

Even if you are a pretty strong minded person a broken bone is hard to deal with. In my case it almost totally crippled me. I’d never used crutches before and had zero upper body strength, hence dropping the barrel in the first place, so I was very restricted. Doctors warned me it would be tough but this was a whole nother level of hard. My whole world had been turned upside down, I’d had to move country so it was a big shock but still, prepare yourself the best you can.

  • Get a Hobby…In fact get a Handful of Hobbies!

Make sure they are activities you can do from a chair! Its very important to keep your mind busy, there’s only so much Facebook stalking you can do in 24 hours.

  • Exercise whatever body parts still work.

Doing nothing is tiring in a dangerous way. Do sit-ups, arm curls, 1 legged squats, anything to keep your blood flowing.

  • Accept help!

You can’t do a lot with a broken foot. Even if you master the crutches you will struggle to carry things so accept the kindness of others! I tried making myself a cup of tea once. Everything was fine until I wanted to drink it, which meant either standing in the kitchen or sliding it across the floor to my chair, I don’t recommend that unless you like cold tea.

  • NO KNITTING NEEDLES!

I repeat NO KNITTING NEEDLES! I had an itch…I used a needle…it got stuck. I had to sleep with it in my cast until my sister came round the next day and spent half an hour with my leg in the air and a pair of scissors.

  • Realise you are broken and will be limited.

I had met someone about a month prior to breaking my foot, it was all pretty Disney fairytale romance so I thought that going to visit him would cheer me up…a plane journey away…for 3 days…in a leg cast. It was awful! I had to have assistance at the airport which meant me meeting him in a wheelchair, my leg swelled on the plane and was very painful, Easyjet’s legroom sucks, thank God for kind strangers lending me their lap, and it was far too early in our relationship for me to be that vulnerable. Don’t get me wrong he was so lovely, even wrapped my leg in a bin bag so I could shower, but he was a bit on the boring side and 3 days of relying on him for everything was horrendous! It rained the whole time too so we had to stay in, and there’s not really much on Netflix. I was forced to accept how crippled I was in an almost complete strangers house…so please just take some time to realise and accept the fact that you are limited, you are not invincible which is why you’re broken in the first place.

plane foot

  • Finally remember, its not forever!

Yes I can be accused of being a drama queen but there was more than one occasion were I felt as though I would never walk again. I had 7 weeks in a cast and 1 month in a special walking boot…I’m not even ashamed to admit that when I took my first steps again I cried. I had visions of my bones cracking under me but BONES HEAL! It was such a relief.

No matter what happens, it’s not forever so believe me when I say that it will all be OK. Trust me πŸ™‚

And remember NO KNITTING NEEDLES!!

P.S – It’s been 8 months now and I’m doing OK, I still have a limp and I still can’t wear heels, I don’t think I ever will again to be honest, but I’m walking, running, jumping…I am me again πŸ™‚ and you will be too so hang in there! I believe in you πŸ™‚

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