What I Learned While on Crutches

So I managed to do my ankle in, which landed me in an Aircast and crutches. I know what you’re thinking and for the record, I was not walking and texting. In fact, I was attempting to walk and talk at the VERY same time and managed to go over on my ankle. It’s a good thing I wasn’t chewing gum or I may have ended up in a full body cast.

Clearly this cast/crutches thing is not an ideal situation for a multi-tasking mama. To further complicate the matter, Daddy-o was out of town for the week and the affected ankle was attached to my driving foot. The already difficult task of getting various children to various activities at the same time reached a whole new level of crazy.

It was an interesting experience for me, and this is what being on crutches taught me:

– My friends who deal with real-life chronic pain, illness or disability – I know you find it annoying and even a little condescending when people tell you how amazing and brave you are, but yeah, that. I am not amazing or brave – mostly just whiney.

– Six-year-olds can pack their own school lunches and will include fruits and vegetables. They will also feel proud. Kids step up when they need to.

– Crutches take the focus off a sore ankle by causing excruciating pain to your armpits. Did the people who made the crutches plan it that way? Is it some twisted method of trying to distract from pain by creating new pain?

– Not being able to drive was like a forced holiday. I contemplated prolonging the appearance of injury, but convenience and reality won out.

– There are friends and family members who are extremely helpful. But when help is offered, I must be clear with instructions. I should specifically say, for example, that “picking up bread” means a minimum of three loaves in a family of our size. That one loaf that was dropped off lasted 20 minutes.

The top lesson, of course, is to watch where I’m going. Curbs have a way of jumping out at you when you least expect it. Have you had an injury or illness that has caused temporary disruption to family life? How did everyone manage?

Julie Cole

Author: Julie Cole

Julie Cole is the co-founding vice-president of award-winning children’s label manufacturer Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless entrepreneur awards. Cole is a regular television contributor, an influential and syndicated blogger and a mother of six. Follow her on twitter @juliecole and Instagram @cole.julie

13 thoughts

  1. Managed to break my wrist right before Christmas (when I had a 9 month old and three older kids). Tripped over a back pack at the bus stop. Had to pretend I wasn’t really hurt as I watched my kids pull away in the bus with worried little faces. Learned to wrap gifts a lot sooner so I could spend a lot more time doing it – and learned how empathetic my kids are (loved this bit) and learned what great friends I have. So all in all a good experience out of a bad one.

  2. oh! the pretending not to be really hurt – I think I should get an academy award for that performance. A broken wrist…however did you manage your social media?? lol!

  3. oh yes… I remember when a horse kicked me and broke my shin bone and I was on crutches for 10 weeks… by about week two I was devising all manner of soft padding I could think off for those darn crutches in an attempt to make them less painful!! Eventually I decided that not moving was a better idea. Luckily at the time I had no children so that was *almost* an option.

    Your story kind of reminds me of when the doctors tried to put me on bed rest when I was pregnant with my 3rd child. For the last 3 months of my pregnancy. My sons were 4 and 3. I said “and so you are going to hire the maid/chef/nanny right?”. I did my best but good luck. It all worked out in the end though!

    You are a pro Julie 🙂

  4. Bed rest??? I totally forgot about that one….it was a threatening possibility during my fifth pregnancy and with four other kids five and under, what a challenge that would have been!

  5. When I was pregnant last winter I severely sprained my ankle(I just got up from my desk at work and down I went.. no clue why!). Was a huge pain cause I had a busy 1 year old to keep up with too. And I feel your pain about crutches ladies! Awful! I couldn’t drive, couldn’t rock my son to bed, nothing. It was horrible sitting on the couch hearing him scream for me from his room as my husband attempted to get him to bed. Thankfully I was back on my feet in a few weeks.

  6. Oh no!! Glad you’re on the road to recovery! Yes summer ’10 I cut nerves/tendons in my index finger requiring surgery. What a humbling experience & I was so very thankful for my helpful hub + understanding children (3 under 6)- I was pregnant too so pain management was difficult. Because of amazing friends we still attended our annual crazy mom’s camping trip 🙂

  7. I hurt my leg when I was in middle school and had to be on crutches for a week. I still remember how sore my armpits got. Seriously, can’t they fix that problem? I also fell numerous times because it was the middle of winter in Michigan. I can’t imagine being on crutches while taking care of little ones!

  8. I have been layed up before and it’s tough!
    Heck, I even find it difficult arranging care for a personal appointment and all of the juggling and shuffling that must be accomplished ~ sheesh.
    Hope you’re on the mend soon 🙂

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