What They Don't Tell You About Wearing a Cast

Emergency sign on contemporary building
Emergency sign on contemporary building

Mine was surgery after a car accident, maybe for you it will be a broken leg, or another type of surgery. After you leave the hospital hobbling out on the crutches you life will change, at least temporarily.

Allow me to share what I have learned.

1. You will finally find a use for all those single socks.
you know the ones left after doing laundry that pile that have no pair. You kept them hoping their mate would show up someday, like when you finally sweep under the bed. Those socks can save you now.

2. Putting on your underwear may be the hardest thing you do all day. Boxers, or boxer briefs in my case. Matching the tip of the toe of the cast to the hole in the leg, may take a while. You will be flat on your back and flailing around in the process.

3. You may need help getting the underwear on. I decided to continue exercising and the handicapped shower was my savior, but getting dressed in the locker room after; a bit on the mortifying side. Forget the towel dance. You will eschew shame or embarrassment and if you are lying on a bench, legs flailing about attempting to get that underwear on and someone comes by and says, "Hold still, let me help." hold still and say thank you.

I am finding that my difficulty brings out the best in others. Guys load my weights, help me up, and yes help with underwear and shoe tying.

4. New York bus drivers will be your best friends. The subway is a nightmare, the elevators seem to be always broken and you will have one hell of a time getting a door open to get to the train. However the bus will be bliss. The drivers patiently wait til you are on, they make sure you get a seat, even to the point of getting up and telling a nanny and her two entitled charges to 'Get the ____ out of the handicapped seats.' I love New York City bus drivers.

5. Your crutches will always fall on the floor. No matter how well you think you propped them up they will fall on the floor. Your life will be spent picking up crutches or looking helpless as someone else picks them up for you.

6. Despite it all you will do will do what you need to do. I have been in the kitchen cooking and dealing with the work needed to open a new place, I have gone to the gym, gone shopping, cooked my own dinner and even up on occasion put on my own underwear.

...and some day the cast will come off.

I am hoping today is that day.