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Dealing with it June 18, 2006

Posted by ouchmyleg in Personal Experience, Resources.
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One of the best online resources I have discovered for people coping with broken legs/hips is in the comments section of a post on one blog. Started in 2003, the post has ballooned to include more than 900 comments (and counting) from a variety of people suffering from leg injuries. It’s a support network, question and answer, and a place simply to compare injuries and know you’re not the only one with broken bones.

Almost every poster talks about experiencing some form of post-accident depression. Some are serious and require medication, and other people talk about just needing someone to talk to who understands how hard it is to lose your mobility and freedom and what a difficult time it can be. I completely agree. Being the girl who always had the car and was able to get to any party or anyone’s house, I’m suddenly the one who can hardly leave her apartment. Being tired all the time, being less active, being disappointed in my body for not being strong enough and not breaking, it’s all common with this kind of injury. Even my nightmares (which were crippling themselves for a few weeks) are typical after an accident. Knowing that I’m not alone doesn’t make it go away, and it doesn’t make it better, but it does make me feel more normal. Right now, that’s a start.

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1. Vanesa - June 11, 2008

I know what you mean. A month ago today I broke my ankle. It was mothers day. This has been one of the most depressing time of my adult life. I can’t do anything for myself and feel so alone. Knowing that I am not the only one that this has happened to makes me feel sooooooooooo much better. I can’t wait to have my independace back!!!!!!!!

2. Lee - January 20, 2010

IM sure your wont read this because your are, HOPEFULLY WELL, I totally agree and thank you for you comments. I have my ankle in a cast for 8 weeks and its been not 3 weeks yet!! I am doing ok but the sweeling is bad and I know I have to elevate it but I am so tired of laying down. My pain is not coming from my leg/ankle but the hamstring and under my knee and into my calf in the cast. Im a very impatient person, but I guess the GOOD LORD has his way of letting us know when to calm down and when we understand that he is in control. I agee with Vanesa and have talked to a few people…. this is a injury that should make us wake up to how important life is and do things for people who are always like this, I just cant imagine. That is what hurts me and that is what, when im better, would like to do. I have a job and im very fortunate to have supp income. I just pray that I help people after my time in the cast and healing. The ole saying is right, it is better to give than receive. I will leave my email if later on down the road you want some reinsurance, and of course, if you have some for me. Hang in there!!!

Lama - March 15, 2016

Are you still available for some reinsurance?

3. Lisa - February 22, 2011

Wow i’m so glad to have read these comment. To know your not alone is a good thing. I had no idea you could really get depression from breaking an ankle, and thats been making me feel even more pathetic for feeling so sad. It just sucks to need so much help. It sucks to have to take forever doing mundane little tasks. I hate that its so hard to get up and ready for things in the morning. I just want to quit and give up, but knowing other people are going through this same thing makes me stronger. I can’t wait to be out of this boot/cast, and be able to just walk again!

4. hayleysymington - June 5, 2011

i broke my ankle a week ago: this is the worst and most boring injury ever!

5. Martha - July 4, 2011

I broke my ankle and dislocated my foot 2 days ago. Its so hard to even go to the bathroom. My whole body hurts from using the walker and hopping. I am very frustrated at the prospect of the next 7 weeks with not being able to use my left leg. Ive been crying a lot from frustration and self-pity. I wish there was someone I could talk to and go thru this with. Thanks for the blog (even though I think you must be all better by now!)

6. Elaine - August 1, 2011

Martha – hang in there. I broke my ankle March 1st and had to hop with the walker for 7 weeks. Started physical therapy after that and still used the walker for another 3 weeks. At 11 weeks I was walking without any aids (no walker, no cane – nothing). It has now been 5 months since the break and other than some stiffness and a bit of swelling I am fine.

I was very depressed, but once I started physical therapy things improved very quickly.

7. Demi McLean - October 13, 2011

These comments have given me some hope, just like many of you all I have broke my ankle and I am having an extremely hard time dealing with not being able to do anything for my self. I have been super duper depressed!

8. Kati - October 13, 2011

I know how the depression thing goes Demi. Today is day 60 for me, I have 3 weeks left, then I get to have two screws removed and finally start PT and gaining range of motion. I have missed being able to do things for myself. But I see a light at the end of my tunnel and it feels real having my life back. Hang in there, you are not alone ^_^

9. Sue - January 19, 2012

I fractured my ankle on 2nd January, never thought it would be so disabling. I hate having to depend on people & find it hard to ask for help without feeling I’m a nuisance.
I feel like a prisoner and it is so hard to even get around the house. I was given crutches but i’m not very good balancing as I can’t weight bare on my affected leg. In pot for another 4 weeks, then will hopefully change to a boot. The fracture is unstable so may need operation if not healing correctly.
Any ideas how to cope with the itch under the pot, its driving me mad !!!

Killian - April 5, 2013

Sue,you’re definitely.I felt like my world was over.It’s 2013,broke my ankle on valentine’s day doing ground fighting with some other Marines. It was pretty bad.I was just scared that my Marine Corps career would really be hindered. So about a week later I had surgery,plate and seven screws. I was so used to being able to do everything for myself and then that happened. I was so bored when they put me off work for 30 days. I laid around moping. I finally get my cast off next week. But it was just such a demoralizing injury.It was hard to keep my head up. Thank God the recovery process is going well and I can start Physical Therapy soon

10. ash - March 12, 2012

nice to hear im not the only person in the world who is not coping too well, i broke my ankle a week ago and tore the ligaments, had surgery 4 days ago and left hospital yesterday. I randomly just burst into tears at the thought of these next six weeks, in which after i will atleast be able to get a boot and bear weight on my ankle. I could not use crutches and felt so pathetic that they had to send me home with a frame, in which im sill hopeless at. also have a one year old who i cant play with properly is killing me. im terrified i will fall over again and have to start from the begining. grrrr so frustrated!!!

11. Aimee - March 27, 2012

I also broke my ankle 2 and half weeks ago. Just found out it was broke Friday so from Friday I have to stay off it in a soft cast for 8 weeks…I really getting depressed…I can’t do anything…I can’t clean up my house and it is a disaster…i live in a townhouse and the bedroom and the shower are both up stairs…and I am not even close to being over this…SO SO SAD AND SO SO AGGRIVATED!!!!!!

12. Lisa - March 28, 2012

Glad I am not alone. I have read using an office chair on wheels to get around may help! light at the end of the tunnel going to try it tommorow as you cannot carry anything with crutches and after falling again last night I am so scared!

karen - June 23, 2012

Hi Lisa, I kept falling too. Please look into a knee walker. The website is below and very reasonable cost. No shipping and no tax since I live in a different state other than the state I rented. It was a god send for me. Helped me heal physically and mentally. Good luck!

http://www.kneewalkercentral.com

13. nichola - June 22, 2012

had my ankle in plaster for 5 days and hit a brick wall already, really underestimated how difficult it is, got support but its no substitute, weepy today doesnt help staring out of window at the rain, going to go mad…..

karen - June 23, 2012

Hi Nichola,

Please go to http://www.kneewalkercentral.com The knee walker kept me from going crazy from being so immobile. It was a god send for me. good luck! Karen K.

14. Debra - July 4, 2013

I broke my left ankle 6 days ago I am exhausted is this normal?

tee - May 20, 2016

yup. Im into my six week of breaking fibula and tibia, I am just wiped right out, part of the bone healing, and not being able to be active. Hang in there, if you need to rest then rest, listen to your body and what it needs.

15. Kathy - July 24, 2013

Broke my ankle and operation is Friday.im more worried about the boredom than anything else.what do you do all day?

16. Pam - July 25, 2013

Broke my ankle in 3 places and surgery keeps getting pushed back due to swelling. Supposed to have an operation in a few days. I have just moved into a townhouse and have not completely unpacked. I have a boyfriend, but he is turning out to be virtually useless. e.g. I asked him to turn on the fan and he said why don’t you. I am supposed to be starting a new job in less than 3 weeks.
I’ve never felt so alone or helpless before in my life. The doctors tell me to stay off my feet but are unwilling to sign a recommendation which would allow my insurance to cover some home health care. I have only one good friend and can’t impose much on her. No family around. I really don’t know what to do.

Kathy - July 27, 2013

You will be surprised at how much people will help if you just ask them and show your appreciation.even the neighbors.if you’re like me asking for help is very hard.all they can do is say no.as for the boyfriend,his behavior is not a good omen for things to come.

17. johnny - November 26, 2013

Hi, Dont know if anyone is still reading these. I did not break an ankle but had to have surgery to fix a tendon and some bone spurs. Was put in a hard cast for possible 6 weeks. I hit a wall on day 5 and had what I would call a major panic. I don’t know what caused it but night I thought I was having a break down. I am married and not alone so I should be grateful. My wife was up with me all night trying to help. I “paced” the floor on my knee walker all night and finally took a trip to the ER. They really could not tell me anything other than it all looked ok. Not sure what caused it but I came home and for the first time was willing to take anxiety medicine. I have been coping now but I have a ways to go. In 3 weeks they will remove the cast and take the stiches out. Then replace it. I am going to beg the doctor to allow a soft cast so that I can remove it if necessary. Not sure how that will go. I am praying a lot for strength to get through this. It is very humbling for a 50 year old man to be in such a state. I am used to doing everything and taking care of everyone. But it has made me so much more empathetic to those in similar situations. I plan to make it my goal to help whom ever I can that is going through something medical like this as soon as I am back on my feet.

18. Kimber62 - December 4, 2013

It is so nice to read comments from others who are dealing with similar feelings. I suffered a spiral fracture and tendon damage of my right fibula almost four weeks ago. To my surprise, I’ve had a much more difficult time in the past week than I did in the first three. I am very tired, have slept almost 24 out of the last 29 hours in the past two days since having the Thanksgiving holiday, and my leg is more painful than ever. I am feeling tearful and depressed; my husband and I are arguing; and I am very, very frustrated with him and myself. I am so used to be independent, am extremely active (hitting the gym daily and being a caregiver as a profession) and now I get tired getting myself dressed and making my way to the bathroom. My husband thinks I am overreacting and “milking it” for all I can. He has no idea! And, it is very frustrating. It is nice to know I am not being a whiner!

Angie Withers - December 11, 2013

I broke my ankle aug 12 2013, had sugery and plates and pins put in. It is mending well and I am back working reduced hrs. I went through just about all the symptoms mentioned by you all and it was not very nice. Physio is helping but I get so tired, feel very low and the smallest thing sets me off crying. I had hoped by now it would all be ok but it seems it could take a little longer. I did think it was me, but knowing you are all suffering similar things at least makes me feel that the light at the end of the tunnel has been switched back on and maybe I don’t really want to stop the world and get off. Hang on in there. It will come right eventually.
Angie

19. helen BRADLEY - March 3, 2014

Complex fracture tibia and damage to knee ligaments on 29 Dec2014 nine weeks and six operations later I feel utterly depressed and useless tried telling doc at hospital who wrote to generalpractioner at home bed rest to get swelling down op number seven next Sat unable to visit doctor due to immobility wonder when this www I’ll end

20. penny reynolds - March 5, 2014

I broke my ankle 2 weeks ago.I’ve had surgery, with a plate and 4 screws..although it totally sucks, there are ways for us to live a life easier with this …the best thing I have done so far is…I got a knee scooter..what a blessing…No hopping around on crutches or a walker…if you can buy one…it will help with your mobility much faster than crutches or walker..also try a…I walk free-2 it’s a hands free crutch for lower leg injuries…these are covered by some insurances..but try..sure will power, determination wins out everyone..be blessed my fellow broken ankle peeps..I’ll pray for all of you…

21. Renée - April 24, 2014

I’m so glad that I found this! I fractured my ankle a week ago in Turkey. It was a family holiday and the last night, fortunately. I thought that it was a bad sprain, so didn’t go for a check until back in the UK. It is just a crack and I’m wondering how long I will be in the cast. I feel very tired all the time and find it hard work hopping with the frame. I had free care for the first three days and after that, I could have any care that I needed, but I decided that I only need help cleaning, maybe once a week.
I shop online for groceries and it is delivered the next day at a time of my choosing.

22. Sissy - May 22, 2014

I broke my ankle on March 16th and had surgery (plates and screws) March 20th.Need I say the whole experience has been a nightmare!I live alone and have a yellow lab to take care of.I couldn’t even take care of myself let alone my dog.This is a very SLOW process and my first thought was “I can be fixed where as some people cannot” this thought was the only thing that kept me going.I had help from Dad and my ex in the morning and at night.The must haves are raised toilet seat,a walker with wheels,brakes and a seat.I literally kept it elevated and iced for 4 weeks and after that walking with the boot.I have been walking for 2 weeks and it is very frustrating.I have been back to work for 8 days and have 2 flights of stairs to go up and down.Patience is a must with this injury, of which I have none.Everyone is telling it like it is here – VERY DEPRESSING!I hid it a lot from my caregivers because I didn’t want sympathy, but the days were so long and I did have my private crying pity parties.I hope this helps in someone else s recovery.

helen BRADLEY - June 18, 2014

,18th June 2014
Fell three steps of a ladder Dec2013 7operations external fixator x3 partial weight bearing hydrtherapy physio com
When I c a n get 100 degree bend have to return to hosp for pin and plate removal then complex knee replacement g looked after by family but they don’t seem to understand how low I feel
Do understand d re private crying hope you feel better soon

23. Deb - June 19, 2014

i am 4 weeks in cast after breakig tibia and fibia, op to have screws and plates in. Cant stop crying today as I have left the comfort of my mums home to come back to my own home. Teenage sons are too busy to help, and I am a single mother with 2 dogs to look after. Thought I would be fine coming home, but think its too soon.
Always try to be optimistic,but this has hit me hard and just driving my car would give me freedom. Walking the dogs every morning. I have suffered from depression in the past and take medication. I do hope I wont go downhill mood wise, but I am feeling so alone and actually afraid to go things. Even going to the commode is a challenge. I have my 6 week apt in two weeks time and hopefully will be able to weight bear. Boy this is hard work, and makes me appreciate those less fortunate who have a permanent disability.

peg g. - August 11, 2014

Hi Deb! I broke my ankle on June 16,2014. Had surgery, plate and screws on July 7..I stayed w my daughter for 2 weeks and now I am alone. I am always afraid..especially of falling. Just remember to go slow….I feel on crutches on the first night, switched to a walker, and now I have a kneescooter. Hope u have one! The commode is really scary, just wear loose, elastic pants and hold on with one hand…keep plastic bags on your walker so u can carry things. Ask for help1 always have a water bottle near u. I find I am so thirsty, especially after I move around. Dont feel alone..There are lots of us out here1 Good luck!

Deb - August 11, 2014

Hi peg g! I’m now 12 weeks on. Thanks for your reply, its always nice to hear from someone who knows what you’re going through. There is light at the end of the tunnel, now I can go upstairs, have a bath and walk inside without crutches! Such a difference. Hope you are healing well.xx

ash - April 2, 2015

I had the same break and this is week 4… I am in tears as I write this.I know there is hope for me and I will get better but right now!!! :-(.Been to doc yesterday and he told me see you in 3 weeks time for xray.Then screws must be removed still….i am really feeling this and respect others in the same situation.

24. Theresa - September 23, 2014

Broke the fibula on my ankle in the early hours of sun morning. In pain, sleep for only a few hours at a time. Can’t do anything and live on my own. Have to inject daily to prevent DVT. Keep falling into the wall on the crutches, feeling very low today.

25. Christine - December 17, 2014

I fell over on 02/11/14 which resulted in breaking my left leg and ankle. I was admitted to a ward & spent a long week waiting for the swelling to go down until I could have an operation. Since being discharged 5 weeks ago I have experienced depression, crying a lot through sheer frustration mostly that I’m unable to do most every day tasks. My gorgeous dog Clyde has had to go to my parents as I just couldn’t cope with looking after him. I’m lucky I have a loving boyfriend who has been amazing but with the situation it has put a huge strain on our relationship as he has become my care giver.
Another worry is finances especially with it being close to Christmas. I’m only entitled to basic sick pay and still waiting to hear on income support.
I can’t wait to return to normal life as this has been the most challenging experience of my life.

Sissy - December 18, 2014

Hi Christine!I know how you feel-you are right that it is the most challenging experience that one NEVER wants to go through again.Take it day by day and remember that it is only temporary.It does get better, but it takes a long time.Do what your Dr. tells you and take care!

26. Paul - December 8, 2015

Hi my name is paul,
I broke my right ankle one week ago and have to see a surgeon in two days time to have another x ray to see if I need surgery. Im hoping I dont need it.
Thirty years ago I broke my left ankle and two years ago I broke four bones in same foot I now have fracture in amd was laid up for 6 weeks but could get around with a plastic support boot and crutches.
The broken ankle is a more painful injury than the 4 broken metatarsels I had.
Twelve months ago I was laid up for 2 months after having open heart surgery so I know all about being laid up and losing my independence.
I cant believe my bad luck.
Im still smiling though and accept my situation as acceptance is key to feeling better emotionally and mentally.
I live alone so I have to do everything myself.
Bathing is the most difficult as house is cold and I have to sit on toilet seat and use a wet towel and a bucket to clean myself.
It makes me think of the poor people who have been permanently disabled through accidents and illness and I will appreciate the little things more I hope when I get my independence back.
If you are injured and temporarily incapacitated keep the chin up as brighter days are ahead.

Tina Shaw - February 16, 2016

Wow Paul! I’m very impressed that you have been through so much and have just kept on keepin’ on — especially on your own! My husband had open heart surgery in August. Then he had his ankle fused in November. He had just started putting full weight on his ankle again when I broke my leg and ankle last month. We are a pair! At least I can get into the shower by myself. I would hate it if I couldn’t take a shower once in awhile! My husband has continued to work at his occupation through all this — just mostly from home. He is a go-getter! I’m having a difficult time getting myself as energized as he’s been. I could sleep non-stop! I don’t feel depressed, but I certainly am tired a lot! Best wishes to you!

27. orly frank (@orly1161) - March 24, 2016

A very stressful personal situation led to my fracturing my patella and I am laid up with a full length leg brace for another approximately another 4 weeks . I have not missed my morning walk, run , hike, yoga ,pilates etc in decades until this moment. I have good and bad days , but the undercurrent of depression is overwhelming. I receive no TLC whatsoever from my partner. A devastating experience. .

Simplify - May 14, 2016

Hi, don’t know if anyone is replying anymore but…I broke the small bone in my ankle on my 46th birthday playing ball with my kids. I have been in the house learning much or what I can do and how different I need to do things now. I was using the knee bike for the first two weeks and then started using the crutches. I am very happy that I can actually put done weight on my broken ankle. Doc said it was a perfect break as bone wasn’t misaligned and I don’t surgery. I have been able to get out of the house lastnight and then today. Both times I was pushed in a wheelchair by my son. My question is should I be as tired and feeling completely drained as I am right now? All I did was sit in a wheelchair while we did a Walk For Life Outreach for church. Normally I am up and going all the time. I have a small cleaning business and used to jog 4 miles 5-6 days a week. And I’m a single parent of 3 with 2 still living at home. This had truly been life changing for me! Depressing too. Can someone please tell me if being that tired is normal? I feel ridiculous.

Deb - May 14, 2016

Hi Simplify! I’m two years on now, but boy do I remember the tiredness! I felt so tired for weeks after op and slept so much. Its your body healing so take the rest and enjoy having some time out. I’m glad you can put some weight on your ankle.
You will get stronger each week, and soon you will be over the worst. Good luck.xx

28. tee - May 20, 2016

I broke my leg in two places on april 10. Fibula and tibia. I had pins put in as well as two plates, IM at the six week mark and ready to go nuts,, Im tired, I can get in a few things done then im just toast, Im dizzy a lot as well. I figure it was because I stopped taking any meds as in pain killers etc about four days ago, I was in hospital for around four days and was on strong painkillers and antibiotics. Im getting much better and healing up, BUT, im still dizzy and get tired really really easy. I am a really really active person and not used to chilling like this, I did ask to slow down a bit but not to this extreme. lol. Im in the wheelchair, as well as crutches and I have the walker as well. Doc told me at yesterdays appointment i don’t need the cast anymore and to put little bits of weight on the toes. The xray showed slow healing on one side, fast healing on the other, Both sides have plates in them. So ill beep when i go thru an airport. Kids say im like wolverine now with metal in my legs. woohoo. haha, Now im on to physiotherapy, Starting next week. I have no idea what i can do, as per putting weight on my foot. etc.
Im just wondering what others have went through and how fast you can back on your feet.

29. tee - May 20, 2016

Hi simplify, I hear what you are saying on being tired quite a bit. It takes bone about a year to completely mend together, Until then lots of calcium intake folates and greens. Ive been eating cottage cheese like its out of style. Hope you are feeling better and more upbeat everyday,

30. Darren - October 20, 2016

I thought it was just me being soft. I broke my ankle two weeks ago. First week in heavy plaster cast. Now in a lighter plastic cast.
Everyone telling me to ‘get up and start exercising, ‘ etc. But I’m just so tired from it all. And fed up. Everything takes so march planning. Even just going to the loo. And then I’m anxious incase I slip or knock it. My poor partner is run ragged, working all day then coming home to do everything else. And I feel so useless. Yes I can get about on crutches,but what’s the point! I can’t do anything when I get there. I can’t even make a cup of tea as I can’t carry the cup to take it anywhere. I’m in cast for another four weeks and I will be stir crazy. Doctor said to start putting weight on it when I’m ready, but how do you know when that is im terrified of the pain incase I’m not ready! I’m a male in my 40’s and feel utterly useless

31. Donnatta - December 2, 2016

The worst part about a broken leg are the crutches. I don’t have good balance and I’ve fallen really bad four times in four days. I’m black and blue everywhere. I’m sleeping 20 hours a day. I haven’t been able to nap in forever, now I can’t stay awake.


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