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New Leg Resolution #1 August 22, 2006

Posted by ouchmyleg in Advice, Personal Experience.
148 comments

I am the High Priestess of Never Keeping New Years Resolutions.  If I’d kept every resolution I’ve ever made over the years, I’d be a 110 pound Rhodes Scholar who never eats carbs or meat, speaks four languages, plays five instruments, reads latin and enjoys a fulfilling romantic life with my husband, Scott Wolfe.  Who is this woman?  Clearly, she’s insane.

However; in light of recent events I have made one firm resolution.  On the night of my accident, I very clearly remember standing in the door of my apartment and looking at the bereft faces of my cats as I closed the door.  To ease their worry, I said “Don’t worry guys, I won’t be gone long!” and gaily skipped down the hall and into internet history.  I didn’t come home again (aside from a few quick visits) for another three and a half weeks.

Obviously, this was my first mistake.  My statement of promise was like the dippy-but-slutty girl in a horror movie saying “Ohmigod!  What’s that sound coming from the dark, creepy barn?  I’d better climb off my passed-out drunk boyfriend, wrap my nubile form in this half-size beach towel and go off to investigate!  No, I don’t need a flashlight, there’s still some light from the abandoned mental institution on the hill!  Don’t worry y’all, I’ll be right back!”

Scar Wars July 19, 2006

Posted by ouchmyleg in Advice, Personal Experience.
18 comments

Were I to find myself two months ago on a shark hunting exhibition with Police Chief Brody and Captain Quint, I’d really have nothing to contribute to their “scariest scar competition”. Up until now my most impressive scars were a little indent in my upper lip (Age 12 – caused by the unfortunate collision of a baseball and my braces) and three barely-there marks on the fingers of my right hand (Age 16 – accidentally dropped sugar bowl at work and put back of hand on hot coffee burner). Now I’m definitely a contender. I’m sporting a six inch scar on the outside of my leg and a second 4 inch scar across the top of my foot. Even my lovely friend Peg’s (go read her blog. Or I’ll hurt you.) boyfriend Paul agreed that my scars are pretty impressive. And he broke his ankle in a similar way last year! Go me!

It’s been nearly two months (give or take a day) since the surgery, and while they’ve healed nicely, they’re still, for lack of a better word, kinda gross. At least I think so. Mom and I started putting vitamin E cream on them as soon as the staples were out, so we’ve probably helped a bit with the healing process, but they’re still very dark (and not too raised at the moment – a raised scar is called a “keloid” scar, and that’s apparently bad). A coworker has recommended using scar reducing strips – has anyone had any good luck with these? Am I better off with vitamin E? Or should I just embrace my scars and head off to Amity and fight sharks?

Tip Round-up June 23, 2006

Posted by ouchmyleg in Advice, Tips.
1 comment so far
  1. Never try to sneak up on someone while you’re on crutches. It won’t work.
  2. Only wear boot-cut pants that will fit over your cast. Don’t think that just because you’re injured you can rock the whole “one leg tucked up, the other leg down” look. It’s not 1994.
  3. Crutches are not meant for speed.
  4. Everything will take twice as long as it used to. Be prepared for this. Schedule your time appropriately.
  5. Put on a brave face, but give yourself time to cry. Otherwise you’ll be watching “The Family Stone” and it’ll be all Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River.
  6. Don’t be embarrassed when the liner of your aircast starts to smell a little like a Junior High boys locker room. Wash the liner on the gentle cycle, then add a dusting of baby powder to your leg every time you put the boot on. This will help to soak up sweat and ensure you won’t alienate friends and coworkers.

Advice, please! Gyms in Victoria… June 22, 2006

Posted by ouchmyleg in Advice, Personal Experience.
1 comment so far

After my appointment at the cast clinic on July 6th, I want to start going back to a gym. I was starting to get in shape before my accident, but six weeks of limited activity has left me in a slightly less svelte state than before. While my arms are looking pretty great, and my back and chest muscles are stronger (thanks, crutches!), I’d like to start seriously getting back into shape. It’ll be nice to have a project to consume some of my restless energy and at the very least, it’ll be a good distraction from not being able to shop for shoes.

Mostly I’m interested in going to a gym for the recumbent bike (I have a feeling that the elliptical trainer and the stair climber will not be part of my routine for the next while) and weight training. I haven’t had a gym membership in ages (I used to rent a rowing machine and use it at home), so just like the nightclub scene, I’m a little out of touch.

I have a few requirements for my future gym, so if you’re going to suggest somewhere for me to go, try to keep these in mind:

  1. Should be in downtown Victoria, James Bay or Royal Oak (near work). I’ll be able to drive again, but if there’s anything I’ve learned for how I relate to the gym, I’ll only go if it’s on my regular route.
  2. Ideally I’d like to spend between $50 – 70/ month
  3. Please, no stairs. Well, a few stairs is OK, but not several flights. (For this reason, I don't think the YMCA downtown is a good idea for me yet)

Looking forward to hearing any ideas!

The First Enemy of the Republic: Stairs June 13, 2006

Posted by ouchmyleg in Advice, Personal Experience.
2 comments

In my two-legged life, I’m afraid of escalators. It’s not a crippling fear, I can still use them, it’s more of the irrational “one of these days I know I’m going to get sucked under” variety. Thanks to crutches right now I’d rather ride an escalator in a wedding dress with full veil than take the stairs.

It’s not just the fact that I have to hop my entire body weight on one leg to get up one stair (and then repeat ad nauseum). It’s more that I’m convinced the stairs are out to get me. Going up and down stairs on crutches requires intense concentration, and if you’re not paying attention, the stairs will try and claim you as their own. (So much for being greeted as a liberator) Here are my tips for survival gleaned from 2 weeks of crutch use and 10 minutes of instruction from the physiotherapy gals at the hospital:

  1. If there’s a handrail, only use one crutch. Generally the handrail can support a lot of weight and provides greater stability than two crutches.
  2. Going upstairs: Keep the crutch one stair below the one you’re ascending. You can really hurt yourself if you try to hop up to it.
  3. Going downstairs: Move your crutches down before your body. Swing your injured foot out over the stair first, then step down.
  4. Really freaked? Go downstairs by sliding on your butt. If anyone judges you, hit them with your crutches. After all, for the first time in ages – you’ve got two hands free!

Cups and crutches: help! June 12, 2006

Posted by ouchmyleg in Advice, Personal Experience.
5 comments

For the love of mike, will someone please tell me how you’re supposed to carry a cup and use crutches at the same time?

The AirCast: Manna from Heaven? Or Harbinger of Hell? June 11, 2006

Posted by ouchmyleg in Advice, Uncategorized.
143 comments

After my second appointment with Dr. McSurgery (more on that later), he decided to give me an AirCast rather than a second fiberglass cast. Like a traditional cast, the only real function of the Aircast is to keep my ankle at a 90 degree angle while it heals. It achieves this through two inflatable air bladders around the ankle that I can inflate and deflate. Finally! The Nike Pump sneaker I never knew I wanted!

There are a number of happy benefits to this, including the fact that I can take the thing off when I shower, eliminating the delightful process of my mother duct taping a grocery bag around my calf. Plus, it boasts a groovy design that would make Manolo Blahnik jealous.

As you can see from the photo, this is one stylish piece of footwear. If it were six months ago, I could easily create a fuzzy fake fur cozy for it and pass it off as an Ugg boot or a Mukluk. With summer reportedly upon us, I’m considering the possibility of wearing shorter skirts to show off the parts of my leg not currently covered in molded plastic and foam.

Sadly, the flexibility and freedom of the Aircast is somewhat mollified by the fact that it makes it near impossible to fall asleep. I’m not sure what it is: the angle, the height of the boot, the weight of the covers. Whatever the cause, the result is that regardless of what time I go to bed, I don’t fall asleep until two to three hours later when my exhaustion finally outlasts my ankle. I’ve taken to popping allergy medication at night for the sedative effect. Any suggestions to help me sleep?