As my regular readers know, I broke my left foot right before Thanksgiving and have spent four weeks plus in a “walking cast.” Now, I’m sure walking casts are a real blessing for people like me. But a walking cast is about as easy to walk in as a portable dishwasher is easy to carry.
I learned to operate the motorized carts and wheelchairs with baskets in my few trips to stores. However, the trips were so few and far between that my husband predicted the store profits would be down this Christmas because I was not in my usual shopping form.
Those special carts were great. I’ll miss them when I’m able to walk normally again.
My cast was finally removed New Year’s Eve day — a real cause for celebration. Everybody I knew who ever had a cast warned me that it would take at least two castless weeks to get back to near normal.
I said OK, but really believed I’d be running by the weekend.
When the doctor approached me with the saw, I was nervous. She ran the saw into her fingers to show me it wouldn’t hurt.
Then she began sawing on the cast. It was like when a dentist drills on my teeth. It really didn’t hurt, but I was sure that it would any second.
In short order, the cast was off. We got my snow boots on, and with the doctor on one side of me and my husband on the other for support, I stepped down from the examining table.
It was weird! I felt like I had someone else’s leg attached to mine from the knee down.
I was sure that the heel on my boot was crooked, and I knew I couldn’t run. In fact I was afraid to walk. I left the clinic in a wheelchair, certainly not what I had planned.
New Year’s Day we had the usual pork and sauerkraut dinner for the whole family.
Bill and I put the pork in the oven to roast, but then I retired and let the girls do the rest of my job. I could get use to that, but I bet they’ll be glad when I’m back on two feet.
I spent the rest of the day protecting my still sore foot and ankle from the little ones who were catapulting through the house.
They got to go outside and play in the snow without me. It didn’t help that it wasn’t good packing snow.
The 4-year-old thought he had figured out how to pack the snow anyway. He came in and asked for three plastic bags to put the snow in to make a snowman.
A little later he flew by me with a plastic bucket full of snow. When I stopped him I asked, “Are you going to build a snowman in here with that?”
He gave me a “Well, duh!” look and said, “No, I just like to carry snow.” And he actually meant it.
They all went home late that afternoon, and I settled down to dream of a good old-fashioned shopping trip through my favorite stores. Instead we got a white New Year’s Day with lots of snow everywhere.
So, the cast is past, but I’m still stuck inside and I had a good four weeks start on cabin fever before the snow started.
If I’m not really careful I might start cleaning the basement just to have something to do.
Editor’s Note: This column was first published in the Daily Advocate on Jan. 7, 1999.