You’ve visited the podiatrist because your foot is in pain. Before you know it, the doctor says you have broken a bone and starts grabbing medical supplies to create a cast. What comes to your mind in a situation like this? “Oh… no!” and “this is not happening” are definitely good thoughts, but what follows after the cast has been secured on the broken limb is a completely different thought process.
Have you ever been immobile due to an injury and had to endure an extended length of recovery time? If your answer is no, then you will probably not relate to this article. But if your answer is yes, then you will most likely understand the difficulties, and if you are currently living in a predicament where you are immobile on a daily basis, then let’s talk about what to expect and how to make the most of this type of situation.
The first big challenge you will face is figuring out how to get from the doctor’s office to your vehicle. Take a deep breath. This is a huge accomplishment. Know that if you can get through the first step then you can get through the next many steps. Flat surfaces are always the best type of surface when utilizing crutches, knee scooters, or wheelchairs. However, there will be times when you encounter stairs. If there are stairs, then elevators are the best to use. If there are stairs and no elevator, then figure out how to leverage your body weight on your immobile device up the stairs and make the best out of each step. Once you have reached your destination, take a breath, relax, you made it.
When you are in your home trying figure out how to maneuver around, give yourself time to be frustrated. It will take about two weeks to figure out how to move and accomplish each personal goal. Nothing is easy, but you will figure it out. Always allow extra time for whatever it is you are doing. If asking for help is possible lean on friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. The more help you receive the less you strain yourself and further your injury. If it is only you working through accomplishing every goal, then good luck! Take note, during these situations two of the best things you can do involves staying hydrated and getting lots of sleep.
What nobody tells you about is the personal frustration you will experience. When you lose the ability to fully take care of yourself, it is emotionally and mentally challenging. We don’t realize until we are broken how much we take for granted in our daily lives. Asking for help is a huge challenge, and it can also make you feel like a huge burden while everyone around is helping. What do you do? If you don’t ask for help you stay immobile longer and possibly further your injury, but if you do ask for help you lose all pride and heal much faster. Take this time while you are immobile to really get to know yourself. Dig deep, find out who you are, find out what you are made of, and make the best of this situation.
How do you make the best of a situation when you are immobile weeks on end? Smile. Take a deep breath. Do what you love. When you are immobile you suddenly have time to accomplish things you never would have thought possible: draw, paint, write, read, knit, sit outside on your porch and watch the sun set, relax, sleep, talk to friends and family on your phone, etc. The sky is the limit; just try not to move while you are doing it. And when it comes to moving, there is only one type of moving I would recommend. Yoga.
Don’t be stubborn and think because you are broken you cannot exercise. That is a pathetic excuse and a lie. Be smart. Be determined. Keep your body and your muscles healthy. There are gentle exercises you can do for your body that will make you stronger when you are healed and back to normal.
First, meditate. There is an internal power when you meditate. Find a comfortable place and sit however you most feel comfortable. Clear your mind. Then sit for 5, 10, or 15 minutes with a purely open mind. This sounds easy; it is not. It sounds like it doesn’t accomplish anything; it does. Expand your time daily from 5 minutes to 30 minutes and even to 60 minutes. The long-term effects are profound. You will learn to be at peace with yourself, you will have a better understanding of things, you will be emotionally stable, and you will find an internal happiness through meditation.
Next, practice yoga. Practice the yoga where you slowly stretch your muscles. For example, try a few of the following exercises: crunches, leg lifts, bicycles, pushups, side arm stretches, twists, arm workouts with weights, and stretches where you hold your pose for 10 seconds that make your body feel good. These are all exercises that work your muscles while helping you stay in shape. Make sure to do at least a set of 10 reps 3 times. It doesn’t sound like much (especially if you are an avid exerciser) but it is something that will help tone your muscles more than you realize.
Look for the positive in every situation. Being broken and/or immobile doesn’t mean you should feel embarrassed or be depressed. It means you have a new situation to properly deal with and heal while getting to know yourself better. Take this time to make the best of the situation. Allow yourself time to be frustrated, but then get back on your feet and do the best you can until you get your own personal freedom again.