Enjoy Your Holidays While On Crutches

Spending your holidays on crutches is not ideal and basically horrible, but there are some things you can do to make it more enjoyable and help you make the most of your time with your family and friends.

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Here’s a few tips I’ve gathered from my own experience and others:

  • Remain Thankful – be it family, friends, good medical care, or good health, we can find things for which we are and should be thankful.  Focusing on the positive and finding gratitude will lighten your load.
  • Stick to Your Schedule – Take your meds and do your exercises. Keep your health and healing the priority. Your family will understand.  If you need rest, be strong and take it.
  • Don’t Overdo it – getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday activities will wear you out.   If you are feeling tired and the party is still going strong, take care of yourself and call it a night.  Don’t risk a recovery setback, or be too tired later and have to miss a future event(s).
  • Stick with Healthy Foods – yes, they are not fun and holiday treats are so delightful, but don’t over indulge.  You need to stick with healthy options as often as possible to fuel your healing body with the nutrients it needs.
  • Stay Off Your Feet – don’t push yourself by being up and about all the time. Be sure to take some time to elevate your foot/leg when possible.
  • Don’t Make the Feast – take this opportunity to bow out of making the big meal.  It will take you much longer than others AND zap your energy.  Let your family and friends know well in advance that you can’t do it this you.  Some one else can take over. If it’s not as you would have done it / perfect, there is always next year. Plus, everybody needs something to laugh about later. 
  • Accept Help – Most of us enjoy being self-reliant.  It’s frustrating to be on crutches and deal with extra limitations.  Most people would jump at the chance to help you. Let them. It makes the other person feel better about your situation. Look at it this way:  If my friend or family member were in my position, I would want and expect to help them.  If you reverse it and look at it that way it can be easier to accept help. 
  • Deck Them Out – if you are inspired, deck out your crutches for the holidays!  I’ve seen them wrapped in garland, red and green ribbon with big red bows, striped with holiday colored duck tape (don’t recommend, may leave sticky after), even with jingle bells attached.  It will hopefully keep you in the holiday spirit and brighten your attitude each time you use them.  It’s also likely you will make those around you smile and remember, everybody needs a big smile during the stressful holidays!
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FALL IS NOW – Take a moment to enjoy it!

Fall is my favorite season

     Here in the Midwest it’s a beautiful time of year. I love the incredible color variety in the leaves, the crisp and cool mornings followed by sunny afternoons with brilliant blue skies, and the chilly evenings for piles of blankets and open windows. Plus, soup is on the stove for a warm and yummy meal.

Gourmet Pumpkin Soup from AllRecipes.com

Ingredients:  1 T butter, 2 T brown sugar, 1 sugar pumpkin = 3 lbs, peeled, seeded and cut into matchbox size pieces, 1 T yellow curry powder, 20 oz. chicken stock, 2 T pumpkin seed oil, sour cream, and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Instructions: Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, and curry powder to the butter; cook and stir until the pumpkin caramelizes, 6 to 10 minutes. Pour the chicken broth over the mixture; bring to a boil, and cook until the pumpkin is tender, about 20 minutes more. Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway. Hold the lid of the blender in place with a towel; start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Process in batches until smooth. Garnish each portion of soup with 1 teaspoon pumpkin seed oil, a dollop of sour cream, and a few pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkins are out and ready to go – I love almost everything having to do with pumpkins.  From heading out to the pumpkin patch, one of my favorite family outings of the year, to carving/decorating, to all the foods made from pumpkin – I can’t get too much of them.  Some of my favorites are chocolate chip pumpkin bread (I use a Cooking Light recipe), pumpkin soup ( see recipe above) , and yummy pumpkin pie. Delicious!

     Fall RunningImage from Well Fit Fusion. Thanks Lisa!

If you have kids, they’ve settled into school by now (hopefully), and you have a bit of structure back in your life from the whimsy of summer. The weather is perfect and it’s time to get fit using your beautiful fall surroundings – I’m not a die-hard athlete, so when it’s cold/rainy/snowy out, you’ll find me staying in for a movie instead of being focused.  But right now, working out outdoors doesn’t get much better.

I also love the lack of holiday stress.  Yes, you know it’s around the corner, and if you are ambitious you can feel good about any of those gifts you are knocking out now, with no pressure or stress.  Get it done while it’s still fun!

So, if you are busy all the time, as most of us are, I encourage you to just take a bit of time and do something you love this season.  If you are on a mobility device, such as crutches, or wheelchair, still find something you love about fall and do it, savor it.  Yes, you may need to make modifications, but don’t let the beauty of this season pass you by.  If you need help with ideas on how to modify your fall favorite to accommodate your mobility aid let me know.  I’ve got lots of experience and would be happy to help.

Have fun and be safe!

Friends with Crutches

ImageThanks Daily Mail. Serena Williams on crutches

Having spent  a TON OF TIME ON CRUTCHES, my friends were very helpful, but many sincerely didn’t know what they could do to help.  If you have a friend that is on crutches, for how ever long, there are some great things you can do to bring a smile to their face.

1. Offer to do some driving for them.  This could be running to the grocery store, picking up their kids from school, for just taking them for a drive to get out of the house for a bit with a friend.  We love Sonic happy hour – big limeades at half price!

2. Make her a favorite meal – go get the ingredients, prepare it and clean up.  Yum!  Cooking on crutches is tough, trying to carry, manage foods while standing and holding on to crutches is IMPOSSIBLE!!

3. Get a list of books they’ve been wanting to read and make a library run for them. Seriously, bed rest gets old QUICK!

4. Walk their dog. Beware: you will need to clean up the poop too 🙂

5. Clean their house/do laundry.  I know it doesn’t sound fun, but imagine trying to do it while on crutches. Resting is boring and you definitely notice what’s awry in your house. Then comes the guilt! EASY OPTION: get some friends together and pitch in for a couple of visits from a cleaning service.

6. Create several low-key social outings. Again, sitting at home is boring! IDEAS: Big dinner with friends at your house, movie rentals, coffee dates, manicures (pamper those hard working crutch-managing hands), maybe a pedicure.

REMEMBER:

Crutches are major energy users. Let her know it’s okay to take time – better safe than risk another injury!

If you are going out on a physical outing with a group, ask your friend because she is BORED! Be sure to let her know it is fine to skip or go. No pressure! 

Your friend on crutches is dealing with an overload of emotions and pain. I can still remember everyone who visited me in the hospital, brought dinners, took me different places in the city and those who just hung out with me. They cared and that has meant the world to me. I will always stop my day/night to help them and your friend will too.

Be safe!

HIGH HEELS: WEAR THEM SMARTER

Ahh – here in the Midwest we are starting to feel the glory of fall approaching, waking to 60 degree mornings.  It makes us feel like we will soon be able to wear all the new glorious looks splashed across our fall magazines and catalogs. While flipping through the pages one thing was once again clear.  High heels aren’t going anywhere and will continue to have full attention this fall.  Everything from cap-toed pumps, spike-heeled booties, and stacked heels are gracing the pages and stores this fall.  While we still have options of stylish, flirty flats, and the New Block Heel, high heels are still front and center.

ImagePhotography by Peter Stitger

Many of my sisters on crutches have their fashionista tendencies to blame.  So, instead of telling you how bad high heels are for our feet, knowing full and well we plan to suffer anyway, I thought maybe serving up some tips on how to best wear high heels would be more helpful to all of us.

Here are some great suggestions to consider when wearing/buying high heels.  The following is straight from WebMd, with Morris Morin, DPM, director of podiatric medicine at the Hackensack University Medical Center, and podiatrist Stuart Mogul, DPM.

  1. Get the best-fitting high heel possible.  While this may seem like a given, stop and think: How many pairs of high heels cause your feet to slide to the front, leaving a gap big enough for a small cell phone behind your heel?  Mogul says high heels that don’t fit properly cause the front of the foot to fly forward, creating more pressure — and pain — on toes. Look for narrow heels with a snug but not tight fit to correct the problem.
  2. Cushion, cushion, cushion. While a full-shoe insert can help, if you have pain in the ball of the foot — or you’ll be standing in your heels a long time — invest in silicone metatarsal pads. They look like flattened gummy bears, but they do a super job of shock absorption, says Morin. “It’s like replacing the fat padding you lost.”
  3. Wear a thicker heel for stability. “A thicker heel will give you better balance and may help relieve some pressure by distributing the weight on your foot more evenly, says Morin.  Alternating heel heights can also help reduce problems with the Achilles tendon.
  4. Pay attention to the “slope” or “pitch” of the heel.  While some 4-inch heels will give you a straight drop down to the flatbed portion of the shoe, others will be a more gradual slope. This may be easier on the arch, says Morin, and might help relieve some pain in the ball of the foot.
  5. Wear open-toe high heels to relieve pressure on corns and calluses. See a podiatrist to have corns and calluses professionally removed and correct the problem that’s causing them. But if that’s not possible, opt for open-toe shoes to take pressure off inflamed areas.

These are tips we can live with – we just need to find the RIGHT 4-inch heels!

photography by Peter Stitger

CRUTCHES at the AIRPORT . YOU CAN DO IT!

https://i2.wp.com/www.mrwallpaper.com/wallpapers/airplane-flight-sunset.jpg With another long, holiday weekend upon us, many of you will be considering whether to travel or not due to your crutches.  As an  experienced user of crutches, I wanted to share with you the knowledge I’ve gained while traveling with crutches on planes. I think many of you would be surprised at how accommodating the airlines will be, and how it can be far easier than expected.

HERE WE GO:

  1. If possible, call ahead to the airline. Let them know you will be on crutches and need a wheelchair. The airlines reserve seats for disabled passengers, so if you call ahead you may be able to secure one earlier. Lots of times they will move you to a bulkhead seat which means more room to take care of your leg/ankle/foot AND quick access to your crutches. Bonus!
  2. When checking your bag, either via skycap or at the gate, tell them you will need assistance.  Usually they will offer you a wheelchair and wheelchair assistance. You decide if you want it or not.  I don’t always take it when boarding my first flight, but if I have a connecting flight, I always do.  It helps you to get to the connecting flights much faster.
  3. You will get priority boarding. Rock On. This means you will board earlier, in the first group usually.  Super helpful as it gives you time to safely get to your seat and get settled without the stampede of the herds of other passengers.
  4. Sometimes you can get a gate pass to have a family member help you get through security and take you all the way up to the gate. Again, awesome!
  5. Your crutches will be stored for you on the plane.  They do not count as a carry-on. Definite Bonus!

DON’T FORGET:

Hit the restroom before getting on the plane.  You don’t want to have to try and navigate to the restrooms on the plane while using your crutches in the narrow aisles/tiny restrooms. NOT FUN!

Wheelchairs DO make managing baggage easier.

You are often the first one off the plane.

If needed, they will have someone accompany you to baggage, and out to your taxi.  Be prepared to tip your helper.

NEGATIVE FOR SOME: You are no longer eligible to sit in an exit row. Not a biggie really.

Don’t let your crutches keep you from taking that trip.  Yes, it’s more work, but you can make it work.  Please let me know if you have any specific questions, I’d love to help you!

KICKING OFF WITH KIDS INJURIES

We are so excited to be kicking off our new blog!  We would love to hear back from you, so please post your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions!
While considering what to blog about first, I ran across a friend’s Facebook post this morning.  His son has just started high school football, and is suffering his first potential sidelining injury.

That led me to this subject – kids fall sports and their injuries. 

https://i2.wp.com/rlv.zcache.com/injured_kid_postcard-rfcbc68814ab845e091c584196da87f2d_vgbaq_8byvr_512.jpg

Many of your kids will be trying new sports for the first time, or maybe taking it to a new level – such as premier, club or dipping their toes into the big pool of high school sports.   Our Crutch Caps team consists of parents and we share many of your concerns. In fact, one of our teams kids is in already in a sling, first week of school.   While we will be around to ease any crutch pain from injuries, we would prefer your kids to stay healthy and strong!

This is a great article – very thorough and informative on childhood sports injuries and prevention, even includes a breakdown of most of the most common childhood sports.

http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sports_Injuries/child_sports_injuries.asp

Happy Friday!