People have talked about how difficult and challenging it is to heal with any broken bone, but it’s really nothing compared to living it. You can read all the stories and watch all the recovery videos, but the reality is quite the challenge!
Last July, I rode my bike in the rain, and I hit a puddle of water. My back tire slid out from under me, and I was heading into traffic, so I decided to jump off the bike to save myself.
It’s probably one of the best and worst decisions I’ve made. It saved my life but jumping off, the handlebar hit me square in the thigh and ended up breaking my femur into three pieces.
Seeing that it was in the middle of the pandemic and I was stuck in a foreign country made everything a lot worse! I ended up spending a whole day in the ER unattended and had to beg them for pain meds so that I could sleep.
I finally got the surgery two days later, and I had no worries because I had worked with the doctors throughout my clinical experience. They did great work, and I was on the road to my three-month-long recovery!
I thought things would be easy, but the first day of physio made me feel like a failure. It dawned on me that I now had to relearn how to use my leg because I could barely lift it off the bed.
I cried for about two hours on the phone with my parents. Eventually, my friend convinced me that we’re going to get through it together. And another of my friends helped me through the physio by myself!
But once I got home, it was clear that I needed help getting around, but my friend couldn’t be there all the time either. So I had to learn as much as possible from people with past experience with a broken leg, and where better to go than the internet?
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much I could find online under a broken femur; there were a few stories to help and some videos. However, there wasn’t much about getting around in a two-story apartment!
I learned to go up and down the stairs with my butt and about all the handy gadgets you need to carry things around with you from people in a wheelchair! The best thing I learned was how to clean from a wheelchair, so I didn’t feel so useless.
I could vacuum the house and still wash the dishes and even sometimes cook for myself! It was really empowering being to something all because I couldn’t get in the shower and feel the water running down my skin!
As the months went on, things became a lot easier for me, but I still felt stuck. Everyone seemed to be moving on past the pandemic, and here I was, still stuck in the house with my best friend, Netflix.
When I eventually got better, I was preparing to start running. But my leg had betrayed me because, after all that time, I still needed to learn how to walk again!
I eventually got through it with physio, a few months of it too! It’s a long road to recovery, and the best thing you can do is find hobbies to occupy your time.
The boredom will get to you. You’ll get frustrated with yourself, but take a deep breath. Get creative figuring out how to work around your broken leg, and don’t be stubborn.
As much as it’s frustrating not being able to do things, it’s not going to help you if you hurt yourself trying! You’ll get better eventually but till then, learn your few tricks to get you through the time!
Dr Saadiqah Hajat