Life Lessons From A Week On Crutches

by Julie Cole

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Image source: iStockPhotos

So I managed to do my ankle in, which landed me in an Aircast and crutches. I know what you’re thinking and for the record, I was not walking and texting.

In fact, I was attempting to walk and talk at the VERY same time and managed to go over on my ankle. It’s a good thing I wasn't chewing gum or I may have ended up in a full body cast!

Clearly this cast/crutches thing is not an ideal situation for a multi-tasking mama. To further complicate the matter, Daddy-o was out of town for the week and the affected ankle was attached to my driving foot. The already difficult task of getting various children to various activities at the same time reached a whole new level of crazy.

It was an interesting experience for me, and this is what being on crutches taught me:

1. My friends who deal with real-life chronic pain, illness or disability - I know you find it annoying and even a little condescending when people tell you how amazing and brave you are, but yeah, that. I am not amazing or brave - mostly just whiny. 

2. Six-year-olds can pack their own school lunches and will include fruits and vegetables. They will also feel proud. Kids step up when they need to.

3. Crutches take the focus off a sore ankle by causing excruciating pain to your armpits. Did the people who made the crutches plan it that way? Is it some twisted method of trying to distract from pain by creating new pain?

4. Not being able to drive was like a forced holiday. I contemplated prolonging the appearance of injury, but convenience and reality won out.

5. There are friends and family members who are extremely helpful. But when help is offered, I must be clear with instructions. I should specifically say, for example, that “picking up bread” means a minimum of three loaves in a family of our size. That one loaf that was dropped off lasted 20 minutes.

The top lesson, of course, is to watch where I’m going. Curbs have a way of jumping out at you when you least expect it.


Have you had an injury or illness that has caused temporary disruption to family life? How did everyone manage?

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