Friday, February 15, 2008

The Pros and Cons of a Broken Foot

I broke my foot recently. Always one to capitalize on an experience (good or bad) for my blog, I thought I would share with my readers the Pros and Cons of a broken foot:

Let’s start with the Cons:

Very few people can really wrap their minds around the concept of a fracture. It really isn’t a big deal; but it is true that a broken foot pretty much incapacitates you for some time because striding about the world with a broken foot, though heroic and indicative of a great threshold of pain and selfless disregard of one’s own health, might not be the best thing for the healing process. So it gets to you when some people say stuff like this to you – “you haven’t BROKEN anything…it’s just a fracture! I nosed around in Wikipedia and this is what it says: ‘Any type of bone break is a fracture. The word break is not used in a formal orthopaedic terminology’. How about I fracture your foot, and then we can sit down and talk about it knowledgably shall we?

Some other acquaintances (most often than not of the professional persuasion) expect you to gaily scamper out of the hospital after the plaster is done and catch a bus to work.
People will give you strange advice like: “Snap out of it! It’s just mental strength that you need.” Right. And how about I then go on Oprah and say, “ I decided I hadn’t broken my foot painfully and walked around the world immediately afterwards to raise money for the Osteoporosis Foundation!” (Accompanied by hurrahs and tearful applause from the audience.)

Then there’s the cast that you have to wear for a whole month. For one thing you had asked for a cream cast so it didn’t clash with your clothes and they give you a neon yellow one when you weren’t looking. Then they say you can’t wet it and have to put a plastic bag over it when you bathe. So to add insult to injury your husband gets you a bright green ‘Pantaloons’ plastic bag which you tie over your bad leg with a rope and hop to the bathroom everyday.

And the itching! Sweet Mother of God you feel like ripping your cast off and raking the skin underneath with your nails. (Two more weeks to go before that’s possible.)

And then there are the obsessive compulsive doorbell ringers. If they ring once you can ignore it…but the moment they ring twice you start to think it must be really important. So you hop to the door to open it only to find whoever it is has given up and gone away on their two good feet. Then when it happens the third time in the same day you start shouting as you grab your crutches and get up: “Aaata hoooooo” “Mut Jaiyyee, main abhi aa raha hooooo” all the while working your crutches like you’re in the special Olympics. After three very exciting minutes for everyone concerned, you open the door to find a very frightened man who had come to ask you to give your baby polio drops. “Can you see a baby anywhere?”, you dangerously enquire, and he backs off and leaves before you can hop within range and club him to death with your crutches.

The Pros, of course, are numerous:
You feel like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window. Except that if you DID have binoculars, (which you don’t) you could only have watched a bevy of fat old women hanging their washing out to dry.

Just like there are people who are disdainful of your weakness in the face of a broken bone or two there are others who are wonderfully sympathetic. Your husband spoils you to death, calls and emails come in from well-wishers who patiently listen to your grievances.

A broken foot satisfies both your sense of drama and your chronic hypochondria.

You are not required to do any work around the house and have people doing your bidding when they’re around.

You get some time off from work (despite the daily calls from office: “You’re not coming in today either??”) and read up a storm. You read some books that needed time and patience, which you would never have got around to in the fret and fume of everyday life.

You have the whole day to sit in a chair and think about life, and apart from the people I told you about in the cons, no one will blame you.

And of course, you have one more thing to crib about in your blog…


Haimanti said...

my sympathies darling! but i want to ask only one thing, are the office people liking your work?

rider of rohan said...

sorry to hear about your foot!

I remember ordering endless glasses of water from my sister, when I had a fracture. Thats the most fun I had though, at that time.

Anonymous said...

It is certainly interesting for me to read that blog. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. I would like to read more soon.

jenna said...

how long were you actually out of work when you broke your foot? i broke mine at work on friday (i'm a kindergarten teacher) and have no idea what the standard is. i'd love to go to work, but getting there is very unrealistic.

Ushasi said...

I was out for three weeks, and the fouth week i went to work in plaster and on crutches.

Good luck with yours Jenna! :)Be careful about running after your students once you're up and about again.:D