Trials of a Farmer with a Broken Foot

It’s been four days since I broke my foot. In that time period I have hopped, rolled, crawled, balanced, hoisted, scooted and cried from frustration. Let me tell you, a broken foot is not just an major inconvenience, it is a total lifestyle change.

Do crutches look easy to use? They are for the first ten minutes. I learned fast that you are not supposed to bear weight under your armpits and trying to will hurt you and possibly cause nerve damage. This means all of the strength needs to come from your hands, arms, shoulders and chest. Areas of my body that could probably have used a little work. Well they’re getting it.

On day two of my break, the rest of my body hurt way worse than the busted foot, which felt fine other than being very swollen and bruised, even though I was not on painkillers. My good leg was a tight ball of stress, my abs were so wrecked it hurt to cough and I was totally exhausted. Many times I found myself hungry or thirsty but did not have the energy to crutch myself the thirty feet to the kitchen. Not to mention I couldn’t carry anything back to my desk where I was set up anyway. Any eating or drinking had to be done standing at the kitchen counter.

All of this is nothing considering I have a small farm to take care of by myself. Usually my daily chores take about an hour, and consist mainly of feeding and watering the rabbits and poultry and collecting eggs. Outdoor rabbit tractors also need to be moved to fresh grass daily. The first day I managed to get the chores done to my satisfaction, even though the tractors had to stay put. It took me almost two hours and felt like I had just run a marathon. The only way to carry things was to abandon crutches and hop on one foot. This of course also entails hopping back to wherever you left your crutches, trying not to trip and fall on your broken foot. Sigh. Much spillage and panting ensued.

My life before the broken foot was very full, I was busy all day long running back and forth. Did I mention I also have a small business to run in addition to the farm? Well I do. Luckily I can still sit at a desk and stand at a workbench for short periods so I can complete these tasks with some competence.

I am very lucky to have help. This past weekend my lovely boyfriend came over and did absolutely everything for me. He cleaned my entire house, did all my chores, took me out to eat when I was hungry and fetched me whatever I required. He set me up with jugs of water in each room and even left me his iPad so I could play my silly games in bed. But alas, dear boyfriend had to go back Sunday night for a week of working on the Mainland.

Just the thought of getting down the back steps today and tackling the barn chores now tires me out. They’ll have to get done one way or another but I’m not looking forward to it. Yesterday I bought an expensive walking cast and the doctor at the clinic seemed to think I could walk on it right away. “You can do away with those!” he said pointing to my crutches. I was relieved, but also skeptical. Turns out I just can’t put my full weight on it so soon and I don’t want to either. The cast still helps a lot though with keeping the foot rigid and keeping the swelling down.

The doctor at Emergency didn’t really give me any helpful info at all. He said I should get a walking cast when the swelling went down and gave me a Dilaudid. Then he told me I could go home and walked away even though I was sitting in a locked wheelchair in the middle of an empty waiting room. I had to twist around, depress the lock on the handle of the chair and concurrently inch myself backwards back to reception with my good foot where the nurse said “Wow you’re coordinated! Those chairs aren’t designed for patients to move themselves.” I told her I figured that out already. She looked at my bare foot and smiled. “Not broken after all?” I told her yes, it was broken but the doctor sent me home. She looked confused and said “He didn’t even give you a splint, nothing at all?” I said no and asked if she would please call me a cab.

Considering I pay about $85 a month for healthcare and haven’t been to the doctor in maybe 5 years, I was pretty underwhelmed by the service at the hospital. They didn’t even have a pair of crutches to loan me so I could get home.

Is it weird that I’ve been training my wolf mix to pick up household objects and hand them to me for the last few months? Was I anticipating this accident somehow? Too bad he can’t take out the garbage.


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