How to Make Life “Fun” in a Cast

Yohan’s Surgery #11: How to Make Life “Fun” in a Cast

August 3, 2016


So many things can go so wrong when you are in a cast. I’m about to tell you true stories. I wish they were not true, but they are. Here is a glimpse of my everyday chaotic life, which is simply an extension of my absent-minded, distracted brain. Quite surprisingly, Yohan did not end up in the hospital with another, more serious injury while under my supervision and care. We got lucky.

Yohan’s been in a cast for the past 4 weeks. Before we left Cedars Sinai, Dr. Pfeffer vehemently warned us NOT to get the cast wet – not even a little bit. Apparently, one of his patients used a “waterproof” plastic cast cover to take a shower and the cast got soaked. That poor soul had to undergo another surgery just to fix the damage done by the removal of the destroyed cast in the ER. Can you imagine?

The second day home, we (I) came very, very close to compromising that brand new cast. Yohan used his Honest Pee bottle and called me to collect and empty. At the same time the phone was ringing, so I ran in, grabbed the bottle and in slow motion, I saw that bottle hover in thin air as it slipped from my unsteady hand. As time stood still, I saw Yohan’s eyes grow wide with terror as he watched me trying to get a solid grip back on that bottle before the open pee bottle spilled all over his cast. I caught it, not a drop spilled, but just in the nick of time. We avoided a catastrophe, but what a close call. “Hello, Dr, Pfeffer? Yeah, Elizabeth Ouellette here. I just spilled urine ALL OVER Yohan’s cast. It is drenched and very smelly. What do we do now?” That’s one conversation I’m glad I did not have to have.

Remember, the aforementioned incident occurred the first day he was sporting his brand new cast. Many challenges were yet to follow.

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Robin Tobias: Best PT Ever

Thanks to the best PT ever (Robin Tobias), who came to our house to teach Yohan to use crutches, he’s gained confidence over the past 4 weeks and has gotten pretty good at getting around the house.

He still prefers to ask me to get his food, drinks, medicine, clothes, computer, headset, charger cords, etc, but he is so annoyingly grateful for everything, how can I say no? “Thank you so much.” “I appreciate you.” “You’ve helped me so much.” “You are the best.” I can’t even afford to get irritated! I’m forever grateful to have the nicest, most thoughtful kid in the world, but seriously….

My annoyance turned into mischievousness and in a moment of childish impulsivity, I snuck into his room at 6am and wrote “MOM” on the bottom of his cast, which also looks like “WOW” if you look at it from an opposite angle. Yes, I was proud of myself. I like to keep our lives interesting.

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I texted him the picture and when he got up at noon, he’s like, “What the heck!!!! I can’t believe you did that, you creeper!” (His verbiage may have been a bit stronger). Then we just laughed. Thank God he has a good sense of humor.

Try as I may, I’ve inadvertently made the house more hazardous than safe. I accidentally spilled liquid laundry detergent all over the floor in the laundry room. Without sharing my mishap, I hurriedly cleaned it up, but is it ever hard to get concentrated washing liquid off a tile floor. That night, Yohan crutched through the laundry room and I heard him scream, “AHHHHHHHHHH” One arm of his crutch slipped violently off the still slippery floor, compromising his balance. By the grace of God, he remained upright. He could have easily ended up flat on his face, but we got lucky, again. Or should I say, I got lucky, again.

Keeping the floors clear of obstacles has also been quite the challenge. I’ve never really learned to put things back after I use them, so when I play with the cat, there are usually an assortment of cat balls, feathers, squeaky birds left on the floor, which is a hazard to anyone on or off crutches. I am just an “in the moment” kind of gal. What do you expect?

We’ve had no serious accidents, but we came close one too many times. Even the cat herself seems to be working against him. I caught her red handed:

Well, tomorrow is the big day. The cast comes off and we start a new chapter in the life of Yohan’s surgery and rehabilitation. We are anxious and excited, scared, but optimistic that everything will turn out okay. We’ve gotten this far, it just has to get better, right? Time will tell.

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