Real-World Tips to Life in a Medical Boot
Tips for life in a medical boot. So you're stuck in a boot for a while. Probably not how you were hoping to be spending your time. Here are a few tips we've gathered to help you while you heal:
PRIOR TO SURGERY
If you are able to plan ahead, consider getting ready in advance:
1. Create a basket or bin to keep near you with all your go-to essentials that would drive you crazy if you don’t have access to them. I’d fill a basket with lip balm, pen and paper, hand lotion, reading glasses, fingernail file or clippers, brush, mints, a book, a crossword or sudoku puzzle, a few snacks, and a bottle of water that I could keep with me.
2. Rearrange furniture if necessary for easy access to the area where you'll be spending most of your day time. Remove area rugs or cords that might trip you.
3. The Bathroom. Try standing up off the toilet using just one leg. Is there anything you can have in there that might make it easier for you after surgery? If you have room, add a chair, a sturdy table, or even a cat scratch post. Don't plan on pulling yourself up with a towel rack - you'll pull it right off the wall.
4. Electronics. We all need them. Have them ready and within reach. Have charging cords there already plugged in, phone, remotes, radio, etc.
5. Plan ahead by having errands run, some meals prepared, grocery shopping done, new reading material, and new movies to watch.
6. Bedtime. If you will not be sleeping in your bed, have a change of clothes and bedtime toiletries already in the bathroom where you would change.
7. Showers. Plan ahead with a waterproof cast cover if needed, a shower stool, or dry shampoo and baby wipes for a quick freshen up.
8. You'll need a supply of pillows and blankets where you will be spending your days. Have enough pillows ready to elevate your leg.
9. Arrange for someone else to help with chores that might require you getting up and down such as getting the mail, walking the dog, feeding pets, picking up a newspaper, driving kids to school, etc.
10. Get a pedicure before if you can. You'll be staring at those bare toes for several weeks.
IN THE DAYS AFTER SURGERY: CRUTCHES
1. While using crutches, consider a backpack or crossbody bag to help transport items around with you instead of a shoulder purse.
2. Check out a crutch caddy which attaches to the crutch iteself.
3. Wear pants with deep pockets to hold your phone while your hands are busy with the crutches.
4. Grocery shopping will be difficult. Accept offers of help. Try online ordering. Stock up on pre-made dinners. Don't be embarrassed to ask for help.
5. If you are home alone, getting food to and from the table can be difficult. Consider something rolling to help you along...like a rolling desk chair, tea cart, rolling cooler, or even a rolling suitcase. Something you can push.
6. If you are a coffee or tea drinker, consider an electric tea kettle and small bin of supplies on a table near you to limit the times you get up and down.
7. Cut a pool foam noodle to form cushions to place on crutches under your arm.
8. Roll yourself on that rolling desk chair too to help get around.
9. A lap desk, sturdy placemat, or breakfast tray would be helpful for writing letters, reading magazines, doing crosswords, making to-do lists, writing your memoirs, etc.
10. Follow the doctor's orders. When they say "elevate your foot" do it. You will be even more miserable if you don't. Force yourself to slow down.
11. If you will be home alone for an extended period of time, have a cooler or insulated lunch bag near you with ice packs ready to grab during the first few days.
12. Help keep your toes warm by wearing really large, really soft, oversized socks. A cheap pair of fuzzy socks are good because they are so stretchy. You won't want anything tight on your foot.
ONCE YOU ARE ABLE TO GET UP AND PUT WEIGHT ON YOUR FOOT
1. The walking boot can add up to and inch to your height, so you may need to compensate with a higher heel on your other foot to avoid being unbalanced.
2. Rubbing or chaffing around the top of the shin? Try cutting a sock top off and placing just below the knee under the boot.
3. Rain. Wet medical boots are not fun. Try wearing a cover made of water resistant fabric that will help keep you dry without covering the tread of your boot. Check out our Portland Rain Boot cover or our Little Black Boot cover.
4. Cold. Medical boots still leave your bare toes exposed, so consider a boot cover for warmth like our Snygg Boot, Little Black Boot, or the Chuckster.
5. As swelling decreases, the black adjustable walking boots may need their black velcro straps trimmed to avoid becoming a tripping hazard.
6. Bed Time. Consider how much dirt gets on your walking boot and wear a night time cover that encloses your boot. Cover your boot with a pajama cover when you get into bed. Flaunt has many beautiful colors and styles that work for both men and women. When sleeping, a smooth cover can even help your boot move a little more easily between the sheets and not grab so easily, which can cause pain.
7. In a black medical boot vs. Aircast? Make sure to have a lint brush handy. Those black medical boots pick up a lot of pet fur and lint.
8. Don't hibernate! you will no doubt get a bit of cabin fever being inside for two or three weeks. The more you are out socializing, the better your mental outlook will be. Get outside and get some vitamin D. Go to places where you know you will be able to sit and rest for a while. How about a play, out for lunch, to a movie, choir concert, good old fashioned Sunday drive, or to a park?
9. Have fun and try to make the best of a bad situation. Find a fun accessory to add to your boot with one of our fun belts, bands, or a bit of bling.
If you have good ideas for tips, we'd love to hear them! What has worked for you?