How-to dress yourself after leg & foot surgery…

Let’s presume you’ve had foot, or ankle, or leg or whatever surgery. Bottom line, you’re in a leg cast for one reason or another, and your journey to healing has just begun (magical sound effects go off in the background). It’s blue skies! You see the mountains but hey, they’re not going to get you down, not after you’ve been heavily dosed with painkillers by the hospital. No sir.

What to wear with a leg cast

But, oh, wait…here comes day 3, or 4, or week 2…whatever the number, here comes the day you finally get to interact with society, and now you are no longer allowed to spend entire days in your pajamas. And on this fateful day, let’s presume that it is not bare-leg season. As in, it is too horrifyingly cold. What on earth do you wear? Do you just telecommute? If this is the case, when will you even become fit for public consumption?! And, above all, why did this information not come to you in that little binder the doctor provided? Do not panic. Sure, you probably cannot wear 75% of your wardrobe, but I discovered  three viable options that pretty much every, living, breathing woman has in her closet: tights/stockings, leggings and workout/lounge pants.

Cast Life Lesson 1: If it stretches it fits. Allow this to become your motto for selecting clothing. Here’s the thing, you’ll either want to opt for capri-styled leggings and workout pants, or stock-up on tights and stockings that you won’t mind hacking half a leg off of. It sounds crazy, defiling brand new or lightly worn tights, but honestly, the moment you put normal people clothing on, the better you start to feel in general.

Cast Life Lesson 2: Let skirts and dresses be your friend. Because tights and stockings cannot be worn as solo acts, and I will caution you that leggings should not be worn in that fashion either, pair them with skirts and dresses. They’re easy, you only need a handful of them and realistically, pants, or anything constricting definitely won’t go over your gigantic cast. Plus, even if you can manage to wiggle them up, all that bunching around your knees is constricting.

Cast Life Lesson 3: Invest in scarves and accessories. Excluding your pajamas and loungewear, you’ll probably have all of 6-7 outfits you feel truly comfortable in. Capitalize on accessorizing and 6-7 is now magically 24+ outfits. Plus, all that crutching around makes you sweaty, making scarves the most appropriate item to help regulate your body heat.

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Reconstructive Foot Surgery, a Love Story

The first time I met with my surgeon, he gasped with wonder when I placed all of my weight on my foot. He’d never seen a anything “pancake out” like that before, he told me. Wounded ego aside, my visit was due to, brace yourselves, a bunion and bones that were set higher up in my foot that had been causing awful pain for years. I was told said bunion and rogue bones would only worsen with time.  So, after an internal debate that lasted over the span of years, I decided to get the operation.

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I had heard the horror stories: how terribly painful the procedure would be, how recovery was so long and hard, and how limited I’d be from normal activity. But honestly, I could not be happier that I did it. Anything I found online about this procedure was either spammy, or too clinical, so over the rest of my recovery, I plan on peppering in a few things I’ve learned along the way to help bridge the gap on the internet. I’m almost at the 1 month mark now. Still in a hard cast, and I’ve only just stopped working from my living room, but I’m feeling decidedly positive. While it wont be the only thing I am writing about, there will definitely be more to come over the next two months (including, but not limited to; how to dress yourself in the fall when you have a giant hard cast that takes up half your leg, or how to still get exercise, the importance of the knee scooter…)