So imagine you're downhill skiing. Enjoying the slopes, zippin' down the hill having a good time. You suddenly hit a patch of ice and wipe out. As a result, you break both your legs.

So you go to your doctor to get treatment. He looks at you and says "ok, well, we're going to put you in cast type A for 6 weeks, BUT we don't know if it's going to work, your legs might still be broken after 6 weeks. You might need a stronger Type A cast, or maybe a Type B cast or maybe even Type C, we don't know, we'll have to see how it all goes."

You go home and initially your family and friends are sympathetic. But they also say weird things like "Oh, this one time, I sprained my ankle, I was limping for a whole weekend, I totally know how you feel, but do you really need a cast? I didn't need a cast..." When you point out to these people that you have two broken legs and you can't walk and your doctor told you a cast was the best option, they look at you skeptically and say "Well, I read on the internet that casts don't really work" ... You stop talking to these people about your casts.

Time goes on and your legs aren't feeling stronger or better. You're in a lot of pain and not being able to walk is really affecting your life. You can't do much of anything. You keep hoping that the cast will work. At the 6 week mark, you know that it hasn't worked and your doctor agrees. You decide to try the stronger Type A cast. You'll have to go another 6 weeks before you know if it's worked.

At this point, people are getting really impatient. They are asking you constantly why you aren't walking yet. Some are even accusing you of faking for sympathy, and that you really CAN walk but you just aren't trying hard enough. You're feeling more and more like a failure, are you really doing everything you can? Is the cast really working? Your family is getting tired of having to help you so much.

Again, people are comparing having a sprained ankle to your injury and insist it's the same and that you should just try harder - do some exercise! Eat better! Take vitamins! Take a yoga class and meditate! You know all these things are good things for you to do, and you'll do them when you can walk again and trying to regain the strength in your legs, but right now, it's just not possible. When you tell them that the cast is really the only option at this point, they don't really listen. You start to isolate yourself because interacting with people is exhausting and their well intentioned advice is just making you angry.

Advertisement

The months wear on and on and it seems like you've tried every kind of cast. It's been 6 months, and even your doctor at this point seems to have given up on you. He refers you to a specialist, who thankfully, seems to understand what it's all about. She's able to put you in a cast that your regular doctor didn't think of. Things start to get better. You're still in the casts but you can put weight on your legs. For the first time in a long time, you have a bit of hope.

The specialist sees your progress and fiddles again with your cast 6 weeks after your initial appointment. And this time, the combo works! 12 weeks after your initial appointment with her, the cast finally come off! But the doctor gives you some medication because now your legs are super weak. You might need to be on this medication for some time because your legs need more time to heal. People are as judgemental about these drugs as they were the casts, telling you that they aren't necessary or they've heard they don't work. You tune them out because, finally, something works and you don't give a shit about what other people say or think. Sure you can't run or even walk to the corner of the street without having to sit down, but you don't care. The casts are gone. But you have to be careful not to overdo it. Since your legs were broken for so long, you're at risk of having them break again easily, so you have to be careful. You know that this might mean a lifetime struggle to keep your legs healthy and working, but you feel like you have a handle on it for the first time in a long time.

For now though, you're just elated that you can walk down the street and take care of yourself again. You can shower and make your own dinners and get yourself to the bathroom no problem! It's been almost a year now since your accident, and finally, you feel like you can start your living your life again.