Playing nurse to my mum


Well, what a disaster…

I can hardly believe that last week I was talking about her birthday and just a few days later my mummy has only gone and broken BOTH her ankles! She doesn't do things by halves does she?!

They have plastered one (a fab shade of purple) and she mustn't put weight on it, but has to hobble on the other one is ALSO broken so she's in terrible pain.

Independent, busy, active are words I associate with her, so you can imagine how hard it is going to be for her, especially as they have said it will be 3 months before she can drive again.

I wondered if anyone has any top tips to share that could help her such as, how is it best to manoeuvre up and down stairs, alleviate boredom and keep toes warm that peep out from the plaster? 

Hopefully you'll have some ideas for me on how to look after my patient and prevent her from doing too much!

Look forward to hearing from you,


Nurse Claire X


  1. Julie Pluck November 28, 2008 at 2:09 am -  Reply

    Sympathies. I have just broken one ankle and thats difficult enough. I am the main carer for my disabled parents and we have had to get help in for them and me.
    Every cloud has a silver lining, just enjoy having time together…..

  2. Kristina Moore November 28, 2008 at 4:11 am -  Reply

    Oh your poor Mum,Claire. As regards boredom provide lots of dvds and/or books if she enjoys watching or reading. And make sure it is easy for her to change the dvds over. The radio is also good.
    My husband broke one ankle but had to stay on the sofa for 23 out of 24 hours a day (he slept on the sofa too) and we kept his toes warm by cutting up a sock half way down from the toe end and then topping that with a piece of fairly sturdy tight so that it stayed put. Make sure that the piece of tight is not too constricting or use an elastic band big enough to go around the plaster on top of the piece of sock. A stick long and thin enough to go down the plaster and blunt enough not to pierce skin is a good tool to have handy when she gets an itch!
    How you pin her down is another matter entirely. She will need to learn that staying put is very important as it may well make the mending process longer if she doesn’t. And that after the plaster comes off she will need to do EVERYTHING the physiotherapist tells her to. These sessions are uncomfortable but very necessary and my husband found them to be extremely beneficial.
    Send her my very best wishes for a steady recovery. And I do hope that she doesn’t get too frustrated. Take care yourself and remember that if she does get frustrated with you she doesn’t mean it.

  3. Daria Edwards November 28, 2008 at 6:45 am -  Reply

    Dear Claire,
    There must be something catching at QVC! Everyone is ending up at A&E. Ask the fracture clinic at the hospital your mum is attending for aids to help Mum to maintain her independence. There are also mobility associations who may be able to help. Get some wheatgerm neck pads from the chemist that you warm in the microwave, heat them to warm, not hot, wrap them round mums tootsies and borrow the biggest pair of socks you can find to put over the pads & the plaster casts. this should help to keep mums tootsies warm.Encourage her to do lots of tootsie wigggling. This will help circulation & help to minimise muscle atrophe so she is not weak when the casts come off.
    Also bum & thigh clenching will help.The more mum can move the less painful it will be.
    Hope this helps & hope you get plenty of help too.
    You have been a welcome guest in my lounge via the tv screen for quite a few years now & I think you will be ssuprised how many people are thinking of you & your mum & wish you both well.
    Best regards,
    Daria x

  4. sue November 28, 2008 at 12:50 pm -  Reply

    Claire, best thing for her would be Not to try the stairs, as she could damage her ankles and hold them up healing – best to keep off them as much as possible except where really necessary. Make up a bed downstairs for her, nice and cosy. Sorry to have to say that, but she should elevate her legs as much as possible.
    Also have a bell by her side so she can ring it if she needs help in an emergency (cup of tea, that sort of thing)!
    Make sure she has a pad of paper and a pencil by the telly, then she can write down all the numbers of the QVC items she needs to order as presents this Christmas, as I am sure she will find the right present for everyone!
    Best of luck, Claire, and all the best to your mother.

  5. claire November 28, 2008 at 6:54 pm -  Reply

    oh how lovely of you all to offer such great advice and send your lovely wishes to us especially as you too are suffering Jules, I wish you a good recovery.Now let me check my shopping list! ….sox, elastic bands! wheatgerm pads..great idea, a stick!!! and yes Daria,the fracture clinic has given us a number so a few helpful bits are on their way.The bed downstairs is a sticking point at the moment, though she does like my sofa at my house so ….will have to work on her there, besides she would have three delightful little helpers if she came to me! Still she s keeping her spirits up well SO FAR ! but i ll remember your comment Kristina for the times ahead! Must go now is that a bell ringing in the distance(sue!)……..Love Claire xxx

  6. Linda Price November 29, 2008 at 12:00 am -  Reply

    So sorry to read this about your Mother. Agree with what has been said, your mother really does need to keep off her feet. Rest is the best way to heal. Apart from reading / television / radio does your mother craft? How about a scrapbook album of her family. Or parchment craft, that is time consuming. Take care all of you.

  7. BEVERLEY RILEY November 29, 2008 at 12:07 am -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    Sorry to hear about your Mummy. I recently had a bad car accident and broke my arm badly and crushed the bones in my wrist. Only 2 weeks later my best friend Wendy went out in sympathy with me. She fell breaking one leg and badly spraining the other ankle. She had several weeks unable to stand and had to stay on the downstairs sofa. However she used to shuffle around on her bottom and get up and down the stairs on her bottom too. We just made sure she had plenty of reading materials, crosswords, chocolate, pen and paper (for qvc items) but also lots of visitors to keep her spirits up. The time will pass quickly with all these things but the main thing she will need is the remote control and keep watching QVC. The hours seem to pass sooo quickly then, and I am speaking from my own experience on that last pointer. Best Wishes for a speedy recovery to your Mummy but you take care too Claire, don`t overdo things because your Hubby and children need you to be well, especially at this time of the year.
    Regards Beverley.

  8. Pauline Gouling. November 29, 2008 at 3:13 am -  Reply

    Claire sorry to hear your mother has injured herself so badly. I know what it is like. I busted my left elbow and was in a heavy plaster for 6months. It felt like my arm was going to fall off when they took it off. I agree it is best that your mother keeps off her legs, until she feels in herself that she is able to cope with getting on them. Just be careful that she does not get a blood clot.
    Best wishes to you and your mother.
    Regards Pauline.

  9. Kristina Moore November 29, 2008 at 8:40 pm -  Reply

    My husband has (with years in between) broken his right ankle, right arm and right scapula (shoulder blade). I have banned him from trying the left side. He now can tell you when it is going to rain as at least one of these areas give him aches and pains when this is going to happen. To those of you who have broken bits of you (I sympathise hugely) make sure you note this so that it doesn’t come as a horrible surprise.
    I used to buy him small treats while shopping on a Saturday to cheer him up. These ended up being semi-precious stones as food made him fatter as he could not move about or exercise to work the calories off. This needs to be taken into consideration I think.
    Good luck and take good care of all of you. I hope my husband doesn’t join the club as he invariably did his breaks in December!
    As I said before don’t take the grumps too seriously. It is difficult when you are used to doing things to take the fact that you can’t for a while. It will heal as long as your Mum does what she is told by her Consultant, you and the physio.
    Hugs to you all

  10. Angie Wright November 29, 2008 at 8:52 pm -  Reply

    Claire, so sorry to hear about your mum. We always think our mums are invinsible! My mum broke her wrist about 4 years ago – she was a nightmare. She didn’t want to rest. Mums are always busy – we never stop. Still, 2 broken ankles is something else!
    Claire – I have been watching your Kipling hour this morning and I love your dress. I don’t suppose you’d divulge where you got it?
    Have a lovely Christmas and best wishes to your mum. Love Angie x

  11. Stephanie Dumbrill , West Sussex November 30, 2008 at 2:22 am -  Reply

    Dear Claire, sorry to hear about your Mum. Im sure she has lots of friends rallying around helping out as im sure if she has the same nature as you she is usually running around helping others. This time of year she can sit at leisure and write Christmas cards, catch up with people on the phone (thats if she doesn’t lose it down the back of the sofa !!! ) In this day and age with Computers,Phones and Texting she can put her feet up on the sofa and be in contact with all. Lets hope she makes a good recovery and she is up and about as soon as possible. Get well soon Claires Mum xxxxxx

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