How You Doin’?

Hey folks, long time no chat! I gotta say, blogging isn’t easy with a cast. While I have gotten the hang of typing with both hands (I’m glad Dragon exists comma but by time I have a sentence written out comma I have lost track of what I was trying to say period next line), it’s not as quick, editing photos is near impossible, and creating links literally cramped up my hand when using my laptop trackpad.

I miss writing, be it for the blog, or in my journals. This weekend watching Sunday Morning, they had a piece about the benefits of doodling. I Alison Gary, am a mega doodler. Doodling helps me clear my mind, focus on a presentation, craft a blog post, think of blog posts, and remember facts from a lecture or in a book. I realize the inability to doodle may be contributing to my lack of focus and mild ditziness that is driving me bonkers. I have half-written posts all over the place, in my Notes on my phone, my laptop, my work computer, on a flash drive… but when I go back to them I can’t remember what I was trying to say or else I don’t have the same opinion or voice. The lingerie post I shared Monday? Yeah, I started that post in May.

Friday, I went to the orthopedist knowing there was a chance my cast would come off. My previous appointment was just with the PA since my doctor was out of town and the PA told me the 20th the cast may be removed, and if not, July 7th. I was called back to the examination rooms and a tech told me he was going to help me “be free from prison.” He led me to the cast room and cut off my cast; I couldn’t stop smiling, even through the X-rays. My face hurt, I was so happy. They had a new computer system and a few glitches caused the schedule to be off, they let me know I may have to wait a bit to see the doctor. I sat in the examination room with my naked arm, so excited that I Instagrammed a photo of it, giving the thumbs up. The doctor came in and let me know that though the healing is going well, due to the damage the broken plate caused in my arm and the severity of the situation, I needed to go back into another long arm cast for 4-6 more weeks. Oh well, freedom was awesome while I had it! And really, this is worth it to have a functioning arm for the rest of my life. I again went with a pink cast, though I have a few CastCoverz! Armz! to switch up my look!

emerson kelis 930

This time is so different from the last time. No pain, and no fear. I’m living life as much as I can. Last weekend Emerson had her dance recital and I went to see Kelis at 9:30 with my friend Nicole.  This weekend I took Emerson to a birthday party at Pump It Up, and even picked crabs at a neighborhood cookout (not a drop of Old Bay on the cast!)! Karl and I have a Date Night this Wednesday and a couple more concerts on the docket later this summer and the annual Girls Weekend at Rehoboth come August. Sleeping is hard, little of my wardrobe works with the cast; and my hair is a ridiculous mess; but I’m healing correctly and all of this will be a blip in the grand scheme of life.

Speaking of which, after ten weeks so far of cast living I have learned some amazing hacks to be semi-independent and functioning:

  • Put a silicone or rubber mat on the floor, a peanut butter or mayo jar on it, and grip the jar with bare feet; now you can open the jar with your non-dominant hand.
  • Take one of those rubber bands that comes around broccoli or asparagus; clamp down a hand-crank can opener, put the band around the handles and you can use your cast hand to hold it upright and crank with the left hand and successfully open a can!
  • Though I’ve tried all the gadgets out there to protect a cast while showering, none seem to work with a soft fleshy short arm. Reader Amy told me to try Glad Press'n Seal and it is amazing. While I still can’t take a traditional shower or go swimming, this product sticks to the cast, the cloth part of the cast, and even my arm making the whole thing resistant to splashes while I take a bath or fake shower (use a shower head on a hose). I still need someone to wrap my arm for me (Karl is a saint), but it’s far easier than a trash bag and electrical tape!
  • Flossing picks.  A broken arm isn't an excuse to shirk your dental responsibility!
  • I now wear a wide knit headband when I wash my face and put on makeup. I think many people wear some sort of headband or clip to hold back their hair, but it never seemed necessary to me until now where I am constantly getting foundation or facewash in my hair. The wide stretchy band is nice because it covers from the forehead back, not a single bit of hair is exposed, and I can throw it in the wash with my reusable cotton rounds.  And to put on one-handed… well it does involve teeth…
  • My left hand is getting far more work than ever before, and having acrylic nails has helped greatly. My hand is more like a tool, and I’m not breaking or splitting nails. A coat of gel polish keeps me chip free for weeks.
  • Kindle.  Even the phone app will do.  Impossible to hold a book and flip pages and keep your place without muttering a few swear words; a Kindle will maintain your sanity.
  • Surf spray makes unbrushed untamed frizzy hair look more purposeful.  Spray hair products are a must, don't try to be a hero and use a mousse or cream, you'll only end up with a gooey mass at the very back of your head that you can't fully reach when bathing.
  • If you end up wearing a cast you MUST get a CastCooler. It attaches to the hose on your vacuum and the suction pulls cool drying air into your cast. Great if you do get your cast wet, great when it gets all sweaty from being in plastic while bathing or swimming, and just great when it’s been a hot summer day and you wish you could scratch that darn itch.
  • They now have contacts that you can leave in for 30 days and nights. I got a box before my May surgery, and with my allergy eyes I can’t go longer than two weeks with them in, but it’s two sweet weeks of not having to wear glasses sliding down my nose and getting filthy from being pushed up by my awkward left hand. Another situation where I can praise Saint Karl, who pries my eyes open so I can put in the contacts (and I use these tweezers to get the contacts out).

outfit photos

Life may be awkward, but it’s pretty darn wonderful. Emerson is growing like a weed (how can she already be starting kindergarten this fall????), the garden is flourishing (already enjoying spinach and lettuce, the tomato and pepper plants grow a foot every day), Karl is swell (we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary earlier this month!), and I feel pretty darn blessed. I have some phenomenal fashion from brands like Kika, Dobbin Clothing, love,cortnie, Sanuk, and Karen Kane I can’t wait to feature in outfit posts (until then follow me on Instagram for near-daily outfit photos) and look forward to arm freedom and truly getting back to all aspects of this blog. Thanks for being on this journey with me!

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23 Comments

  1. Susanne
    June 27, 2014 / 2:43 pm

    Dear Allison, love your blogg and your style <3 Just ordered this cute Asos swingdress. Greets from Germany, Susanne

  2. June 25, 2014 / 3:18 pm

    So lovely to hear you feeling a lot more chipper and that you’re enjoying life again. Congrats on your anniversary! And Emerson looks beautiful in her sparkly outfit.

    I found when I broke my foot that it gave me a permenant empathy with physically disabled people. I was lucky enough to only be on crutches for six weeks, but a the extra struggle to get around is a daily issue for people with a physical disability. Little things like the disabled parking at Uni being still quite a long way away (and downhill so needing stairs or ramps) from the lecture theatres.

    • June 29, 2014 / 9:26 am

      Yes, I see how inaccessible my office is, how hard it is to do things so many of us take for granted… it gives a new perspective on life! And thank you, Emerson loves her snow princess costume!!

  3. Judy Unnone
    June 25, 2014 / 7:41 am

    When I started following you a long time ago I loved you because you were just so REAL. You know, relatable. I still love that about you today. Just like any one of us going through life – and unexpected battles – keeping it real, but still positive. So glad that your arm is healing up nicely (sorry you have the cast for a bit longer – but you sure have worked out awesome solutions) and that you are still the gal I like to read. 🙂

    • June 25, 2014 / 11:11 am

      Aww thanks Judy, I lose my way sometimes but comments from great folks like you remind me to stay true. THANK YOU!

  4. MarcyB
    June 24, 2014 / 3:42 pm

    I broke my left wrist 2 weeks ago and am in a short arm cast. The first thing I did when I got home was to look up your posts on living in a cast – so helpful. I must say, I don’t know how you manage all that you do with a cast on your right arm – the left one is tricky enough. I did have success with the DryPro cast protector and am able to walk in the pool, which is great since I normally swim laps as my main form of exercise. I found it was helpful to slip a knee-high stocking over the cast first to give the protector a smoother surface to slide over. Thanks for all of your inspiration.

    • June 25, 2014 / 11:10 am

      That’s an awesome suggestion to improve the DryPro. I found that the Large was too tight on my upper arm (made my fingers tingle), the XL a bit too loose. CastCoverz suggested rolling it up over my shoulder which did help, but made scrubbing my pit difficult. Eh, it will be off pretty darn soon and that first true shower and dip in the pool will be all the more GLORIOUS!!! Hope your wrist is healing well!

  5. Lindsay
    June 24, 2014 / 3:03 pm

    Your attitude towards all of this is inspiring! Sending you happy, healing thoughts and hoping this will all be over soon!

  6. Jamie
    June 24, 2014 / 2:34 pm

    Well, for someone in a cast, you look pretty amazing!

  7. June 24, 2014 / 1:14 pm

    Kudos to you for blogging with your cast! Great to get an update from you! 🙂

  8. Anamarie
    June 24, 2014 / 1:01 pm

    When life gets you down, it’s OK to bitch – but I’m glad you’re seeing the positive side of your situation. I fractured both of my legs a few years ago and I was in a very dark place and refused help of any kind for a bit. Once I realized I really needed the help from my family and friends, I let them pull me out of my hole and make the best of it. Upside- my arms got really strong from pulling myself up and using a wheelchair!

    • June 24, 2014 / 1:04 pm

      I think the biggest thing I learned this second go round is to ask for and accept help. It really has helped me get out of that hole. I was making myself and everyone around me miserable by being a martyr. I bet your arms were gorgeous!!! <3

  9. Linda R
    June 24, 2014 / 12:12 pm

    Allie, Your post is so positive that it will be inspiring to others who read it. We all get the blues when life doesn’t go our way but you are making the best of it with the help of loving family members. Cheers!

  10. Mindo Wilkes
    June 24, 2014 / 11:13 am

    I’m pleased that you got at least a little freedom before having another cast on your arm! I had a broken wrist in a cast last year through the hottest summer we’ve had in the UK for quite a while, and had to travel to Houston to fix up our house (in August!) before putting it on the market. That was quite a trip, and not being able to drive really made the logistics difficult. I wish I’d had some of your wonderful tips to help me through that time, although I learned to do many things with just one arm and treated myself to a blow-dry every Friday so that I looked presentable for the weekend. One of the best things about having the cast off (apart from being able to moisturise that itchy skin) was washing my hair properly for the first time in weeks.

    • June 24, 2014 / 11:17 am

      Oh, to scrub my scalp and properly wash my hair and stand under the shower and let the water run all over me! To moisturize my poor hardworking but neglected left arm, completely shave my left armpit, and dive into a swimming pool! I CAN’T WAIT! Such an experience does make you appreciate the little pleasures in life, doesn’t it!

      • Sonia
        June 24, 2014 / 1:27 pm

        Hahaha, wash your armpit, classic!

  11. Sonia
    June 24, 2014 / 10:37 am

    So glad to read one of your lengthy posts again. Great advice for wearing and living with an arm cast too. How your recovery goes fast and well.

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