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The Highs and Lows of Breaking Your Bones

Forty percent of you will end up with a broken bone at some point in your life. So I thought I'd help you prepare for this exciting time by sharing some of the ups and downs I've experienced since being forced to take up crutches, because, having...
July 8, 2014, 1:00pm

People break bones every day. In the US, 6.8 million people break a bone each year, and in Sweden (where I'm from) 11 people break a bone every hour. I recently became one of those lucky 11 when I fell over and broke my foot, which sucked, because smashing a body part to pieces and quickly becoming immobile is both sore and very inconvenient.

Yet there are upsides to destroying your metatarsals. Morphine, for example. Or crutches, which instantly give you carte blanche to do basically whatever you want: turn up late for meetings, skip the lines at supermarkets, or have your friends and colleagues fetch you warm towels and feed you wine.

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Forty percent of you will end up with a broken bone at some point in your life. So I thought I'd help you prepare for this exciting time by sharing some of the ups and downs I've experienced since being forced to take up crutches, because, having broken my foot, I have absolutely nothing better to do.

CRUTCHES

 Walking with crutches is great. Your arms get stronger, plus you can accessorize your new sticks with stencils, charms, stickers, and/or flecks of your own blood. They're also an ideal conversation starter at parties, but be wary of handing them over to people to have a go on; you do actually need them to stay upright, and once one person's had a crack, every dickhead there is going to want a turn.

What's more, your hands are already full when you walk, meaning you don't have to smoke or stare at your phone to avoid looking like the Tin Man (arms awkwardly stuck to your sides, the rest of your body rigid in the fear that you're walking weirdly) while going about your daily business. Consider this rehab for your ailing self-esteem.

BLOOD THINNERS

 Sticking needles into your own body sucks. It's one reason I never understood heroin's appeal. But wearing a cast and generally not moving around very much can give you blood clots, which suck even more, in that they can lead to deep vein thrombosis and, if you're really unlucky, death. To avoid death, it's common practice to take a "blood-thinning" shot in the stomach every evening—a low-molecular-weight heparin that makes you tired, sensitive, and more prone to bruising.

Mind you, I'll repeat my point again here: Being grumpy is much more preferable to dying because you couldn't deal with a little prick once a day.

KIDS

 Kids are assholes. They don't pay any attention to anything that doesn't involve them, and they shouldn't be allowed to move freely around cities. Whoever invented the child harness is a saint. Fuck them and their tiny paws knocking over my crutches.

OLD PEOPLE

 These guys are your new best friends. You know that bit in Curb where Larry lets the audience in on the secrets of the bald community? The same rules apply to anyone with decreased mobility: sympathetic head nods on public transportation, lots of conversations with strangers on zimmer frames, and plenty of unprompted tips from pensioners on how to make life slightly easier—ike peeing on plants instead of going back and forth with a watering can, or guilt-tripping others into doing your grocery shopping for you.

Photo by Y+M

COMMUTERS

 Walking around on crutches is fine on the weekends, because weekend people are generally pretty chill; they'll help you out and let you on and off the bus before them. However, getting from A to B in peak hours during the week is a fucking nightmare. I know this because until about three weeks ago I was just like that self-absorbed dickhead who stomped on my foot to make sure he got through the train doors and secured a seat before anyone else.

CONVERSATIONS

 There is literally no better way for someone to break an awkward silence than asking you, "Why are you in a cast?" Plus, if you don't like that person and want to make sure he hurries out of your personal space as promptly as possible, just make up a really boring explanation and he'll inevitably wander off to talk to someone about the weather or stand alone in the corner of the club until the lights come up.

CRUTCH AND CAST FETISH

  Take this opportunity to make some extra cash by modeling for a cast and sprain fetish website. Who knows—a broken bone might signal the start of an exciting, sexy new future.

Follow Caisa Ederyd on Twitter.