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life lessons

7 simple lessons I learned after spending 8 weeks in a knee-high fracture boot

That was a long two months.

THREE YEARS AGO, I broke a bone in my foot and spent two months in a fracture boot.

fractureboot niamhomac / Instagram niamhomac / Instagram / Instagram

And every night over the last 36 months, the throbbing on the left side of my left foot acts as a reminder that day-drinking and any kerb taller than two centimeters is enough to render me incapacitated for the guts of 8 weeks.

If you’ve ever spent a prolonged period of time in a fracture boot – particularly one that goes up to your knee – you’ll know that you were, in that moment, dealt an unholy fate.

Yes, you were vaguely hysterical, but then you calmed down and took stock.


Initially, you felt optimistic that this gargantuan contraption wouldn’t hold you back too much. Look, you weren’t in a cast, and with the help of the boot, you could essentially walk like a normal person.

And then you left the hospital, and realised how naive you had been.

So, here are just 7 lessons I learned after I watched a doctor eye-up my X-ray, disappear out of the room, and then reappear clutching a boot I could have sailed to America in.

1. ‘Sensible shoes’ don’t protect you against stupidity.

I spent my teenage years fending off concerns from my parents that I would break my angle in the 4-inch heels I insisted on wearing on nights out. Side point; at six-foot in bare feet, four-inch heels gave me the appearance of a stilt-walker, but here’s the thing, I never sustained a single injury.

On the night in question, however, I was wearing my most sensible shoes. The brand shall remain nameless, but let’s just say they were flat, they were supportive and they were canvas – none of which makes a blind bit of difference when you decide to go on a merry-go-round with a bellyful of drink and then walk in a straight line afterwards.

Who knew?


2. I’m not good with vague discomfort.

I would choose acute pain for a short period of time over lingering discomfort for eight weeks.

Ironically, the discomfort wasn’t born of my broken bone, but the sheer weight of the boot, and the effect it was having on my posture. Christ Almighty, I spent more time worrying about how I was damaging my hip with the added weight than I spent concerning myself with the progress happening within the boot.

OK full disclosure, this wasn’t all down to the boot.

Like the genius I am, I also sprained my wrist in the fall, so I couldn’t use two crutches, which meant I was completely unbalanced with what felt like an extra two stone attached to my leg.

3. I’m not great at obeying doctor’s orders.

I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I had to sleep with the boot on.

And I tried, so help me God, I tried.

But have you ever spent a night with your leg encased in a cinder block? I don’t think I made it through one night in eight weeks without waking up, frantically unbuckling the straps, easing the fecker off and lashing it at the wall in frustration.

4. My balance on a slippery surface is second to none (surprising as it might seem)

I couldn’t wear the boot in the shower as the cushioning would get wet, and so on and so forth.

As bed baths weren’t something I was about to get on-board with, I rallied.

So for eight weeks, I showered every day on one foot. And never once fell.

5. People on public transport are really accommodating.

For eight weeks, I felt like the queen of public transport as men, women and children offered me seats on buses, helped me off the train and facilitated the swift removal of my crutch from the Luas track when the hobbling got a little hairy.

Even when there were plenty of seats for me to choose from and I simply decided to stand for comfort reasons, passengers hopped out of theirs and refused to sit back down until I was fully ensconced in their recently-vacated seat.

thank you mena

6. Parents will use you as a cautionary tale.

Oh, and they won’t try to hide it either.


7. Glowsticks are your friend. 

When everyone else is giving it loads at a wedding, and you’re dragging a ten-stone boot around with you, you have to get involved any way you can.

And if that means tearfully lacing glowsticks through it so you can pretend you’re getting involved, so be it.


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