Ideas for (Temporarily) One-Legged People


I have one leg.  Well, I have two, but I broke my left foot recently.  Essentially, I have one leg for the rest of the summer, or possibly longer.  If you’re one-legged, keep reading.  If you’re two-legged, keep reading in case you ever find yourself to be one-legged. Every one-legged person needs a spectacular story as to what happened to the bum-leg.  Here are a couple of my current options:

  • I got in a fight with a ceiling fan.  I lost one leg, and it lost three.
  • I was swimming off California’s (or was it Florida’s?) coast and a shark chomped down on my leg.  I punched it in the nose and ended up causing it to sneeze.  Its sneeze broke my leg.
  • I watched too many “Teach yourself at home how to do really complicated Tae Kwon Do high kick moves” YouTube videos.
  • I wanted to see how difficult it would be to receive EI payments if I got an injury after my work contract had already ended.
  • That’s classified information, and I am not legally permitted to discuss it with anyone outside of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  (Said with a disapproving eyebrow raise.)
  • (I had another story that my sister and I came up with, but my sensible boyfriend didn’t like his supposed role in the story.  I’ll leave that one up to your imagination.)

Tasks that are much more difficult when you have one leg:

  • Grocery shopping.  Don’t worry, though, because big stores have motorized scooters near the front.  Beware the very loud beeping that happens when you back up, however.  Bonus: you can turn crazy-sharp corners.  If you have a good-natured boyfriend, make him hold your hand and walk beside you as you drive up and down the aisles.  Tell him it’s good practice for when you’re 80.  Ignore his silent pleas for help as strangers pass you both, and smile giddily.
  • Showering.  Just give up the idea of daily showers.  You’ll have to sponge-bath yourself, unless you are brave enough to take an actual bath (which I am not yet).  I just cannot see a good ending to “I’m stuck in the bathtub and have to call for my roommates to lift me out while I’m naked, slippery, and wearing a giant cast that can’t get wet.”
  • Wearing jeans.  You might as well give up that dream right away.  Also, if you think wearing jean capris will work, think again.  Just because they are “shorter versions of your regular jeans” does not mean they will fit over your cast.  If you somehow manage to get them on, be ready to ask someone to help you take your pants off before bedtime.  Wear shorts.  All the time.
  • Swimming and going to the waterslides.  Nope.  Not happening.  Be glad you did them in BC on your vacation while you had the chance, because you ain’t doing either for a very long time.  It doesn’t matter that you have to endure a hot summer on the Prairies.  Get used to being dry all day long (unless you’re brave enough for a bath, that is).
  • Stairs.  Good luck.  Your best bet is to do as the toddlers do and scoot on your bum.

Things that sound fun (and that probably are):

  • Wearing a superhero cape while wheeling around in your rental scooter.  Works best if someone pushes you while you sit on it (it’s like riding a tricycle!).  It’s probably more fun if there are a lot of people around when you do it.
  • Seeing what kinds of things you can hide in your cast for impromptu magic trick shows with little kids.
  • Drawing a complicated map that covers your entire cast.  When people ask what happened to your leg, refer often to your map.  Make the story last as long as possible, just to see how long people will listen to you.
  • Making a pillow-raft and sliding down the staircase in your house.  Or any staircase, for that matter.  More points if you can make it through the open front door at the bottom without stopping.
  • Strapping a make-shift bag to the back of an office chair and carrying things around as you race up and down your hardwood floor hallway.  Every time you come across another person, bat your eyelashes excessively and innocently ask him or her, “Would you like to put anything in my baaaag?”  See what you can collect in a set amount of time.  (Remember to thank your roommate for the idea.)

But in all seriousness, being one-legged for the second half of your summer vacation after a long year of teaching kind of stinks.  Things I now worry about:

  • Having one very weak, hairy, pasty-coloured leg when the last cast is taken off.
  • Asking my doctor if I should be screened for early-onset osteoporosis.
  • Not being able to spend the rest of my summer getting to know my new lens and pushing myself as a photographer.
  • Seeing photos of friends’ fun summer outings all over the internet while I sit at home with my leg elevated.
  • Wondering if my boyfriend will still find me as adorable at the end of the summer as he did at the beginning, when I was two-legged.  (Maybe more hand-held scooter-riding will help?)
  • Finding a way to wash my whole body and my long, thick hair daily so I don’t feel gross and dirty.
  • Fending off well-meaning Sharpie-wielders who want to sign my cast.
  • And, last, but most certainly not least, this:

The door to the outside world is at the bottom, and the washer and dryer are down another (sketchier) flight.

If you come over for a visit, be patient while I scoot down to the door and please don’t leave, thinking I am not home.  I am home, hoping you’ll stay all day to help me do laundry!

Oh, and the actual story about how I broke my foot?  I was walking around in my apartment.  Just walking.  Like I do every day.  I thought it would be a good idea to use the bathroom before going to sleep for the night.  Apparently, not-so-much.

If you've ever broken a foot or leg or anything, really... tell us how it happened!