I never had a cast for my broken ankle. The Emergency Room doctor put me in a fiberglass cast initially (partial casting for the back and sides). But my Orthopedic Surgeon put me into a boot straight from surgery.
I’m thinking he saw “newbie” written all over my face when I walked in the door and thought, “Good grief! If I put her in a cast, she’s gonna dissolve it in the shower and I’ll be redoing it! At least in a boot she can blow dry the insert!”
And given my showering track record the first time through, he’d have been right if that was his thinking!!
My first few times showering (ok, let’s be real… EVERY time I fricking showered!), I ended up with at least SOME water inside the carefully wrapped, tied and taped baggage I lovingly referred to as “my gimp foot”.
I have no idea how the water got inside! I wrapped the damn thing like it was a mummified part of an ancient lost artifact! Doubled up grocery bags over the foot part, followed by a cheap black trash back that got tied around the top just below my knee, followed by a more expensive (ie. should’t leak!) trash bag that was then taped directly to my leg at the top!!
And still, water managed to get through… unbelievable!!
Well this time around is different. Not only did I get to take my first shower 11 days sooner than the first time around, but I’d checked out some of the suggestions made in my Facebook group about cast covers for showers.
There were quite a few options, but I ordered the sealtight freedom Cast/Bandage Protector by Brownmed. It was one of the few I found on Amazon that users said they’d been able to fit over a cam boot.
I know they have several others available as well and a lot of them have great reviews… as long as you’re in a cast. If you’re gonna be in a cast for a while and not be moved to a boot till later, any of them will work for you more than likely. By the time you get moved into an air cast (walking boot), chances are you’ll be allowed to take it off to take a shower anyway!
Now, given that most said they were too small for that (you’re fine with several of them if you’re in a cast vs. a boot), I still errored on the side of “I don’t wanna tear this up the very first time I use it!”.
I didn’t want to shower without ANY support, so I kept the boot insert on, and removed the hard outer casing. I have no idea if all walking boots will let you do that, so definitely check yours beforehand! I thought about only removing the hard front cover since that makes a lot of difference in the size of the boot too, but I just felt safer with SOME kind of support.
If you don’t (or can’t) take your boot off initially (and I definitely would NOT have the first time through!), it looks like it’ll fit over the boot with just the cover removed (and I’ve seen many air boots that don’t even come with a cover (in case you’re still looking for one but can’t find it!). 🙂
Honestly, I didn’t have much hope for the new waterproof thingy actually staying waterproof. After all, if several bags designed to keep icky wet garbage in couldn’t keep it out, what was this gonna accomplish!? Well, after finishing my 30-minute shower, everything was still dry inside!! So I’ll stop talking crap about my newest gimp equipment addition! And I’ll have to admit, for the time and effort along that it saved to put this on, vs. the 15-20 minute, now-I-need-a-nap way of bagging it up, I’m REALLY glad I bought it!
I may even be willing to shower more often this round since it’ll take so much less effort to just get ready!
On a side note from keeping my boot dry in the shower, I realized that I was able to take a shower, and it had been only three days since my surgery. THREE days!!! After my first surgery, it took a full 14 days before I could do that. There was no way I was gonna risk getting incisions wet too early.
I have no doubt that I could have been able to do this just because I’m less afraid of it, or because there’s already less pain than there was after the first surgery. After all, I already knew I was capable, I knew what taking a shower would entail pain-wise, and it’s not all swollen with a torn ligament that just got put back together this time!!
But I’ll admit, there’s a part of me that’s hoping it’s a sign, that this time things will heal faster. I’m guessing my OS will still error on the more conservative side if for no other reason than to make sure we don’t have to go in a third time. But, even if I have to stay off it longer, if there’s not as much pain or I’m less tired this time, I’m good!!
Have you or someone you know ever tried a pre-made cover for a cast or boot? Did it hold up for the time you needed to use it? This one says it’s reusable and will last the length of the time I need it, but since I’ve only used it once, I can’t really tell you for sure on that one yet. So please, if you’ve got experience or thoughts about them, let me know in the comments. I’m sure others who are broken will be happy for all the hints they can get!
Debi aka @GenXBrat
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