Being on crutches is not only a physical challenge; it is also an emotional ordeal. Not only is the injured person dealing with the pain of her injury, but she is also going through an emotional period of time during which she will need plenty of support. If she injured herself in a silly way, she might feel regret or even guilt over the event that landed her on crutches. If she had surgery, she would likely feel worried and anxiety over her recovery and all of the things she cannot do while she is keeping her weight off her injured leg. When someone you know and love is injured, there are likely a lot of people around them who will jump in and offer help. Not everyone will think about the emotional side of the injury, however. Here are some things you can do to care for someone on crutches on an emotional level.
If you have ever been on crutches before, you know how hard that period in your life can be. Share your stories with your friend. Tell her what you did to get through it and encourage her to take things one day at a time, or even one hour at a time. Remind her that she WILL get through this time in her life and eventually, she will look back on her time on crutches as a thing of the past.
Find Fun Stories
Even if your friend has an interesting injury story, there are likely plenty out there just like hers, or worse. During the time when all she feels like doing is laying on the couch and crying, find some funny injury stories. Hearing that she is not the only one to injure herself in that manner or hearing that others have even worse stories will likely make her feel better. You could also read recovery success stories to her to give her a more optimistic viewpoint on her recovery.
Use your friend’s time on crutches to have some of those deep conversations that you do not normally have time to enjoy. Talk about her plans or dreams for the future, fun vacations she wants to go on someday, her career goals, or other things that will get her mind off of her current injury. There is no getting around the fact that she will have to go through her recovery one step at a time, but if you can remind her of her bright future, she will look forward to that time and find the strength to get through the present.
Help Her Physical Needs
If you want your friend to feel better emotionally, it is important that she be able to get around physically, so she feels capable of handling herself on a day-to-day basis. Many doctors simply send patients home with crutches. Crutches are very handy and a great help, but they can also be hard to control. It requires you more time to learn how to walk on your crutches.