The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-18-2003, 03:02 PM
Yamirskoonir Yamirskoonir is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Best way to keep cast dry when bathing?! Help!

So last night I was showing the high school colorguard I instruct a dance move that involves a spin-jump, and when I landed it there was this incredible POP! and all of a sudden I was on the floor. I managed to spiral fracture the 5th metatarsal in my right foot (that's the long, thin bone that connects to the pinky toe), and I'm stuck with a fiberglass cast up to my knee for the next 6-8 weeks. So much for snowboarding over break...Merry frickin' Christmas!

So I've cruised all the websites that offer specially designed, waterproof cast protectors for safe bathing. But they all take 2-3 days to ship and I want cleanliness NOW!

Anybody know any tried-and-true methods for keeping the sucker dry when showering? I don't have a bathtub, and sponge bathing is just *not* enough for me, so those two options are out. I've heard of the garbage-bag method, but what is the best type of tape to use to seal out the water that won't come off when wet and won't leave a lot of sticky gunk behind? Or is there some type of national retail chain that sells cast protectors? (I already tried Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Longs with no luck)

Any advice y'all might have for me would be much appreciated!!! And just for fun: why not share what you broke and how? Thanks!
__________________
Doof bleibt doof, da helfen keine Pillen!
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 12-18-2003, 03:25 PM
FilmGeek FilmGeek is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Large plastic bag (heavy garbage bags are perfect.

Lots of duct tape around the top... make it TIGHT.

I used it for both broken arms and a broken finger and never had a leak.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-18-2003, 03:33 PM
krisolov krisolov is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
I used a kitchen garbage bag and some heavy duty rubber bands instead of tape. I found that tape didn't seal things any better than a tight rubber band. I also resorted to the expedient keeping that leg outside the shower while standing in the back of the tub method (I hope that makes sense)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-18-2003, 03:39 PM
bump bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
I'd imagine a good hospital pharmacy or a pharmacy near a big medical professional building would carry those cast condom things. Barring that, try calling your orthopedic surgeon or whoever put on your cast and ask them where to get one.

They're better than trash bags- no tape, reusable, etc...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-18-2003, 05:21 PM
BarnOwl BarnOwl is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,748
Wrap a string around your cast towards the top where it's widest. Then, stretch it out on a ruler. My measurement was 19 inches - same kind of short leg fiberglass cast as yours. I am no big ape - a 5'9" male with average sized calf muscles. Seemed a mite big, so I repeated the measurement. Twice more. Believe it.

You might want to consider getting a store bought Seal-Tight Cast and Bandage Protector from your local Medical/Surgical Supply House. (How come your doctor didn't sell you one?) These "short leg" cast protectors (CPs from here on) come in two sizes - standard and wide.
The difference is in the gasket size at the top of the sock.

If your string is in the 19" range you want wide. Get the standard version and it will be hell trying to tug that friggin gasket pver the cast.

My doctor's office carried only the standard size/ Same with my local supply houses. If you're a girl (as I rather suspect that you are) with thin legs (as you probably do, since you dance), then standard size should do the job.

But if your legs are heavy, get Wide. It will be well worth your while to order from the mfr, and have them ship it overnight. Cost me $23.90 plus $12-something for FedEx overnight - to ship from IA to CT.

Here's the info you might need:

Brown Medical Industries
Spirit Lake IA 51360

800/843-4395

Order Number
20103 Standard Short Leg CP
20106 Wide Short Leg CP

(You don't really need the Order Numbers. They know all that.)

You'll also get a fabric tube that you slip over your cast and tuck in at the top - sort of like a long sock. This further eases the slipping on of the CP over the cast, and also, of course, is added protection against getting the cast wet.

Did the doctor tell you to elevate your foot - higher than your heart - for maybe 1-1/2 to 2 hours a day? Mine didn't, until a couple days later when I was back to get the first cast off and a new one on. My foot had swelled so much, the cast cut into it somewhat painfully. You might also see some heavy duty back and blue. It might be normal, but call the office about it if you're the very least bit concerned. I look like a limping case of gangrene.

Um, I'm not advocating this but when I get an itch beneath the cast. I slide in a flexible metal ruler and scratch it. It's just the ticket - for me. But I'm not a doctor so I don't recommend you do this.

I sincerely hope you recover completely, Yamir
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-18-2003, 07:00 PM
Yamirskoonir Yamirskoonir is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Dude, thanks a bazillion Antiochus! I checked out the supplier you recommended and they look really reliable.

To answer your question, my "doctor" is Kaiser Permanente, which translates into "whomever happens to be on staff that day." They didn't have anything like a cast protector available from their facilities, and in fact recommended against using them, saying that they "fail." The tech dude that put the cast on me told me to use two bags and to seal the top with plastic wrap (which sounds pretty "fallible" to me!).

I'm going to try FilmGeek's idea with the duct tape - I have a lot of it on hand, and I NEVER travel without it!!! I report back in after I'm clean - THANKS GUYS!
__________________
Doof bleibt doof, da helfen keine Pillen!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-19-2003, 07:23 AM
Eats_Crayons Eats_Crayons is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Another really handy way I've dealt with don't-get-it-wet injuries:

I bought a shower head that has a hose. It gives you a lot of control of which parts get wet and which don't, rather than trying to manoeuver your body under the shower head, protecting the don't-gte-it-wet part, you move the shower head over the parts that need cleaning.

I love my shower head.

That NOT what I meant, gutterbrain!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-19-2003, 08:34 AM
BarnOwl BarnOwl is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,748
We recently got as kitchen faucet with a similar feature as your showerhead, E_C.

They're wonderful. I can pull out the tap and fill the coffeepot with water without messing with a pitcher or tea kettle.

Think I'll spring for the shower head idea. Sounds good.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-20-2003, 02:05 AM
boofy_bloke boofy_bloke is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
A really useful way to keep the cast dry is to get a special friend over to give you a tongue bath.
__________________
Hoo roo

=8^}
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-20-2003, 02:54 AM
Macrophage Macrophage is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Yamirskoonir, you sound concerned about your hygiene. Be aware, when they remove this cast, your leg will smell... well, like a leg that hasn't taken a bath in 6 -8 weeks. Prepare yourself.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-20-2003, 11:15 AM
Scribble Scribble is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Thanks so much for starting this thread! I just had surgery on my foot yesterday, so I was about to ask the same question you did. And thanks to everyone for their advice. When I'm not feeling quite so sleepy, slow, and stupid (Percoset'll make you pretty out to lunch for a while) I'll be attempting some hygeine, myself.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-20-2003, 02:58 PM
Cub Mistress Cub Mistress is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 2,520
Macrophage is absolutely right about the mmmm, odor, of a freshly de-casted body part. Also your leg will be very hairy, and lots of skin will rub/wash off. The skin will be too tender to use a regular razor so find an electric shaver when the time comes.

I know about this because my daughter broke her leg in three places plus destroyed her ankle sliding into second base. While we were out on the field, comforting her until the ambulance arrived someone said "maybe it's not broken." She looked up and said " I know it is. I heard it. Three times." I still shudder over that one. Good luck with your recovery, Yamirskoonir.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-22-2003, 11:32 AM
Yamirskoonir Yamirskoonir is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Hey all! After an *interesting* weekend, a few things to report:

1) Folks in San Francisco are more helpful when it comes to helping a girl on crutches get through doorways and on elevators and whanot than folks in the greater LA area. Even the MUNI drivers are more chill.

2) Extreme drunkenness + crutches = pretty damn funny. Extreme drunkenness + crutches + stairs = pretty damn near impossible.

3) On that note, Vodka + Jaegermeister + Tequila + "Kick in the Head" = DON'T DO IT!!!

4) It IS possible to shoot pool with a broken foot. I learned me some good Engrish!

5) I drive just as well with my left foot as I do with my right foot in a cast.

6) A combination of a tall size garbage bag with packaging tape to adhere to the skin and a layer of duct tape over the top to keep it waterproof works remarkably well, even if the setup does take a while. The real challenge was getting in and out of the shower, and of course washing the bottom of the uninjured foot that I was balancing on. I did not attempt this while drunk.

So all of your suggestions were very helpful, and I think I just might survive the next 5-7 weeks or so of this crap! Also thanks for the tips on what the smell will be like...ewww. And boofy_bloke, more ewww. Especially if you're the lick-er. =P
__________________
Doof bleibt doof, da helfen keine Pillen!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-22-2003, 11:43 AM
Yamirskoonir Yamirskoonir is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Hey all! After an *interesting* weekend, a few things to report:

1) Folks in San Francisco are more helpful when it comes to helping a girl on crutches get through doorways and on elevators and whanot than folks in the greater LA area. Even the MUNI drivers are more chill.

2) Extreme drunkenness + crutches = pretty damn funny. Extreme drunkenness + crutches + stairs = pretty damn near impossible.

3) On that note, Vodka + Jaegermeister + Tequila + "Kick in the Head" = DON'T DO IT!!!

4) It IS possible to shoot pool with a broken foot. I learned me some good Engrish!

5) I drive just as well with my left foot as I do with my right foot in a cast.

6) A combination of a tall size garbage bag with packaging tape to adhere to the skin and a layer of duct tape over the top to keep it waterproof works remarkably well, even if the setup does take a while. The real challenge was getting in and out of the shower, and of course washing the bottom of the uninjured foot that I was balancing on. I did not attempt this while drunk.

So all of your suggestions were very helpful, and I think I just might survive the next 5-7 weeks or so of this crap! Also thanks for the tips on what the smell will be like...ewww. And boofy_bloke, more ewww. Especially if you're the lick-er. =P
__________________
Doof bleibt doof, da helfen keine Pillen!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-22-2003, 03:29 PM
DeVena DeVena is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
I was in a leg cast for 9 months. 3 surgeries - New casts every couple of weeks. About the 5th cast I convinced the surgeon to let me gently wash the leg before the next cast went on. Absolute Bliss. Cause even if the cast was new, the leg was just stewing in it.

Garbage bag and duct tape works best day to day and I put a chair in the shower and used a hand wand. This way I could wash the other foot without risking another bad break.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-22-2003, 05:05 PM
BarnOwl BarnOwl is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,748
Got rid of my cast today!!

Now I'm in a boot at least until 12/24. It's soooooooooooooo comfortable!

Damn! I think I'll have to wear the protector in the shower, though. Oh well, only a couple days more.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-22-2003, 05:35 PM
whiterabbit whiterabbit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Oh, God, it does feel good to wash where a cast was -- a few months before my tenth birthday, I had major spinal surgery which involved being in a body cast (not the sort that involves legs, thank God) for six months. Cast changes were every two months. I will never forget the sheer bliss of being washed off during the changes...
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-23-2003, 02:09 AM
ricepad ricepad is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Well, crap...I'm jumpin' in with advice a little too late, but here goes, anyway....

I slipped my leg into a garbage bag and tucked it into the top of the cast. Then I lay down on the bottom of the tub, propped my casted leg up against the wall, and showered lying down using a hand-held shower head. No balance issues, no problems with water leaking (UP!) into my cast, and I didn't have to worry about ripping duct tape off my skin.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-23-2003, 02:22 AM
Mama Tiger Mama Tiger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
I used the double-bagging-with-rubber-bands-and-towel method when I had my hand in a cast for two months.

Insert cast into one bag. Hold in place with a rubber band.

Wrap a towel over the rubber band holding the first bag. Secure with another rubber band.

Insert all this into a second, larger bag and enclose all of it, including the towel, completely inside the second bag. Use rubber band as above to hold in place.

I never got ever an drop of water inside this, even using my hand through the plastic bags to wash myself.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-23-2003, 08:17 AM
The Mad Hermit The Mad Hermit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Did anyone else read this as "best way to keep cats dry when bathing?"

They don't seem to have that problem in my house.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled question...
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.