A Single Mother With a Broken Foot

Keara Engle avatar

by Keara Engle |

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I’m no stranger to our local urgent care clinics and hospitals. Usually, my 4-year-old son, Cayden, is the patient. Last week, however, it was my turn to need medical help.

I had an unexpected fall off a friend’s porch steps and immediately felt the pain. This is my first time breaking a bone, and hopefully the last. I was in denial that I actually broke my foot because I’m a single mom, and we don’t have time to rest!

Recovering from a broken foot as a single parent has been quite interesting, to say the least. I was given a boot to wear for the next five to six weeks and was also offered crutches, which I declined. I knew they wouldn’t get much use.

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When the urgent care clinic confirmed that my foot was indeed broken, I panicked. I was unsure how I’d manage to take care of my son while I was healing. Cayden has many more needs than most kids his age. Due to his infantile-onset Pompe disease, he still struggles with severely weakened muscles, which is a common symptom. He can’t walk, so he depends on me to carry him everywhere. He also can’t eat orally, so all of his meals must be delivered via his gastrostomy tube (G-tube).

Luckily, Cayden recently started talking, though, so he’s been able to just yell for me from his bedroom when he needs something.

I’ve had to get pretty creative in finding ways to care for him, but still stay off of my foot as much as possible. I’ve been using his stroller or his transportable wheelchair a lot more in the house now; that way I don’t have to add extra weight onto my foot while carrying him. I’ve also been scooting around the house on my bottom when I don’t have the boot on. It’s a little awkward, but I’m sure my foot will thank me in the long run.

At times like this, I wish I wasn’t a single mom. Usually, I cope with this hard reality just fine, but I know things shouldn’t be this way ideally. I don’t mind taking care of my son alone, because I’ve done that since day one. But sometimes an extra set of hands sure would be a help for us, so I could have some time to care for myself properly.

Being a single parent can take a toll on anyone, but being a single parent to a special needs child has its own set of challenges. This recovery would be so much easier with some extra help for Cayden.

Thankfully, my younger sister and my grandparents have been able to help a bit. But they can’t help us every single day. My younger sister has school, and my grandparents are both still working. They’re able to help on the weekends, but during the week it’s all me. It’s nice to get that help on the weekends, although I wish it could be more than that.

I’m anxious to see how the remainder of my recovery goes, and I hope I receive good news when I go for my checkup in a few weeks. A broken foot is no fun, and I’m learning that the hard way.

Note: Pompe Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pompe Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Pompe disease.


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