The Injured Nanny

opinion 2
Hello ISYN readers,
I have question to pose. Have any of you had to deal with working injured? I broke my ankle and I am trying to figure out how I can still work. I didn't break it at work, I did it in my own clumsy way. I nanny for twin girls-14 months old. I've been with them for 7 months, and I live out. I also only work MWF. They walk, so I really don't need to carry them all the time, but their cribs are upstairs, and they still nap twice a day.

Do you think it's possible for me to work? I have this coming week off, but I am going to need to figure something out come next week. Does anyone have any experience in a situation like this? Any advice/tricks you can give me?

Thanks for your help!


TC said...

I had surgery on my foot and couldn't go up and down the stairs and of course I was a nanny for a family who had stairs. The mom was really nice and offered to set up the pack and play down stairs so that I didn't have to go upstairs.

She also brought down the diapers and such

AnonymousNanny said...

I had a broken ankle a few years ago and made the stupid decision to continue working for a family which was not at all understanding or accommodating. They increased their demands after my injury and insisted I come in to work for a 12+ hour day before I even had a cast or crutches. It was very painful and a stupid decision on my part. I realize that now as I still have pain sometimes on that ankle. I probably wouldn't have so much pain today if I had taken time off to let it heal.

Anyway, my tips would be to practice walking up and down stairs because that is the most frustrating. Especially if you are using crutches. I found it easier to just hop up and down stairs on one foot rather than use the crutches. I found it particularly dangerous trying to get down staircases with crutches.

Also, I would practice balancing on your good foot since you will most likely be doing that a lot when you need to use your hands (changing diapers, cooking food etc.). It's very difficult to use your crutches for support while still keeping your hands free to do other things. Learning to keep your balance will make things much easier. Will you have a walking cast? If so, that will make things a lot easier.

I found it to be a very frustrating time as I was a very active and athletic person. It is definitely possible to continue working. Just remember to try and take breaks and take things slow. Otherwise you may do permanent damage like I probably did.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

OP, since you have the coming week off, if your bosses are available either by phone or e-mail, tell them what happened to you. Let them know you still want to work, but ask if they have any suggestions for what to do while you heal. Just take it from there.
The sooner you let them know,the better. It wouldn't be a good idea to just tell them come Monday.

lmurph said...

Such a good question and one I've been wondering about myself lately. Pretty much all of my not-work time is spent running/jumping/falling on a field, and while I'm lucky enough that my toddler twin charges don't have stairs in their place, they do have bedrooms/bathroom/kitchen all baby-gated off, and I can't imagine what I'd do if I was injured.

OP said...

Just My Two Cents:

They know already. I had to call off work yesterday morning, and they gave me this week off to accomodate my injury.


The mom is a physical therapist, and does most of her work rehabbing people with injuries like mine. So, I think she won't demand too much of me. I have crutches now, and a fiberglass splint, but I am getting a regular plaster cast Monday.

I never thought about being injured, but I kind of wish I had. It sucks.

Keep the suggestions coming!

MissMannah said...

I commented on this yesterday and for some reason either it didn't send properly or it was deleted. Anyway, I was saying that according the Americans with Disabilities Act, your employers are required to accommodate you and make it so you can still work, but only if you have a release from your doctor. Get a note from him saying exactly what you are able to do, and what you aren't.

Since you've said your boss is a PT, you're at an advantage because you know she won't try to push you to do more than you're able. My suggestions are to see if she can arrange for the babies to nap downstairs and if she'll let you change them lying on the floor. It would also help if the parents have all the meals pre-made so you can just pop them in the microwave and put them on the table, rather than having to stand to cook them. I bet the mom will have a lot more good ideas to help you heal up and to help make your job easier--hope it goes well for you.

OP said...

Miss Mannah-

I already change the babies on the floor. They are far too wiggly for the changing table these days, so that's taken care of.

I just don't know about the naps. We've finally gotten to the stage where they are napping really well, so I don't know how they'll do out of their cribs.
Thanks for your suggestions about lunches. That's definitely something we can talk about!

Gracefire said...

I actually just had to deal with this! I sprained my ankle while I was at the park with my charges (stepped in an indentation in the ground and rolled it...ugh) and was in some pretty severe pain. I asked the mom to put as much as she possibly could on one level (the level with the living room) to minimize having to use the stairs. Also, I had to stop getting down on the floor with my kids, as getting up was too difficult. I instead sat in a chair (just a regular kitchen chair, though if they have a rolling office-type chair, that may be better, as you can kind of scoot around in it) and supervised/interacted from there.

So sorry you are going through this! Definitely sucks. Feel better soon!

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Actually, according to what I just read here:

employers with fewer than 15 employees are not required to folow ADA guidelines.

However, OP's employer sounds as if she is very familiar with these sorts of injuries, and hopefully they will be able to work out a system for the next several weeks that works to everyone's advantage.

nanny2 said...

If they don't already, ask your employers to get a few baby gates. Since your charges are young but mobile, it might help to be able to confine them in one room (the living room or playroom) so they can still have freedom to move safely, but you will not have to worry about chasing them from room to room.
As far as sleeping, I think it depends on if your charges can navigate the stairs independently. If they can't, you will need to make two separate trips to bring them up, and then two to bring them down, and for everyone's safety (in that case) it would be better for them to sleep downstairs

AnonymousNanny said...

Since you will have a regular cast, you won't be able to walk on it like I did in a walking cast. That is going to make the stair situation very difficult and potentially dangerous for you and the kids (if you are holding them). Have you tried navigating the stairs yet at home?

I suppose you could try having them walk up the stairs, but if they are resistant to naps or unsteady, that could also be dangerous.

I think the best thing to do would be to use pack and plays in a quiet downstairs room with everything they need (sound machines, stuffed animals, etc.) Try to replicate their bedroom as closely as you can in this room and hopefully they will be able to nap for you.

MissMannah said...

Tales, thanks for pointing that out. I was unaware and I have to say, it seems really unfair. What's the point in having that protection if not every employer is required to abide by it? Oh well.

erics mom said...

Temporary disability if you are in the system