When You’ve Got an Itch…

You’ve heard of the seven year itch, jock itch, swimmer’s itch, and even contagious itch.

Due to a slip on the ice, I’m currently sporting a cast on my right leg. When the doctor finished patting down the last of the wet, fiberglass casting tape, he assured me that it would get rock hard, but due to the nature of the break — a spiral fracture — he added, “Don’t walk on it — no weight, whatsoever.”

He additionally cautioned me to not climb trees, ride my bike, swim, or use the cast as a weapon. And went on to say, “If you have an itch, just knock on the cast and the vibration will take care of it.” Liar!

He concluded, “Do not, under any circumstances, use a hanger or other sharp object to scratch an itch.” Easy for you to say!

I’m confident that somewhere in the dusty annuls of history there’s a long forgotten Confucian quote: “When casted leg itch, chopstick come in handy!”

Much to my immense relief, I’ve been enjoying his Zen wisdom.

What are you just itching to get at?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience— Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence

115 thoughts on “When You’ve Got an Itch…

  1. I cannot imagine banging my broken leg even casted against anything to scratch that itch, Laurie. My leg hurts just thinking about it. Meanwhile, to scratch that metaphor, I have that spiritual itch that won’t go away. It calls to me, begs me to live it, and I respond “when I have time I promise I’ll be more spiritual!”

    I can hear you laughing already.

  2. You poor thing! Oh my goodness…who would have thought of Confucius and chopsticks at a moment like this? So hoping you heal completely very very soon. What am I itching to get at? Moving deeper into Presence, allowing fear of emptiness to be seen through clearer, allowing fear of no-self to be revealed as, well, nothing. Itching to be living this deeply enveloped in the Home that we are, enjoying tea with a friend at 10:30, perhaps reading blogs this afternoon, going to our township annual budget meeting tonight. Chop wood carry water, but in the full realization of Home.

  3. Laurie, you think the doctor has ever had a cast on his leg? May it mend well even if you knock and scratch it, climb trees or ride your bike – Lol.

  4. Oh dear! I know how you feel. I had one of those many years ago whilt still a student during the summer holidays. Everyone was out on the beach sunbathing and swimming and I just had to content with reading my book! I hope your cast will come out soon, but in the meantime, good luck with the chopsticks. All the best. 🙂

  5. Although I often couldn’t relate the English version of Confucian quotes to the Chinese version (the translation is beyond my imagination), I know I don’t need to translate your quote 🙂 Get well soon!

  6. I love doctors’ “wisdom” like this! Years ago a doctor told me (pre-op) that I’d be able to drive in a week after surgery on my leg. Yeah, if my house was on fire and there was no other way to escape, I probably could have driven, but other than that? It was six weeks before I could even walk more than a few feet! You just do whatever you have to do to keep sane, Laurie, and I hope your leg heals quickly!

    • Change It Up Editing – Thank you for the gift of your reflection. They tell me I’ll transition into an air-boot-cast in a couple of weeks. Apparently I’ll be able to put weight on that and drive in it 🙂

  7. I’m so sorry you broke a leg bone, and have to wear a cast, and ITCH. Ack, I feel your…itch, and I’m scratching it for you, in a mind-bending kind of way. However, I do love the PINK cast. That’s perfect for you. BTW, one of your commenters is smart – should we wish that your doctor needs to wear a cast, and then he may never lie again???? Heal quickly.

  8. Oh an itch in a cast is quite the test isn’t it – but how very clever of you to find the chopsticks! 😀 I wish you a speedy recovery and knowing you, you’ll find inspiration even from this little episode! Hugs, Sharon

  9. Knitting needle cast-itching is another well known practice. You are going to be one happy woman when this thing heals and the cast can come off! I am itching to get at the last of the paper work so the taxes can be done. Since it is a rather an intermittent discomfort, chopsticks are of no use. Wishing you a quick and complete recovery there my friend.

    • Cindy – I think the memory of cast itching stays with us so long because it’s something that’s out of our control. At least with the length of mine, I can sort of get at it. Some people have shared experiences of being in a full leg cast and there wasn’t a bloomin’ thing they could do!

      Thank you for the well wishes!

  10. While I am very happy you are on the mend Laurie, I can’t say I am pleased that you’ve had to endure this, and I know only too well how the need to relieve and itch can drive you up the wall. It’s a tame variation on Chinese water torture. Yeah I don’t buy that “knocking on the cast” remedy either. A nice gesture, but fraudulent. What am I itching for? I’m itching to stroll outside with just a tee-shirt, and the chance to put that winter coat in mothballs!

    Hope you are feeling better every day Laurie!

  11. This makes me think of al the times I have been incapacitated in one way or another… thankfully on a temporary basis… and how grateful I am to have my independence. It is true (for me, anyway) that sometimes we have to lose something to truly appreciate its importance. I am sending you healing vibes… and may all the ice in your part of the world melt into a beautiful spring.

  12. I’m so sorry for the fall, Laurie. To even mention this as a huge inconvenience is quite the understatement. I remember years ago when a cast came off I’d “lied” for weeks that I wasn’t putting anything down the cast to scratch, but the long, lead pencil markings kind of gave me away! 🙂 My granddaughter recently broke her arm and we all commented that “at least it wasn’t her leg.” I send very loving healing wishes for ease in the waiting and a good end result. oxo

  13. Oh, Laurie, I’m so sorry to hear of your leg’s imprisionment. That sucks! I’m sending you best wishes for a quick recovery.
    This morning my muse gave me several new scenes for my latest WIP. I’ve scribbled notes and I’m itching to add them to the word document. But I had to come here first. : ) You’re an important part of my Tuesday routine.

  14. I am so sorry and am wishing you a speedy recovery. I too had a cast on my leg once and was told the same thing. The itching drove me nuts and no knocking or hitting the cast could solve the problem.

    Right now I am itching to get outdoors and enjoy nature first hand.

  15. I can only imagine your discomfort, Laurie! (Perhaps the un-scratchable itch is even worse than the pain of the fracture itself?) Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  16. Oh I am sorry, Laurie!! Hope you will soon be back to full speed again and be able to climb the trees 🙂
    I remember the itch well from when I had a broken arm and yes Thank God for chopsticks!

  17. I have no advice from first person, as I haven’t ever had to wear a cast.
    Have had a lot of experience of Ailsa in cast over the last couple of years, and bits of wood seem to be the best (chopstick an excellent choice, also knitting needle as Sandi mentioned).

    One thing you may not have thought of, put some cardboard on the sheets.
    Ailsa managed to wear through a $600 set of Egyptian cotton sheets with her casts. By the time I noticed the wear it was too late. Those sheets were definitely a luxury item, and we have not replaced them with anything like as good a quality.
    So maybe others can learn from our loss.

    Wishing all the best for rapid healing, and minimal itching.

  18. You’ll be back on the run before you know it ~ enjoy the breakaway and hubby’s grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning (smile)! I didn’t remember until now that I broke my left ankle the first time ever when skiing. The biggest challenge was learning to walk after taking the cast off. Keep us posted of your progress!

  19. I am just home from an all day get acquainted and have a zillion lab tests new doctor routine. They can not treat the itch in the middle of my back from the cyst removal last July because that is a previous condition that they can not do anything about until I have been on this insurance for 9 months. But they were itching to try me out on a new medication and I was jumping up and down because my Lenten food practice has cleared the 10# weight loss mark ( I have also lost 2 inches in height the last 4 years – yikes)

    I did ask every nurse, medical assistant, and even the Lab tech about what to do about the incredible itching in the cyst area…all 6 I asked replied, ” OH that means it is healing!” so I am taking that as good news and it does makes it kinda sorta itch less.

    My Naturopathic Physician says try a spoonful of dark honey orally – it will speed up the healing and it tastes warming and sweet…
    but then you are so kind and sweet, it might prove to be overload?

      • I have been taping a cotton pad onto the curved side of my big salad serving spoon – it works well….it is just so constant! I am itching to have it heal!

    • Sheryl – Thank you for the well wishes. Considering your blog that’s dedicated to 100 Years Ago Today, I wonder what the heck they used for “casts” back then. I don’t know if they had “plaster” back then or not. And today, they’re made out of a fiberglass material (that comes in all sorts of funky colors as evidenced by mine)…

  20. Sorry to hear you are hurt, but that is one snazzy cast! I used knitting needles and long metal skewers to scratch my arm cast, when I broke my wrist. Some people say blowing cool air into the cast, from a blow dryer can help. The tapping the cast thing to create a vibration to stop the itch is a crock! Feel better soon!

  21. Sorry to hear about your fall. I had a spiral fracture of my left humerus a few years back. It has to be the worst kind of break, so you are doing so well to remain so positive and amusing. Bless you, dear friend.

  22. So sorry to hear of your recent accident! Hope you leg heals SOON! I’m very impressed with your upbeat spirits and hot-pink cast!!! Very chic, madam! 🙂 Keep smiling!

  23. Laurie, I’m so sorry for your mishap and subsequent circumstances. I had a full leg cast for 12 weeks when I was five and still remember the itching! They were really heavy then too! I love that you have maintained a sense of humor, it sure can help keep things in perspective! Being forced to slow down may just offer you many new insights and opportunities. I will watch for updates. You are in my thoughts!

    • Dorothy – Like you, when I was a child my right arm was in one of those heavy plaster casts, but only for 6 weeks. Holy Cow – you had a FULL leg cast for 12 weeks! I can’t even begin to image that.

  24. Love the snazzy cast, Laurie, and wishing you some relief from the itching! I hope I never break a bone… I’m itching to get outside and do some gardening, if only the wind would stop blowing long enough to enjoy the sunshine…

  25. Oh dear! I do hope you have NOT been climbing trees or using your cast as a weapon! Yes…I’m sure that itch must be driving you mad but weapons must be kept under control ok?!! lol 😉 That includes the chopsticks as well as the cast 😀 You know it’ll hurt if you use it as a weapon of mass destruction anyway lol…no 😉 no you didn’t mention the “of mass destruction” but I just thought I’d add it in for you for good measure 😀 Be good now!!

  26. Oh, I’m so sorry to see you’re injured, Laurie! (But a mighty fine pink cast cover, if I do say so myself!) I can also vouch for the effectiveness of chopsticks to do the scratching 😉

  27. Pingback: When you got a itch | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

    • Suzi – Thank you for your kind offer 🙂 So far I’ve been able to get at an itch from either the top end (just below my knee) or from the bottom end (right where my toes start).

  28. I’m so sorry to hear this. I sincerely hope you are resting up and resisting the urge to climb trees and trying your hand err foot at kick boxing. 🙂
    Take care this weekend and please be well!

  29. Oh my goodness! That really sucks! I recently burned myself a 12 X 12 patch on my stomach – 3rd degree burn, and so have been much slower than normal (and have a sudden affinity for loose sweatpants! Ha – 🙂 So sorry to hear about your leg. Thanks for all the Twitter mentions. You are so kind. Keep up the good work and posts.

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