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isobel
October 19th, 2008, 07:48 PM
Hmm, after all the great feedback and working very hard (and succeeding!) for last three weeks to get my sad brain to shut up and my body to get into the pool, I fell and broke my hand. :shakeshead:

So now my question is, has anyone ever swum in a waterproof cast (doctor said it was a possibility once I'm a little bit healed)? I've asked a few people and have been advised against it, in that they say these casts begin to reek quite quickly (I'm assuming that at least for a few weeks I won't be able to take it on/off).

Perhaps this will be my opportunity to cross-train extensively.... Take up ballet again.... Shoot! is all I can say. Four to eight weeks of cast-ville.

Advice re waterproof casts? (I did search here but nothing popped up.)

isobel

mermaid
October 19th, 2008, 07:55 PM
I have not had first hand experience with the water proof cast - HOWEVER - my 6 1/2 year old son had one all summer.

1) It did not stink

2) I did not have to worry about bagging his arm for a shower

3) He tells it best - "I beat all the kids at freestyle with my cast and butterfly too and I'm only 6 1/2!"

It was worth every penny of the $30 extra that insurance didn't cover.

Typhoons Coach
October 20th, 2008, 09:36 AM
Get the waterproof cast and get back into the water. If you are concerned about the smell, there are always de-odorants out there that you can pick up at the supermarket. All the bst, and get better soon!

anita
October 20th, 2008, 12:15 PM
I had a waterproof (fiberglass) cast when they first came out, back when I was...14?...on my forearm.
It never smelled, although having it wet all day since we did doubles was a little irritating. I tried to dry it with a hair dryer as best as I could before going to school. It also tended to drip water for a little while after swimming--again, the hair drying helped that.
There was little, if any, skin deterioration compared to my friends who had plaster casts. My skin looked fine, and wasn't peeling or anything after the cast was removed. My arm did not have much muscle weakness afterwards, either. Although I could feel somewhat of a difference, it only lasted a week or so.
The best part...My coach suggested that they wrap a paddle with the fiberglass onto my forearm so I had some extra resistance when I swam. My times during meets really weren't too far off my best times, and of course I had coaches from other teams complaining, even though I didn't place near where I would have placed. After I swam my 1500 with my cast on at a meet I received a standing ovation from everyone on the deck. Loved that.
Also...no one wanted to swim in my lane for fear of the accidental wallop my cast would give, especially during fly sets!

aquageek
October 20th, 2008, 01:14 PM
I had a waterproof cast way way back in the late 70s and it was fine for swimming. It didn't get funky and was very lightweight. The particular day was the end of my skateboarding career.

abc
October 20th, 2008, 01:40 PM
I've had one before. Swimming with it definitely altered my stroke, but my stroke returned to normal once the cast was removed. I don't recall it getting stinky. I would put one on. If you don't like it, just have it removed and get a more traditional cast (so long as this isn't a budget breaker).

geochuck
October 20th, 2008, 02:10 PM
Cast off your cast a soon as you can I wore my ankle cast for 2 days after breaking my ankle but took it off. I swam in the 1958 BE and Commonwealth Games with a broken ankle and just had it wrapped in a tensure bandage and had a novicane injection. I swam my fastest 100 m fly with it on. My 100 m free a different story I was slower by 3 seconds.

anita
October 20th, 2008, 02:36 PM
(I'm assuming that at least for a few weeks I won't be able to take it on/off).

isobel

And to add...you are in charge of your own health. If you want the waterproof cast put on right away, then ask for it. I'm not a doctor, but unless you had an odd break, I see no reason to postpone it.
I had mine put on right away--parents insisted. No problem here.

norascats
October 23rd, 2008, 08:55 AM
Your side stroke will be much improved.

isobel
October 23rd, 2008, 01:54 PM
OK. Got waterproof cast. Only AFTER I paid the $78 extra did the doctor redefine "swimming" for me. I can't put any pressure on my right hand (I fractured it at the wrist; it's slightly dislocated but healing OK so far), but I can kick.

So, will I screw myself up if I do lots of one-arm drills for left arm? One-arm fly, one-arm free, etcetera, in addition to tons of kicking? Or will I mess up my impeccably balanced stroke (ha ha ha ha).

I think I'm going to be in this state for at least a month. Advice? I will have one INCREDIBLE kick if I do this for an hour and a half every practice, must say. Also, cast I got doesn't sound like what people were describing. Looks just like other one only it has plastic liner. Or maybe this is what you all were talking about. Thanks for feedback.

nkfrench
October 23rd, 2008, 03:28 PM
Can you do fist-swimming drills ? Or swim with one hand in a fist ?

Doc's orders post-op I had to keep my head dry for a month this spring. I did about 2000y kicking per workout with a kickboard. It helped build up my legs.

If all you can do is kick, I'll recommend including dolphin kicks on the back sometimes arms streamlined, sometimes with arms at side. Also on side. They are great for abs.

anita
October 23rd, 2008, 03:58 PM
OK. Got waterproof cast. Only AFTER I paid the $78 extra did the doctor redefine "swimming" for me. I can't put any pressure on my right hand (I fractured it at the wrist; it's slightly dislocated but healing OK so far), but I can kick.

I also broke my wrist and fractured my elbow and was swimming right away with a waterproof cast. I'm confuzzled as to why you're being asked to wait--other than the threat of a malpractice suit (in the doctor's mind, not yours).

I have noticed an increase in the Urgency of instructions by doctors to kids and their parents after breaking bones*. "NO activity" seems to be the prevailing thought, rather than "proceed, but with common sense" (apparently no one has this anymore?). After talking with some doctor friends of ours they admit that it's due to the high amount of malpractice suits.

*this is with "typical" breaks, not extenuating circumstances.

swim4me
October 23rd, 2008, 06:25 PM
My daughter had one at age 12. I loved it 'cause I could always tell which swimmer was her!:applaud:.

swimlong
October 24th, 2008, 12:15 AM
I had a waterproof cast on my foot/ankle/calf for 6 weeks. I swam with it, but there were places that never dried out so got a bit funky. I found that a combination vacuum cleaner (I used a shop vac with an "edger" attatchment worked to suck out the water mid-cast) then a hair dryer worked. I also used to put one of those ceramic heaters with the fan on "hi" right near my leg after it got wet (while eating, watching TV, etc.)

If the cast breaks (water helps do that...) then your insurance co. may pay for a replacement.

isobel
October 24th, 2008, 10:19 AM
(I used a shop vac with an "edger" attatchment worked to suck out the water mid-cast) then a hair dryer worked. I also used to put one of those ceramic heaters with the fan on "hi" right near my leg after it got wet (while eating, watching TV, etc.)

You are giving this advice to someone who almost burned down her apartment building by forgetting that she had put rice cakes in her toaster oven to crisp up? And who was in the adjacent room and told herself not to overreact to smell of smoke because she often does and has called fired department for outdoor smell of wood stoves and so she said ignore the smoke? And then she said, ooo ooo ooo I forgot about my rice cakes and the toaster oven was on fire and she pulled the rice cakes out with her bare hands and stomped on them with her feet and melted both the soles of her shoes and the linoleum kitchen floor and one rice cake still flaming slid right under the chair where her fleece jacket was hanging?

I would electrocute myself.

I agree, though. I swam last night (yeah yeah yeah!) with arms at side or streamlined and did dolphin kick and kickboard kick and backstroke rotation drill kick, but none of this was very aerobic (except underwater dolphin kick). It is cold here in Boston and I have to walk about 15 minutes from pool to subway and my cast arm was wet and freezing. Am wondering if it would actually freeze. Ice on injury good, right? Cast took at least an hour to dry.

Long post. Obviously I am somewhat bored and housebound and unemployed au present since I am editor and need right hand to do the kind of pencil/paper editing I do.

Am reading the uplifting SCARLET LETTER for the zillionth time. Actually it is good because it is set in Salem, closeby. Cheers. I will stop here.

Blackbeard's Peg
October 24th, 2008, 10:45 AM
OH - ME!! ME!! I've had TWO!

I swam 2004 SCM Zones with one (right arm, short arm cast) and then 2005 LC Nationals with another one (left arm, full arm cast).

they're a pain in the ass to dry off, but if you've got some hand-dryers at your facility, spend some time there to help the process along. i thought the waterproofness was well worth it. I did a lot of kicking and it was after those injuries that my legs really kicked in (pun intended) on my distance swims. I started swimming about 3 weeks after the casts were first put on. Swimming will put a strain on your shoulder so be careful, don't try to go too fast at first, and work a lot on your technique. You'll notice with the limited range of motion of your arm some areas for correction in your stroke.

lastly, I will mention that unless your doctor instructs you that swimming will cause death, I think it is very beneficial to the healing process. In the first instance, I was in the water, kicking, 3 weeks after the break, and by week 6, was swimming about 80% effort and 80% normal yardage. I did a couple meets after that, and the cast was off in 13 weeks. With cast #2, I was in the water 3x during the first 4 weeks with the full arm cast (warmup and 2 races at nationals), then took it really easy getting back in the swim of things. That injury, which was the exact same style of break to the same bone on the other arm, had me in a cast for 16 weeks, and when the weather gets bad, that is the wrist that hurts. My point here is that I think being in the water helped the bloodflow needed to heal my broken bones. Since I was doing a lot of swimming with injury #1, there was a lot more activity in the bloodstream and I think that one healed quicker and better because of the swimming. :cane::toohurt:

isobel
November 1st, 2008, 07:26 PM
OK. I had one. If I were any respectable dog, I would have chewed it off over the weekend and left it on the living room floor. Caused me much claustrophobia. Itched. Was very tight. I was sure my arm was disinitegrating inside it.

So, after one week, I asked the doctor to take it off. He was mean about this, saying he'd have to put a regular cast on, but I reminded him that I was the one who had wasted my money and I couldn't cope with it.

So he put me in a removable splint and told me not to use my hand.

Hmmmm. Went to pool today, removed splint, kicked for a while, got bored, thought, I'll just try a little freestyle with both arms, pulled very very gingerly, no problem. So I'm being a bad dog by swimming very gently, which I think actually will facilitate the healing (I really want to do a meet in December!). I will not post here if I should be so stupid as to screw it up and start over again at beginning of healing process. I am using pain as my guide. But the waterproof cast, bad idea for me. Too tight, plastic against my skin made me feel itchy and claustrophobic. I KNOW if I were a dog I would have chewed it off. As it is, I showed great maturity, I think, in waiting a week for my appointment.

norascats
November 1st, 2008, 07:53 PM
Try swimming with a splint.

Typhoons Coach
November 1st, 2008, 08:46 PM
OK. I had one. If I were any respectable dog, I would have chewed it off over the weekend and left it on the living room floor. Caused me much claustrophobia. Itched. Was very tight. I was sure my arm was disinitegrating inside it.

So, after one week, I asked the doctor to take it off. He was mean about this, saying he'd have to put a regular cast on, but I reminded him that I was the one who had wasted my money and I couldn't cope with it.

So he put me in a removable splint and told me not to use my hand.

Hmmmm. Went to pool today, removed splint, kicked for a while, got bored, thought, I'll just try a little freestyle with both arms, pulled very very gingerly, no problem. So I'm being a bad dog by swimming very gently, which I think actually will facilitate the healing (I really want to do a meet in December!). I will not post here if I should be so stupid as to screw it up and start over again at beginning of healing process. I am using pain as my guide. But the waterproof cast, bad idea for me. Too tight, plastic against my skin made me feel itchy and claustrophobic. I KNOW if I were a dog I would have chewed it off. As it is, I showed great maturity, I think, in waiting a week for my appointment.

You certainly are a trooper! If it starts to hurt, definitely utilize the splint that the doctor gave to you. If that doesn't work, just cut the darn thing off and start swimming again!!

isobel
November 1st, 2008, 08:55 PM
just cut the darn thing off and start swimming again!!

My arm?

Typhoons Coach
November 1st, 2008, 09:38 PM
My arm?

haha...absolutely....just kidding, obviously.

isobel
November 9th, 2008, 01:48 PM
OK. So I am now in a removable splint and have been kicking about 2000 yards 3xweek, and doing the much-hated elliptical cross-country setting for 30 minutes 2xweek, and in the last week, some very gingerly tested freestyle. And I've stuck to my weights routine with my good arm.

I have signed up for a meet Dec. 12-14, my usual events (800 free, 400 free, 400 IM, 100 free), since my doctor said I should be able to swim by December 1st. I showed him a picture of fly from the USMS magazine so he would understand the kind of swimming I mean.

Yah, I am crazy! But it gives me a sense of hope and purpose. Nonetheless, does it sound like I am doing enough aerobic training to at least not have a heart attack when I get back in the pool on December 1st and actually try to swim? Right now my ginger freestyle pace is a whopping 32 seconds per 25 yards (but technically I am not supposed to be swimming at all. I am a terrible patient). Yeah! At the least I will confound people when they look at my times from this year versus next year, and maybe someone will start a post, How did you get so much faster?

Of course if my hand hurts too much I will scratch the meet. But I like the idea of the challenge of getting in 400 IM shape in 11 days. ha ha ha ha ha ha.