You have your plans all set for your next DIY project — tools borrowed, paint purchased, time set aside — and tragedy strikes. You hurt yourself, and not in a way that some hydrogen peroxide and a Band-Aid can fix. You’re down for the count for a while.
Here are some tips on how to handle an accidental injury impeding upon your DIY plans, from someone currently laid up on the couch with a fractured tibia.
First and foremost, take care of yourself.
You’ve been to the doctor, have your prescriptions and braces and follow-ups scheduled, and you’re frustrated as all get out because you can’t hardly make it to the bathroom on your own, never mind climb a ladder. It’s the pits. And it’s really easy to get upset about your plans and your project getting ruined.
However, if you want to go on to DIY another day, you have to take care of yourself, follow your doctor’s orders, and give yourself time to heal. Something we were told was that you have to let go of how you planned things to be, embrace how they are, and try to make the best of it. So if your project was something cosmetic, well, it’ll still be there when you’re back to 100%. If you find yourself in a more needs-immediate-attention bind, well then …
Rely heavily on others.
This is the exact thing friends and family are for — helping you out. Unexpected (and painful!) injuries usually bring out the best in the people around you, so when help is offered, suck up your pride and let your loved ones step in. Sure, it’s pretty awful to not be able to finish something you started, but if it needs done right away and you can’t do it, the completion is a higher priority than the completor.
DO NOT try to do it yourself.
Chances are you’re on some level of narcotic pain medication. Those mess with you — that’s what they’re made to do, to alleviate pain with side effects ranging from nausea and vomiting to dizziness and exhaustion. So sure, after a few days, you may be back to feeling almost normal, but you can’t count on that feeling at all. Before you know it, you may be ten feet up a ladder when a wave of vertigo hits you, you drop the power tool you’re holding, and you fall — causing a lot more problems (and doctor’s visits) than you had in the first place. RESIST THE URGE, and if you can’t stand that your project is unfinished, refer to the point above.
Take it with a grain of salt.
Lastly, no one likes a grumpy patient. Have your moment of frustration at your injury, then let it go. We typically try to reason that the universe was trying to tell us something by making us be still for a long period of time, but do whatever you need to in order to move past the incident. Barring freak accidents, you will heal in time and be back in the game soon enough, so don’t take it out on your caregivers. Enjoy the down time, take it as a break in your plan, and remember before long, this will just be another part of your story to laugh over as you look at your completed project.
How did you cope with an injury while DIYing? Let us know your story and how you recovered (both physically and your project!) in the comments below!