Product Type: Limbo health products
Newest Review: ... hearing me debating how I could keep it dry, said he'd pop home and get me his 'Limbo' so I could keep my butterflies and glue nice and... more
Hoppy Takes a Bath
Limbo Waterproof Cast Protectors
Member Name: Essexgirl2006
Limbo Waterproof Cast Protectors
Advantages: Keep casts and other wounds or dressings dry
Disadvantages: Breaking the bone in the first place
Last month I fell over whilst walking along the street, I am a bit baffled as to how it occurred, but one minute I was walking the next I was face down on the ground. I discovered as I was helped up that I couldn't put any weight down on my left foot without excruciating pain. Fortunately we were quite near my boyfriend's house so he helped me hop back. Frozen peas made very little difference on the swelling, but we assumed that I had just sprained or twisted my foot, as I hadn't stumbled or landed awkwardly at all. However, the next day it was still very sore and I went along to my local A & E, where they X-rayed me and pronounced my 5th metatarsal (the one on my little toe side) to be fractured. I was given a plaster cast up to my knee and crutches and sent on my way, instructed not to get it wet and they would see me in 10 days.
As I couldn't put any weight on my foot, showering was out due to the risk of slipping or falling. Bathing with the cast was a somewhat inelegant affair, we developed a system involving a dining chair, a small plastic stool, some bin liners and my boyfriend in old clothes to get me in and out of the bath. My cast was wrapped in the bin liner to prevent splashes but we couldn't risk it going in the bath and getting properly wet as the bag was only tied at the knee, so I would sit on the dining chair, put my good leg into the bath, and half slide, half plonk myself on the plastic stool which we placed in the bath. Then, I would hoist myself up holding onto the rim of the bath and the stool was removed, all the while with one leg stuck over the edge of the bath, I would then lower myself down. Having the leg outside the bath meant I was often off balance, and it was all a very ungracious procedure. My tub isn't particularly deep or wide, but as I am petite it wasn't comfortable having the leg out as I couldn't really relax. I tended to keep my good leg bent at the knee, as otherwise it was quite unladylike to sit with it extended. Plus, when I laid back in the bath to wash my hair, I struggled to be able to pull myself upright as my weight was unevenly distributed. The first time, my boyfriend held onto my leg whilst I floundered about trying to shave my armpits, it was all very unromantic. Getting out, whilst wet and slippery, was quite traumatic as I was convinced that I would slip and land astride the edge of the bath in a most unladylike and unfortunate position (not to mention painful).
When I returned to the hospital and they gave me a lighter fibreglass cast for a further 5 weeks, I mentioned to the staff in the plaster room about bathing being difficult and they gave me a leaflet for Limbo Cast Protectors. These are thick plastic (PVC and nylon) shaped bags with a neoprene (rubber) and nylon seal which keep secure to your limb. They manufacture both adult and child sizes for different arm and leg injuries and would be useful to protect any wound that would need to be kept dry, not just ones in a cast.
You could order from the form on the bottom of the leaflet or online, paying with a variety of methods including PayPal. When I got back from the hospital I was straight on the internet. The website gave lots of useful advice and a demo on how to put on the cast protector, but this also explained on the packaging the Limbo comes in. Ordering the correct one was extremely easy - the options are clear and self explanatory, so I knew to get a 'Below the Knee Injury' one. I was also asked to select my height from a range, as well as my weight, to ensure I got the correct size. The price for my protector was £11.95 plus £3.25 postage within the UK. You could pay a variety of ways using most major cards but I selected Pay Pal. Prices vary, depending on the limb you need protecting. I ordered too late for my order to be dispatched that day, but I had an e-mail the following morning saying that it was sent out by first class post and would fit through my letterbox. It duly arrived the following day in a grey plastic envelope and inside was the cast protector in a small plastic bag with clear instructions printed on it.
They recommend wearing a sock or wrapping your foot in a soft cloth if you have a cast to cushion the limbo and prevent damage. I assume this is because casts can be hard and rough (especially the new fibreglass ones) and could catch and snag the protector as it can be difficult to manoeuvre it over them, as your foot is in a set position. Saying that, getting a sock to fit over your cast is a challenge, I used a giant bootee knitted by a lady from my mum's Women's Institute, but if you don't have a friendly W.I knitter to hand, a tea towel or old hand towel would do. You are advised to hold the cast protector between your thumb and fingers where the nylon seal meets the plastic, so the seal is tucked in and doesn't get pulled directly. You then put it on like you do a sock, ensuring the angled bottom of the protector points the same way as you foot. Once you have pulled it up as high as you can over your knee (in my case), you pull it down slightly so that the nylon and rubber seal is exposed around the top. At this point, I lift the seal slightly, whilst trying to squeeze as much trapped air out that I can (although I can never get it all), before ensuring that the seal is now flat around my leg and not tucked in anywhere. I can then get in the bath. I still used the dining chair, and swung my legs in the tub together, where I then moved onto the rim of the bath, from where I could comfortable lower myself in whilst holding the sides of the tub. Having both legs in together meant I could keep my balance. It was the same for getting out again, and was a much quicker and smoother procedure than pre-Limbo. Your leg in the cast protector can be fully submerged, however as I usually still had some air in it, it floated a bit but at least it was relaxed, and my good leg would also be able to extend and relax also, whilst allowing me a bit more flexibility when I wanted to adjust my position in the bath, or to turn around and reach the shampoo or a sponge. They do not recommend that you wear the Limbo for more than 20-30 minutes at a time in the bath, as the air within the protector can get warm and condensation could build up, ultimately making you a bit uncomfortable. Removing the protector is easy, I lift the seal and fold it back on the plastic, so no drips go onto my leg and run down inside the cast, then pull off. You have to be careful not to bend or damage the seal, and once the Limbo is off, I flatten it and air dry it either on a clothes horse or over a coat hanger. There is a video on their website which shows how easy it can be.
The cast protectors are estimated to last for 6-8 weeks (the length most casts would be on) and I have had mine for about 5 weeks now without problem. It has made me much more independent as far as bathing is concerned (I still need someone to put the chair in position, but after that my boyfriend can return to watching Top Gear on Dave), as well as more comfortable. I do recommend them for anyone who is unfortunate enough to need to wear a cast, to help with the bathing. Obviously those with arm injuries or able to put weight on their legs could also use them in the shower too. Limbo also produces other products to protect casts, particularly for those who have weight-bearing casts (as I can't put full weight on my foot/cast outdoor weather protectors are redundant as I tend to avoid 'walking' too far on my crutches!). You can also wear your Limbo cast protector in the swimming pool, and they give some good guidelines about swimming on their website - it is not suitable for most cast injuries as it could cause undue stress to the bone, but you can use it for splashing about in the shallow end for example, allowing you to participate with friends and family if you wished, instead of sitting on the sidelines. Consult with your doctor if unsure.
As I mentioned above, I do recommend this product if you should need it (but hopefully you won't). I also recommend purchasing direct, the website was clear and easy to understand, service was quick and also cheaper than if you buy elsewhere. Plus, on some sites (such as Amazon) you cannot be sure that you get the right size as it doesn't seem to have the height/weight options.
Summary: Useful product to make bathing with plaster casts easier.
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