Medical Expenses, Spending

The true cost of a broken foot. (It’s not just medical.)

This past November, while walking the dog, I tripped and fell. Unfortunately, I was not only left with a few bumps and bruises, but also a fractured foot. We had just gotten back from a 5-night cruise to the Caribbean for my 60th birthday. It was a trip that was cherished, as we had spent the whole month before housebound recovering from Covid. However, despite having Covid, I was still able to get outside and walk. Breaking my foot, however, left me couch ridden for several weeks.

Eventually, I was getting around using crutches and wearing a boot. But it made doing simple tasks extremely difficult. I wasn’t able to drive a car, go grocery shopping, cook meals, clean the house, walk the dog, or do anything else that required a lot of movement or standing. Thankfully my husband was still working from home several days a week and had picked up a lot of the slack. However, he was extra busy at work, so I needed to find alternative solutions to the jobs I usually did. I ended up hiring a dog walker, ordering Walmart pickup and/or groceries online, ordering take out when my husband didn’t feel like cooking and hired some cleaning help. And the extra costs added up.

(If any of you feel like you don’t contribute to the household because you don’t work outside the home, talk to my husband. He will tell you that you are more valuable than you know. 😉 )

Here is a breakdown of the various expenses I incurred during the last nine weeks.

  • Extra medical expenses: walking boot, crutches, scooter: $375.00
  • Doctor visits (co-pays): $635.00
  • Dog walker: $250.00
  • Extra fees, tips by ordering online groceries: $100
  • Ordering take-out: $300
  • Cleaning services: $800 (1st time cleaning services charge over $500 for a first ‘deep’ clean. I know, ridiculous. And they didn’t even do a good job. No more.)

Total out of pocket costs: $2,460

OUCH.

This was a good exercise in realizing that it’s just not medical bills that you need to worry about when an accident happens. If you are injured and are responsible for specific chores, jobs, etc., you will need to figure out who will do those jobs while you recover, especially if it lasts for more than a couple of days. It only took one silly little trip on the sidewalk and I was out for almost three months. Thankfully I didn’t need surgery, or it would have been longer.

My foot is healing. I’m no longer using crutches or wearing a boot. The pain is still there, especially at night, but it is much better than before. I anticipate I will be doing my own cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping very soon, as well as taking a stroll down the street with the dog. And I can’t wait.

11 thoughts on “The true cost of a broken foot. (It’s not just medical.)”

  1. OW! I knew it was bad, but that is terrible.
    I shattered my elbow the October before this crazy began. It did take a full replacement and a screwed in plate. I was super lucky my husband was home full time retired, but things really piled up.
    It did make me realize that the 250k for retirement medical is something we need to keep in place. If I we’re more hurt or we were not in a place we could do it ourselves, we will need every penny.

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    1. It’s crazy when you can’t do what you are used to doing. I’m not a very patient person, so it was really discouraging that it was taking so long.

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      1. I fell and broke my wrist in two bones last April, oh the pain but I could hardly get my pants up and down to go to the bathroom for a couple weeks as could hardly touch or move my fingers. Try washing dishes, laundry etc. ha! Not good! Driving was even hard to a point. You don’t realize how much you use both hands. And I continue to have pain and reduced mobility. It’s hard to get old. And yes the ancillary costs really add up!

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  2. Good luck resuming your activities, but with caution. I broke my foot 19 years ago, with two teens (not yet driving age)and a toddler, full-time job, and elder parents. It was a nightmare, so I can relate. The only good things were I was 19 years younger than now, and was my left foot so I could still drive.

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    1. Yes, I’m using caution. It is my left foot, but I was in a boot for so long, it was awkward to drive. I never knew how much I need my feet! Thankfully, it’s the middle of the winter and I am inside. I can’t even imagine how you did it! Being younger probably helped with the healing for sure!

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  3. Sharon, I had no idea. You made some very important points. WOW!! Glad you are on the mend. Falling down and breaking something is one of my worst fears!! Especially going down the basement stairs. UGH!
    Stay strong.

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  4. Sharon, I am so glad you are finally able to do more. I had a terrible fall hitting my forehead., arm, and knees It .was not pretty! But I paid nothing no copays or deductibles. The reason was three years ago I listened to my older brother’s sage advice on Medicare. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. When you select Medicare at 65 you do not go through underwriting approval . You have enough means to get Plan F ( now approximately equivalent to Plan G) so every year your premiums are mainly your only cost- no office visit copays , no deductibles and more coverage on chemotherapy. Also more flexibility on who provides your care as long as they take Medicare assignment. It’s also better coverage when you travel. I also find it relieves worrying when there’s a medical emergency can I afford it. The cost is coming out of my HSA and when that is depleted I will pay it with my dividend income. Sincerely, Lara

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  5. Sharon, I am so glad you are finally able to do more. I had a terrible fall hitting my forehead., arm, and knees It .was not pretty! But I paid nothing no copays or deductibles. The reason was three years ago I listened to my older brother’s sage advice on Medicare. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. When you select Medicare at 65 you do not go through underwriting approval . You have enough means to get Plan F ( now approximately equivalent to Plan G) so every year your premiums are mainly your only cost- no office visit copays , no deductibles and more coverage on chemotherapy. Also more flexibility on who provides your care as long as they take Medicare assignment. It’s also better coverage when you travel. I also find it relieves worrying when there’s a medical emergency can I afford it. The cost is coming out of my HSA and when that is depleted I will pay it with my dividend income. That I keep reinvesting currently at 8-10%. Sincerely, Lara

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