The Tale of a Woman with a Fractured Fibula, and Slow-Cooker Tips for Getting Through It

On a warmish, balmy Thanksgiving afternoon, I took a long hike while the turkey roasted in all of its unhurried glory. The sides—stuffing, fresh orange-cranberry relish, potatoes in ice water, ready to be boiled—were prepared the day before. This always makes the cook’s life easier on a “last minute” kind of cooking day. (But that’s the makings of yet another post, as I’m fond of saying.)

Unfortunately for me, I fractured my fibula on that Thanksgiving day hike. But it so happens that I hike often, which probably saved my ankle and leg from a worse injury. A fractured fibula is the most common of ankle injuries, and it does not require surgery. For this I am grateful.

Flexibility aside, this kind of injury can happen while merely walking—but sliding down an embankment will surely twist a foot to near breaking. I push myself more then I should on occasion, as we all do. The advice I received from my orthopedic surgeon and other people in the know is to stay off the leg and foot, wear the boot for walking, and elevate with ice when possible. Well, while in pain, completely exhausted, wearing that boot on my ankle, and needing to do very simple tasks like feed myself—everything was easier said than done.

And I certainly never thought a hiking injuring would be the reason for my new post. Life changes on a dime, as a friend wrote to me in an email.

Here are four things I did that first week that made my life easier:

  1. Boiled six eggs and left them in their shells for a quick protein snack.
  2. Moved the can opener near the sink.
  3. Prepared a slow cooker meal that would feed me for three days. (My East Coast Chile con Carne was the perfect recipe for the occasion—and it was the first post I wrote for this blog.)
  4. I also asked my friend to bring me tuna, sardines, and chicken and beef stock up from my pantry when she stopped by.

Other than these steps, the rest was just learning what had to be done and what could wait. (In fact, almost everything can wait.)

The Chile con Carne is easy enough, but not for someone who can’t stand up long. To the rescue, my slow cooker. As the recipe instructs, simply put your slow cooker on low and dump in all the ingredients. That’s it. If you have a slow cooker with a removable insert, even better. Refrigerate the insert and portion it out another day.

Of the utmost importance was to begin a regimen of whole food vitamin supplements from Standard Process. The supplements below are rich in C complex and calcium, which aid in rebuilding bone:

My very health depends upon the supplement regimen. In the three weeks since I fractured my fibula (shown in the image of the feet above), I am doing remarkably well.

Main image from Phyllis Quinn. Post image from iStock/JoeGough (chili).

Phyllis Quinn

Phyllis Quinn is a chef, food writer, and founder of Udderly Cultured, a class that teaches how to make homemade fresh mozzarella, butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, and other cultured products. Private lessons are available. For a reservation, call Phyllis at 970-221-5556 or email her at Rediscover nearly lost cooking methods and get one-of-a-kind recipes in her books The Slow Cook Gourmet and Udderly Cultured: The Art of Milk Fermentation.

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