My own private Carehood – how an accident reaffirmed the need for CareHood

I broke my foot two weeks ago. My slightly cleaning obsessed self thought it would be a great idea to stand on an unstable ladder to clean the top of a closet. I fell and now regret this rather unnecessary cleaning enterprise.  And while I know that my foot will heal, in the meantime, it feels like the weight of the world is on it.

Since breaking my foot, here’s what’s going on:

  • We found an apartment – and we’re moving
  • I’m working to build a startup
  • My office is 7 miles away, with no public transportation, and of course, I can’t drive for several weeksshutterstock_226042327
  • I’ve been invited to exhibit at a conference – meanwhile, I’m not allowed to stand on my foot
  • I was invited to attend a gathering of MedTech professionals at the Irish Embassy – the day after being told I’m not allowed to stand
  • I’m fundraising for my startup – good luck trying to look invincible with a limp you can see coming a mile away
  • All day and night my foot has shooting/stabbing pain running up my legs and down to my toes, causing me to sleep no more than 3 hours a night
  • I haven’t been able to stand long enough to prepare meals
  • Being immobile in so many ways is starting to drive me insane

Now, I’m not writing this to gain sympathy. I’m writing this to BE REAL. This is only a broken foot – and yet, to get through my days I’m having to rely on (and ask for the help of) so many people: from my husband to my colleagues to my extended family.

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How is everyone helping?

Well, my husband, besides being my emotional rock and making me laugh through my tears of pain every night, has basically done everything to take care of the move. Endless phone calls, running errands, packing boxes – he did everything! He also feeds me, washes my clothes, runs to get take out, gets my foot brace. And above all, he acts as my chauffeur.

My colleague who lives close by has become my driver to work, picking me up and dropping me off, even carrying my backpack from the car into the office. Thanks to him, I have generally been able to keep playing an active role in my company. My other colleagues have kept me fed and hydrated, always ready and willing to grab me food, bring me water and appear at my beck and call (which hopefully I don’t do too often…).

shutterstock_126302000My friends have worked their plans around me to make it possible for me to still participate in activities. The other day, a friend even picked me up for a meeting he didn’t want me to miss.

My in-laws have offered to help us move.

My family has answered the phone – day and night – 6,000 miles away when I couldn’t sleep and needed someone to talk to and didn’t want to wake my husband.

Basically, without me realizing it, they have built me a CareHood. We have built a CareHood.

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And while my foot will heal and it’s not life-threatening, it reminds me in a way why we are building CareHood. Because when something happens that limits our abilities, we do not need to be restricted by our own limitations. This is where our family and friends step in to help support us along our path. Making us stronger than we could ever be by ourselves.

So, this is my small thank you to my “Hood” – for being there and making it possible for me to get through this, one day at a time.

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Marni Mandell is the CEO and Co-Founder of CareHood. The idea for CareHood was developed out of the challenges she encountered offering care and support for friends who were too far away for her to help when they were in treatment with serious illnesses and other physical challenges.

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