Buddy Taping


Buddy Taping

wood-anemone-753284_640During a recent caregiving chat, we were discussing a member's recently broken toe.  In most cases, there is nothing much to do to assist with healing a toe except for the technique called "buddy taping," taping the hurting toe to the one adjoining and letting the "able toe" help bear the weight.  Its straightness helps keep the affected toe from healing out of position, which could result in complications down the line.

The "able toe" can't fix anything, can't take away the break, can't even share blood supply, but it can offer a stable, "alongside" presence to the disabled, hurting, toe.

So that got me thinking ...

I see so many similarities between the "buddy taping" system and what I find on caregiving.com... When one is hurting, another can say, "let me offer you today my strength. This is a stronger day for me." "Let me be beside you. I can't change the pain, I can't fix it or take it away, but let me help bear the weight."

Just this morning, I had one of those "oh, no" moments--one of those this-is-new-information-and-my-life-just-changed-again moments. The routines and protections we have in place may not be quite enough. The freedoms I am used to might need to be adapted once more. The inexorable march of this disease for my husband has taken yet another step.

And I reached out to a caregiving friend. If I could have thought of these words at the time, I would have said, "I am in need of buddy taping. I know you can't fix it, can't change it, but I need to be alongside someone now to share this with, to ask for help in bearing the pain of this."

And she did exactly that. She made herself available. She heard. She listened. She empathized. She said, "You are doing this just right." She affirmed that I needed to react, but not overreact, and that my care has opened a new chapter. She didn't deny it, push it away, or minimize the moment. She agreed with me, "Your life has just changed." And rather than increase the fear, it helped to diminish the fear, as the reality found words and I received the strength of her presence.

Thank you, dear Lillie, for being my buddy taping partner this morning. And thanks to so many others who have offered your simple presence to me and so many others in times of pain and brokenness.

Like this article? Share on social


Sign in to comment


I'm so sorry for the \"oh, no\" moment--those moments will really take your breath away. I'm so glad Lillie could help you find your footing and catch your breath.\r\n\r\nYou remind us how critical it is to get support early so that when you need support, you've got it. \r\n\r\nAnd, thanks for inspiring our Tape Buddy group!!


Mar, what a great analogy. I am constantly amazed at the creative writers on this website. I'm sorry that you are facing a new challenging stage, but I'm so glad you are here, reaching out for help and sharing your story with us.

Allison O'Brien

I absolutely would like to volunteer! What a wonderful way to help a caregiver get through a difficult time...to take away the elements of sadness, anxiety, and fear of feeling alone. I agree with Lillie...Great idea!!

Lillie Fuller

Great idea <a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/worriedwife/' rel=\"nofollow\">@worriedwife</a>! <a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/denise/' rel=\"nofollow\">@denise</a>, I would volunteer also.


Reading Buddy Taping was an emotional experience for me. I think I held my breath as a read what you said about the \"routines and protections we put into place\" not being enough. How well I know those \"oh, no moments\". \r\nWhen I got to \"The inexorable march of the disease...has taken another step.\" I cried. Thank you for speaking to me. Thank you for speaking for me.

See more comments