Disabled Life

Living on the sticks

The other day I saw a boy on crutches, he’d broken his leg and was moving very slowly. He was coming out of a shop I was going in to. I noticed his bare hands were wrapped very tightly around the handles with no padding. I thought about letting it go and then chose to give him and his father some advice.

“He’ll need some gloves, fingerless would be best.”

They looked at me. I showed them my hands, which look a lot like bacon, heavily calloused. They went home to either find some gloves or wrap some sponge on the handles. I did my bit at the time. Later that weekend I saw an older woman who had wrapped towels around the handles.

Here’s a few things about crutches.

REMINDER I AM NOT A DOCTOR THESE ARE JUST THINGS THAT I HAVE DONE THAT WORK FOR ME.

If you’re on them short term (months not life) padded gloves are great. I had trouble gripping with a full glove so again I recommend fingerless. I tried the sponge option but they tended to crumble or slip off the handle, which is quite dangerous.

You could also use hand wraps, I used these to do the Round the bays a couple of years ago, but they take a long time and can be inconvenient to remove multiple times over the day. Also while there are many videos on how to wrap hands. These are for fighters don’t wrap your thumb to tight or you won’t be able to grip the crutch.

Also use hand moisturiser at the end of the day. Otherwise your hands will crack.

Crutch Tips. These are hard to find. You obviously will have a pair when you first receive crutches but depending on how active you are and the weather you can go through them. In Summer they might last me 3-4 days in winter about a week. They are usually between 3.50 – 5 dollars each. Now a chemist should have them but usually don’t, you could also try a hardware store they sometimes carry them.

Crutches are quite strong so if you drop one it won’t shatter. People have had a bit of a panic when I’ve dropped them. I broke several pairs over the years but then I am very active and was playing sport on them. Hence why I now use a custom made pair.

Opening doors is quite tricky at first. I usually open the door quite wide then as it swings back I block it with the crutch closest to the door and then walk through. It’s quicker then it sounds.

Be careful going down hill. Gravity is your enemy and you’ll pick up speed and momentum going down hill which can lead to a fall.

If you’re going to fall try land on your side and don’t be afraid to let go of the crutch. By landing on your side you’ll protect your head. Your arms will take a blow.

Water, moss, man hole covers, road paint, wrappers, leaves, marble flooring, those little sauce bottles from sushi places, other people, wooden floors, gravel. These are things that have caused me to fall.

If you aren’t on crutches yet but you know your going to be after surgery you should exercise your shoulders and neck area. That’s the area that will hurt the most after your hands. I read somewhere that crutches also exercise your abdominals. I have been on crutches a long time and at one point was very fit. I have never had a six pack not even close.

Also have a back pack.You can’t carry things. So no walking to work sipping a coffee just sit down and enjoy the ambiance of the cafe.

Use the disabled toilets. You’ll need the space to move around.

Be very careful on stairs. I use the handrail and one crutch. I have big enough hands to be able to carry the other one in my crutch hand. Practice this on a small set of stairs to see if it works for you. Again don’t panic if you drop the crutch.

That’s about all I can think of now but I hope it was helpful or at least a little informative.

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