Saturday, 23 February 2019

Surviving With Crutches

An injury or surgical procedure performed on the back, hips, pelvis, legs or feet could result in the patient being on crutches for some period of time. While crutches do allow for the patient to be mobile, living with them is never going to be easy. Being able to move short distances on your own, without needing someone’s help, is good, but what you do when you get there is another matter. You can’t carry much in your arms if you are using crutches. Once you get to where you are going, unless you are seated, there is only so much you can do while holding on to the crutches.There are some hacks that will make your time on crutches more comfortable and give you the maximum freedom.

Image Courtesy: Pexels
• The first thing is to ensure that the crutches are as comfortable as possible. Ensure they are the right size and that they are properly cushioned. Make sure they are properly balanced – using unbalanced ones only increases the strain. Ensure that the tips are non-slip so you will not fall while navigating wet slippery surfaces. Crutch pockets, that are attached to the crutches can be used for carrying small things and are a useful addition.

• Get used to having a backpack on you whenever you go out. You never know when you may be required to carry something and the backpack may be your salvation.

• Shopping can be a real pain. Firstly, you cannot carry your purchases while on crutches. Putting items in your backpack or pockets may look like you are a shoplifter. Buy from places that offer home delivery or shop online as much as possible. When you cannot avoid going to the store, ask a friend to accompany you and help by carrying your shopping home for you.

• Cooking and eating can be a pain. For cooking, keep a high stool in the kitchen so you can sit while working on the counter or the stove. A light one that you can easily push around with non-slip tips is the best. Carrying food to the table is another problem. Keep portable spill proof containers handy so you can put food in them and place the containers in your backpack and then move to the table where you eat.

• If you live in a house with more than one floor, have everything you need kept at the ground level. Climbing stairs with crutches is not just very difficult, you could easily fall and injure yourself even more.

• You will need to do local traveling – work, social activities and so on are an important part of life and being on crutches should not be allowed to put them on hold. Driving will not be possible and public transport will be inaccessible on crutches. Taxis are difficult to enter and exit and you could hurt yourself in the process. The best way to be mobile and remain active while you are on crutches is to use a Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT) service. This service will provide specially equipped vehicles for those on crutches or with other mobility problems. Use a company that offers a full range of services including doorstep pick up, event standby and so on. Being able to remain mobile will help you to recover and get rid of the crutches.