Crutch Life — Disability Chic!

Line art drawing of two forms of crutches.
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It’s stick time!

My glam new crutches arrived last week and are now part of my every movement for the next three months, which will include a train trip to Boston and a flight to Las Vegas.

Of course, because I adore all things French, they turn out to be made in France, of aluminum.

I’m trying to give my arthritic left hip a break while I take Fosamax, so cannot put my full weight on the joint. It’s the first time since January I have been pain-free and am sleeping soundly without painkillers or the old pillow between the knees. So sexy!

The crutches are short, only to the forearm and I paid $100 extra for soft padded leather inserts to protect my arms, spongy, ergonomically shaped handles and wide, reassuringly thick pads on the bottom of the poles.

The challenge is…life! I managed to sweep and mop and vacuum yesterday (stork-like on one leg) and this morning got a lot of ironing done while sitting on the bed.

It’s getting stuff like books, magazines, the phone, the remote, whatever from one room to another hands-free so now I use a big soft bag as a backpack.

I have a meeting today in Manhattan, in 95 degree heat and humidity, so am dreading that. I’ll drive in, in AC, and pray for a parking spot or garage very close to my meeting. But I may arrive drenched in sweat anyway.

I was having a bit of  a pity party yesterday when I spoke to a photographer who needs to come and take my picture for a story I’m working in. He was on crutches, living alone, for two years.

Have you managed with them? Any tricks you can share?

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9 thoughts on “Crutch Life — Disability Chic!

  1. Suzanna

    I fell out of my front door several years ago, in what can only be described as a demonstration of cat-like grace and aptitude, and sprained my ankle. The doctor of course gave me crutches, the wooden under-the-armpit sort. I spent one afternoon on them, ended up chafed and bruised so badly I couldn’t put my arms down (or up!), and decidd I’d rather walk on it than use those contraptions ever again!!

    My mom had the short ones though, and she said it was easiest when she made absolutely sure she wasn’t slouching over. Sometimes she’d have to readjust them now and then, but so long as she kept her posture as normal as possible, it kept her back and wrists from hurting. I wish you luck!!

  2. Doug

    I trust you to make gimpiness fashionable. In no time, maybe all Manhattan will be sticking their feet in elevator doors dancing on workbenches in the hope of French crutches.

  3. Suzanna, ouch! I think many people don’t even know there is an option of the shorter crutches. I would never do long ones again. I was warned by my PTs not to slouch so I am very aware of that — and they can be adjusted in several dimensions so when I wear high(er) heels, I won’t trip.

    Doug, I hope so too. I just had coffee with Andrea Spiegel, ex of True/Slant, now at Forbes, and she said it will — as it already has — bring out people’s best and worst in reaction. I was very lucky today and found a free parking spot only a block and a half away from my meeting. Still….ouch on the hands.

    I wonder what French crutches do better. I clink, therefore I am?

  4. Dennis

    Maybe your insurance company will approve the lease of a Segway. Most people you see on them seem ridiculously smug about it but a cast would grant you an exemption.

  5. Sarah

    I was on a borrowed pair of crutches at school my Junior year when I took a tumble down a flight of stairs outside my math classroom during the lunch rush. Luckily I had a friend give me a lift to the nurse’s office, where I was diagnosed with a sprained ankle. Neither of my parents were able to pick me up to get me to the doctor. But when my mom did come pick me up, the nurse let me keep the crutches so that I wouldn’t have to worry about getting some from the doctor. Still, I wouldn’t wish those contraptions on anyone. Hope the treatment helps you, Caitlin.

  6. Sarah, stairs are scary as hell. I am avoiding the NYC subway for that reason — too many people in a big hurry in a small space. I wish the crutches would help but all they are doing is postponing inevitable surgery. I am hoping the Fosamax will help my hip somewhat. The idea of major surgery scares me to death.

  7. I can’t even imagine driving in Manhattan much less driving with a bum hip and making a meeting on crutches in the city. My recent microfracture knee surgery was performed by an orthopedist who prayed fervently with me (I sort of lowered my head out of respect) but who did not provide me with a post-op protocol. I was on the crutches only eight days and felt fine to bear weight. Online, the bane of most physicians, reccommended “crutch time” was 6-8 weeks. Speedy recovery, I think I have read that you are a rehab pro. Tom Medlicott

  8. It wasn’t a big deal, really! Street parking was free; I know how to navigate NYC and I was meeting ex T/S manager Andrea Spiegel, now at Forbes, so it was a meeting I wanted to make. I tend to soldier through…:-)

    Unfortunately, this is not a recovery. I will still have to face surgery but am not willing or ready to do so right now. It is giving my worn-out right knee and painful left hip a break as the crutches bear my weight instead of my hip joint. So boring!!!!!

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