Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Using Crutches Take Practice
Now that I have spent 3 months on crutches, I have finally figured out how to manage.
I have fallen numerous times, slipped, gone forward too quickly losing my balance or landed the crutch on someone's foot. Ouch!!!
While in the hospital I did get a lesson on how to use crutches. You always go up or forward with your "good" foot. Going down the stairs has your "bad" foot going first. So up with the good and down with the bad. Easy enough to follow.
I was also told to keep the crutches on an angle out from your body vs directly at your side. This does help and may affect which height you keep your crutches at.
I feel that a comfortable height for your crutches is a personal choice. Keeping the crutch on the hole for my height was not working for me, so I went up an inch. Don't be afraid to experiment.
Watch out for your pets. My dogs are always under foot and you can't imagine how easily you can trip over them.
There have been some door thresholds where there is a raised piece such as weather stripping or a metal bar which have caught my crutch many times so raise those crutches as high as you can.
Let's talk about water. Anytime the ground is wet, please be careful. The rubber tip of the crutch will come out from under you and you then go flying...sometimes into a wall, sometimes landing on the "bad" foot, so now you are dealing with even more pain. Any floor surface which is slippery to begin with becomes your worst nightmare when it is wet. I even slipped on wet blue stone since there was some mildew on the stone. Take small steps whenever the ground is wet and try not to put as much weight on the crutch until you know the surface isn't slippery.
Doors are another problem. Once I pushed open a metal door I assumed was going to be heavy and before I knew it, the door flew open because it was not the heavy door I imagined it to be. And again I went flying forward. Then the real heavy doors take good maneuvering because you have to push them way open and get through ASAP before it closes on you.
I learned to carry a cup of coffee in a travel mug so the lid keeps it from spilling on the floors or rugs. Carrying a bowl of food could be tricky unless the bowl or plate has a good lip for you to hold onto while keeping a finger or two on the crutch.
For carrying laundry I use a shopping bag. I carry my computer from room to room in a backpack. Actually the backpack has many functions and has become very useful over time.
Wearing clothes with pockets also helps.
I found that using a folding chair in the shower worked wonders. You can always order something for the shower, but for the three months I needed it, the folding chair worked really well.
There are cushioning products to help with the pain you will experience under your arms which tend to get very sore. I have had numbness in one finger as a result of pressure from under my arms because a nerve was being affected.
Needless to say I am looking forward to being able to walk on both feet. I will not be sad to see those crutches go into storage!
Where to shop for products: http://www.crutcheze.com, www.juvoproducts.com/designer-crutch-covers-pages-48.php