The Negative Side of Crutches

A number of years ago, I broke my ankle. I’m not going to say how. I had to do that enough times after the ambulance arrived. Didn’t like that much. It was sort-of embarrassing. None the less, they gave me a set of crutches, after which I immediately fell.

Believe it or not, there is a knack for using them and they turned me loose without so much as one lesson,

To be fair, they are very useful. If no one invented them, then someone would. They are more than just handy. For some they are a necessity. However, there are some things that take a little experimentation. The trial and error can be painful. For instance, did anyone mention that there is an art to climbing stairs with them. Even harder going downstairs. Some doors can present problems, too.

Even a good-sized curb can be a serious blearier for the novice on crutches. No one knows this better than me. Over time, I did get pretty good at curbs. I never could handle more than two stairs though. Fortunately, that never became a serious issue. I simply turned around and sat on the steps. It was a little slower than walking up or down the steps, but it worked.

Carrying much of anything was impossible. I was able to prepare a full dinner, but I had no way to get it to the table. My wife had to do that part. Believe it or not, I carried up to two Diet Cokes at a time…in my pockets about 300 yards from the break room at work. I also learned to use a backpack. I might suggest, if you are looking to rely on crutches for a while, get you a nice pack that is easy to put on and take off.

One thing that really got to me was the pain to my wrists. When I told the doctor that my wrists were sore, no sympathy there. He said, “Good. You’re using them right.” That was not what I expected. I guess if you ever need to use the things, maybe you ought not expect sympathy either. I mean, they just hand the things to you and expect you to be an expert overnight.

I will say this. They helped me lose over thirty pounds. Now that’s idea. An exercise program using crutches. I can guarantee it works. It’s simply a matter of what all you can put up with. Somehow, I just can’t envision someone leading an exercise class in some big classroom, especially on TV.

On the other hand, maybe it would be nice to lead a class of people through obstacle courses with crutches. They would be far more appreciative for those who must rely on the things on a daily basis, maybe the rest of their lives. I certainly learned my lessons.

Incidentally, maybe the “going green people” can actually invent something useful for those using crutches instead of pushing the idea of big props that kill birds and freeze up when it gets really cold when they are really needed.

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