Some of you may be unaware, but October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month so I am going to educate you on some of the challenges I face while living with Spina Bifida. Imagine every time you wanted to walk you had to find where you put your crutches. I completely rely on my crutches to help me walk but it was not easy to learn. When I was a child I started with a walker than progressed to crutches. Crutches takes years to master so you must be patient. Here are some of the challenges I face while living with crutches.
Beverages- A person with no physical limitations would have no problem getting a beverage. Someone who walks with crutches might because once they get the beverage they must put their hand with, the cup that is full of liquid back in their crutch. In my experience taking something from me is extremely difficult. Why? Because I must take my hand out of my crutch to hand you the beverage. That can risk something getting spilled. If you want to be helpful offer to help before I have gotten it after I have gotten the beverage it is too late and it is easier for me to do it myself.
Showering- When I shower, it takes me a little bit longer because I usually use my crutches for stability but I can’t-do that while showering. I must be extra careful while showering because it does not take much for me to fall. When I was in therapy they taught me how to fall but that does not mean I cannot get hurt.
Getting stuff on high shelves- I have mentioned before that crutches can be used as extensions. That only works some of the time. If you have something really heavy chances are it’s not going to work. If you do happen to get something down that is heavy it could hit you in the head. I would not recommend using your crutches for heavy items for safety reasons. Also, you do not want to use your crutches for anything that is breakable because if you don’t catch it, it will be a mess. Don’t use your crutches if it looks dangerous if I think it will end in complete disaster I ask for help.
Walking Long Distances- I am unable to walk long distances because of my disability. If you were to look at someone’s hands that use crutches you would see that there are a lot of blisters. It is because they use their hands for everything they do. That is part of the reason I don’t like to walk as a form of exercise because when I walked I felt like there were pins and needles in my hands. You might be thinking if that were so much of a problem, why not wear gloves? Gloves don’t do anything to maintain the problem, the only thing you can do is stretches.
Falling- You are going to fall, everyone does. The question is how do you do it without getting hurt? Well, you put your hands out in front of you to brace your fall. No matter how you fall you always put your hands out that will ensure you either won’t get hurt or won’t get hurt as bad.
These are a few daily challenge you will face if you walk with crutches. Unless you walk with crutches you will never completely understand what it is like, but this should help you understand a little bit better. If you have any questions about what it is like to walk with crutches or want to know more please leave them in the comments below!
Life with Spina Bifida is a personal blog that is all about my life with a disability, chronic pain as well as encouraging hope and positivity for those who are suffering. You are not alone!