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How I'm Choosing to 'Own' My Crutches

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crutches decorated with leopard print fabric

Due to a series of unfortunate events, I have complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). The CRPS is in my foot and leg and means I must use crutches to get around. CPRS causes extreme levels of pain. Being a chronic condition, it isn’t going away any time soon, though of course my doctors are working with different medications and forms of physical therapy to help the pain.

All of this means I’ve been using crutches for 18 months now. A while ago I decide to “own it.” If I’m going to be on crutches for who knows how long, I’m not going to be on boring old gray crutches. And I’m going to make them more functional for me. After all, it’s hard to carry a purse with crutches, and a backpack means swinging it on and off every time I want to get my wallet out.

fuzzy socks with pink zebra stripes and cats

So I searched online and found some cute leopard print covers for the handles and the tops of my crutches. I got pockets (leopard!) that attach to the sides below the handles to carry my wallet, cell phone and anything else I need along with me. (For those of you on crutches, they make tons of other colors and patterns for you to dress up your crutches).

Doing this made life easier for me in a practical way right away. Everything I need is right at hand. I don’t have to ask people to carry my purse, my wallet or whatever for me anymore. woman's foot with a fuzzy black and white polka dot sock

Less dependence, more independence, more confidence. Making the crutches look “cool” and fun also gave me more confidence, as I felt more like, “Yeah, these are my tools, so what?”

Somehow, through doing this – through dressing up my tools for mobility – I moved another little step towards acceptance of my disability, too. Oh yeah, and since my foot is very sensitive, I can’t wear a regular shoe on that foot. I wear a “fracture shoe” which is like a giant sandal. Sensitive feet like super soft chenille socks. Naturally I have many fun patterns for those socks, too! “Own it!”

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Originally published: December 16, 2016
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