AmazingAbigailGrace + her forearm crutches
Hi! Welcome back! 🌱
We are always asked about Abby's crutches - "'When were they introduced to her?' 'How did she learn to use them?' 'Where did we purchase them from?'" Today is the day where we share it all!
The first time that Abby was introduced to forearm crutches, she was at PT. She practiced with them a few times before it was recommended that she was not quite ready to use them. I felt differently. I wanted to explore this option more for Abby and WOW am I glad I did! 🙌🏻
This little video was taken so spontaneously as she opened up the package with her new crutches and immediately started walking with them. She insisted that I needed to close my eyes so that she could surprise me. This was October of 2018.
Abby's first pair of crutches were from Inspired By Drive. She went though at least 5 pairs over 3 years, but those purple crutches entirely changed her world and the way she was able to experience it. 🌎
More recently, we transitioned to Walk Easy crutches and have been loving them! In addition to having an easier onboarding process and a lovely color selection, they have countless accessories and replacement parts available on the site. This is a huge advantage as using the crutches every single day, on all surfaces and in all weather does cause quite a bit of wear and tear.
My biggest advice, learned through teaching Abby how to use the crutches, was to just listen to her. I read every article and talked to each and every doctor I could but I will never be able to fully understand how Abby's body works for her. The way that her brain communicates with her body to cause movement is vastly different than most of ours. The more I let her explore the crutches, the more she was able to walk functionally with them. It took lots of practice and it was a very slow process. I also tried very hard to keep it as positive as possible, especially since she would get frustrated. If she did not want to use the crutches that day, I respected her and supported that decision. I kept them nearby for her until she became completely reliant on them for her independent mobility!
Before her crutches, Abby did use a walker! Ultimately, the way that it supported her body was not helpful to her when ambulating. It almost provided too much support and when she would lean, it would tip. She finds her balance much easier when leaning forwards vs being supported from the back.Abby has explored using a cane which she says she feels very nervous about and dislikes working with at this point. I am okay with that and never pressure her to practice with it.
I feel like this is so important to note because not everyone is going to thrive with the same mobility aid! Abby has a sweet friend who ambulates with her walker so much better than she does with crutches and that is amazing! She also has a friend who independently uses her electric wheelchair at all times and that is amazing too! There is no right way or tool. It has always been about creating space for her to feel safe while being independent.
The goal is always to get from point A to point B, no matter how that looks. 🌿