Friday, 21 September 2012

Sometimes, this disability thing feels expensive

This post is brought to you, mostly, by the ominous squeak coming from one of my crutches.

I've blogged before about my crutches. Before I could buy the whizzy spotted ones, one of my first pair of folding crutches, the fetching red ones from the picture with my son, had it's elastic cable overstretched and rattled as a result. This was hard on my wrists, so I ended up replacing them. The replacements are 20 months old now and it looks like their time is up. I have another pair that are fine - a pair of fixed red ones - and they're actually the most comfortable. But the folding ones are my day to day crutches because it's hand to be able to tuck them away and folding helps that. They're essential for travelling as well. Although they only fold in half, if I shorten them as well they're short enough to strap to a bag (for example, it means I can use one crutch, attach the other to the front of a wheeled suitcase and walk short distances like that). It looks like there's a few choices. I've noticed that the range of crutches available here is improving although the prices still don't compare well with what they pay in France. My first two pairs were Vilgo ones from Chic Aid Crutches.

They seem to have another brand for sale now (on the left there), which I have to say look great but are expensive (£145 EACH) and I am not sure I fancy having to adjust them, both, to the same length, in two different places, every time I need to stow them somewhere. Even if they would hang on a table, which looks very nifty indeed.  Maybe when I am feeling a bit richer!

I am a bit perplexed by the picture of one on a bike. Bike-riding crutches user seems a niche market!

So, I think I'll give these OPO ones a try.  That's them on the right, and they are similarly priced to the Vilgos. That's another £80-ish quid but at least I'll get the VAT back. Just as well I'm gainfully employed. Meanwhile, a bad experience with an awful borrowed wheelchair at the SECC (who also charged me £6 to use the disabled car park, as it happens) in Glasgow has left me contemplating buying a lightweight folding wheelchair for occasional use. I don't think that's going to be cheap, somehow.

Meanwhile, if anyone knows someone who uses just one crutch, I have a growing collection of quite expensive single crutches I am happy to pass on.  On top of all those mentioned here, I am down to one burgundy (same as the grey in the previous post on the matter) the other has cracked.