Thursday 2 March 2017

Mobility aids 101: trough crutches VS. rollator

Whatever my decision - Mobility aids need pimping up. Always.

I've been trying my best to stay mobile, or partly mobile at least. I've been going to the pool and gym when I can -averaging only once a week so far unfortunately. It's painfully slow and annoying, but I have to accept that and pace. I like the treadmill, as I can walk while holding on to the sides. I don't like the increase in heart rate though (my resting heart rate ranges from 1110-130 due to suspected POTS). I increase the gradient so that my knees are being worked on (like with walking the pool). My knees are my biggest problem at the moment, and my doctor has said I should be working on this the most for the time being.

For a while now I have been contemplating picking up some more aids. The cane is only helpful for good, sometimes medium days. It's of no good to me when one of my knees is playing up and I need to elevate that leg, and doesn't help with practical things like carrying a handbag or when I'm really dizzy from low BP (POTS/ dysautonomia issues).

So I have two options...

One I've mentioned before, both in posts and on the Facebook page - Smart Crutches. These are basically trough crutches, meaning the part on the arm is like a trough shape. They give much more support to patients who have issues in their arms (like with that of EDS, as any of our joint can dislocate and partially dislocate). They're quite liked among the EDS community, so it was the first thing I thought of. They would be perfect for bad days, as rather than the wheelchair, I could still stay mobile (assuming I can walk to some degree) and have support on both sides of my body (instead of one, like with the cane). Also, if I injure my knee, I can use the crutches to hop.

But the rheumatologist at my appointment in Cork suggested a rollator style walker may be of benefit to me. I hadn't really considered these before then, as well, they scream old people. You think walker (any type) you think either elderly or very disabled. I'm not at a stage yet where I want to see myself as that disabled -Or at least I wasn't, I'm starting to have a change of heart. A good bit of research, and time later (3 months of thinking and considering), I'm beginning to think a rollator may be the best option. For one, I can't carry a handbag on my shoulder any more. I just can't. My shoulder's are dislocating several times a day now and are very near to dislocating fully. There has been a few iffy times where I've needed Bicky's assistance in shoving the shoulder back in to place, and either of us enjoy this. My GP thinks I may need surgery to stabilise the joint, however whether I get it, is a long shot. Waiting on yet again another physio appointment to see if I they will order an MRI, and fingers crossed, then surgery if I need it. I've switched to very small handbags to carry my wallet and couple of other things, but they're not practical at all. A rollator has the plus of being able to carry a bag of some sort under the seat.

There are pluses and negatives of using both type of aids, which I have outlined below in a bid to help myself decide -because girls fucking love lists, haha...

I think I need to just get over it and get a rollator, they are far more practical and will give me real freedom/ independence. I will feel more comfortable, have the security of knowing a chair is there when I need it and be able to once again carry more than my wallet and phone with me.

But I would be interested in everyone's views on the subject, even if you have never needed to use a mobility aid. Below is my Twitter poll. Please take part and RT if you have a twitter handle.


  1. A rollator can be very handy! I've seen quite a few younger people with them lately, too.

  2. I'm surprised these companies dont deck out their mobility aids in floral or other designs. They make everything they produce look so clinical?