13 Jan Casey Culp – Long-Term M+D Crutch User In Seattle
Chronic Illness Advocate Explains Why She Ditched Her Forearm Crutches for the M+D Crutch
Casey Culp juggles multiple chronic illnesses, including joint hypermobility, and shares her journey on her blog to help others learn from her struggles and findings. After discovering M+D Crutches, she shared why she is “singing their praises until she runs out of breath.”
First, a little bit about why she sought the help of crutches in the first place. Casey compares her joint hypermobility to a “Lazy Bones” skeleton pop-up toy.
“With very little effort, my major joints can fall out of place with movements like getting up off the couch, walking, bending, or even shifting around in bed.”
Casey’s Mobility Aid Journey: From Cane To Forearm Crutches To M+D Crutch
Despite struggling to find medical professionals that would support her decision to use a mobility aid AND her internal conflict surrounding the perceived stigma of using aids at her young age, she finally bought her first mobility aid, a cane, followed soon by a pair of forearm crutches.
“I didn’t want to lose another ounce of my independence to these illnesses, so I was in deep internal conflict about the whole thing. But ultimately, I was hurting myself more than necessary, and that’s when I knew I needed to get the help of a mobility aid – despite what other people thought.”
Casey found a foldable cane with an ergonomic handle and used it constantly to help her get around after dislocating her right hip. It was a great temporary solution until she dislocated her other hip and was also experiencing pain in her left shoulder which had been supporting her body weight by itself.
Next, she tried the best forearm crutches she could find on Amazon. (This was before discovering the M+D Crutch, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves!)
“The forearm crutches were good! Until they weren’t.”
First, here’s what was good about her first pair of forearm crutches:
“I was able to keep dislocating pressure off of my joints *mainly my hips, knees, and ankles* when I walked, thus causing fewer dislocations.”
But unfortunately, she traded one set of problems for a new one when she started using the forearm crutches.
“Being hypermobile, my upper body started shifting and forming around my constantly shrugged shoulders and with each arm-rowing step I took, I was popping four ribs and my right shoulder out of place. It was so painful, I ended up using only my left side forearm crutch because I’d rather dislocate a hip than four ribs over and over.”
Picking which part of your body to pop out of place is NOT a choice anyone should have to make.
“My body was going downhill faster than the last time. I needed a different mobility option, but what was next?”
Casey decided against a wheelchair for many reasons, including the fact that her apartment is on the third floor with no elevator.
“I didn’t know what to do next, but the universe sent an answer! I had previously met Glenn (from Amputees Outdoors) while hiking up Twin Falls in Washington. Just as my body was reaching its breaking point, Glenn contacted me and shared the M+D Crutch. Willing to try anything *and relieved that my body might not break down on me completely with the help of these crutches* I committed to trying them out.”
Casey Tries The M+D Crutch
Anxiety was high for Casey when her M+D Crutches arrived because her first forearm crutches had been so difficult to assemble and then figure out how to use. She was surprised to find out the pair of M+D Crutches were easy to put together.
“In no time (22 minutes), I had my mobility aids built! I was warned there’d be a learning curve, and strapping them on for the first time, I totally understood what they were talking about. I was balancing on an oval base instead of a quad base and my posture was that of…a normal human being.”
Casey’s description of how it feels to walk with the M+D Crutch vs. forearm crutches:
“It feels very much like using walking sticks with how the handles are, but my body remains completely supported through my forearms — though in an entirely different way than my forearm crutches did! Those previous crutches had my shoulders constantly shrugging and hunched up and over the tops. I became strong enough to carry myself by my forearms and hands, but I was hurting myself when I walked. The M+D Crutches put all the weight in my lower biceps and upper forearms while allowing for full hand mobility. I can’t believe how much better they feel!”
“These are so much better for my body. I have no discomfort (other than the first two weeks when my body needed to adjust to standing like a normal human being again), and I’m still able to take the dangerous/dislocating weight off my joints. The best part is, *besides not hurting myself* I’ve gained back arms and hand mobility I didn’t realize I had lost with my first forearm crutches. I’m also a little faster on these!”
“Thank you so much, Mobility+Designed, for creating a less medieval option for crutches! These are seriously a bomb ass product and if you’re hypermobile and looking for a mobility solution, I found it & tried it out for you. These really work and I’ll sing their praises until I run out of breath. If you’re living every day in mobility aids, these are 100% the best option out there right now for forearm crutches and I encourage you to try them out! You won’t lose mobility or freedom because these products give mobility and freedom.”
To read Casey’s original blog post about her M+D Crutches, click here.