The Pollyanna Special

Using crutches can be a pain. Besides any physical pain, they’re inconvenient because while you’re moving, your hands are always full. Around 10 years ago I made these crutch pockets to hold a book, kleenex, and a travel mug of coffee. It was non-trivial to crutch from room to room or out to the porch and back, so it came in super handy to have extra pockets built in.

The pockets are made of videotape boxes cut in half and spliced together. I used videotape boxes because that’s what I had handy. They aren’t necessary: you could make the whole thing out of just plain duct tape. However, thin boxes provide a shape and a substrate.

To make pockets for your crutches, tape across a nice-sized box, straight around the crutch frame. Taping on a diagonal keeps the pockets stable. These are taped about 6 inches below the handholds, just above the fork. Saddlebags for each crutch might work, but I don’t like anything bumping my legs or knees while I’m crutching around.

The stickers make everything more cheerful, but I could imagine a really nice decoupage project that has more artistic unity!

Old people sometimes seem to learn about putting pockets on everything or carrying bags that don’t have zippers or clasps (in case of arthritis) but not everyone thinks of using the real estate on crutches and walkers. So if you know an older person or someone on crutches do them a favor and explain this cheap, nearly effortless, modification!

Moomin helped me to refresh the stickers. He’s a little spooked but he’s seen me on crutches before. Not for any length of time since he was a toddler, really. It used to kill me to hear him refer to “mama crutch” in his tiny baby voice, I’d get all maudlin… So, I’m okay, in intermittent nasty pain from the sciatica, pissed that I’m having problems, but feeling philosophical. The main problem is putting weight on my leg or moving it forward. Today I got to the point where it made more sense to crutch than to limp, so here I am attempting to make the best of it!

Mobility problems teach you how to give very clear verbal directions, even to small children, on exactly what you want fetched, and from where, and on how and why to clear the floor of any nearly invisible slippery objects. Patience is another possible lesson to learn; I can’t wait for that one to kick in… any minute now…. yup, real soon now I’ll be learning some patience…

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38 Responses to The Pollyanna Special

  1. Jules says:

    Gawd, that is the coolest thing EVER right there!

  2. Kathy says:

    That's a GREAT idea! Damn, wish I'd thought of this last week, when I was still on crutches. Wishing you speedy healing and much help in the meantime.

  3. Anonymous says:

    You just made my day. I broke my leg yesterday and I'm already fed up with not being able to carry stuff. Thanks for the idea !!

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  4. Kev says:

    Lifehacker reposted their link here, just in time for my turn on the crutches from a broken ankle. Thing is, to me, any extra wait on the crutches makes them more difficult to maneuver with. I've managed to carry a book in a couple of fingers while crutching about, or holding a water bottle in my teeth. But it's still a great idea for people who don't the extra weight. And I'm all for hacking something to make it more useful!

  5. Pat says:

    Love it!! What a great idea.

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