KNEEtalk

The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: libertynm on January 19, 2005, 04:24:57 AM

Title: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: libertynm on January 19, 2005, 04:24:57 AM
Has anyone gone grocery shopping on crutches?  How do you manage?  Push the cart forward and then step to catch up with the crutches?  Any advice/comments would be appreciated.

Needless to say, I'm very frustrated that I'm almost 6 weeks post op and still on crutches.  I guess the infected incision has put me further back than the two week delay in physio. . .  Anyhoo. . . .
Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: knight_of_knee on January 19, 2005, 04:34:56 AM
I drove in the electric cart or I had somebody push the cart while I hobbled along.

Some stores have a policy to offer assistance to disabled shoppers, whatever they need.  You might ask if they have that.

If I had to go alone, I think that I would probably take a backpack that I could put my stuff in...  a cart seems very risky.

good luck,
sid
Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: Nettan on January 19, 2005, 09:09:41 AM
Hey !!

When I was on crutches I hang on the cart and layed my crutches in it. But this is only if you have good balance. Maybe you can bring someone with you or ask in the shop if they can help.

Hugs Nettan  ::)
Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: Heather M. on January 19, 2005, 09:43:38 AM
Get the electric cart (scooter, most stores have them in the back or locked near the front--see the manager for help).  If you can't do that, and if you can weight-bear fully, you might be able to get by leaning on the cart and using one crutch...but I would just shop online or get a friend to do it in that situation.  Or you can ask the customer help desk at the store if someone can push a cart for you.  I just wouldn't want to be on my feet that long if I were still hurting bad enough to be on crutches.

And keep in mind that grocery stores are very dangerous for those on crutches.  Things spill, the floors are slick anyway, and something as innocuous as a grape can mean a major spill for you.  This is to say nothng of the other shoppers!  I had someone in a long line continually pushing her cart into the back of my leg as I stood in line on one crutch.  The front of the lower rack under the cart kept pushing and digging into my achilles tendon.  It was 6pm on a weeknight and everyone was impatient.  I ignored her for a few minutes, but finally turned and said "You know, this crutch isn't just for looks."  She said "Huh?" like she had no idea what I was talking about, but she did finally back off a bit.  A moment later, another checkstand opened, and the cashier motioned for me (as the farthest along in the line without having actually unpacked my groceries on the belt yet) to come over.  The lady started to back up her cart to move over to the line, and the cashier came around to stop her, saying something like "I'll take her (meaning me) first and you will be next."  The lady got all huffy and then PUSHED her cart back into the line we had both been in...meaning I had to crab walk sideways by her because there wasn't enough room for me to get out on my one crutch if I faced forward.  I was so mad I could have spit nails, and she gave me a dirty look like I was inconveniencing her or something.  I pushed past her muttering "you know, I don't use this crutch for fun, it actually serves a purpose."

So my point is that you on crutches in a grocery store is actually not the best idea ever...especially at certain times of the day.  You've invested a lot in your recovery...don't push things too hard or put yourself in the position of being at the mercy of the kindness of strangers...especially in the burbs at 6pm on a weeknight!!

Heather
Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: heather k from wales on January 19, 2005, 11:04:05 AM
I manage by putting one of the crutches in the trolley/cart and lean on the trolley with my good side arm.  I use the crutch on the bad side.  I manage quite well and do my parents shopping as well.  But I tend to go several times a week, as a full trolley is just too much to push and turn corners.  I always go in the week at a quiet time to avoid the mad rush of wacky shoppers!!
And I always pay for it afterwards in pain! :-[

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Heather ;)
Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: cgski on January 19, 2005, 12:16:35 PM
When I was on crutches my husband was working away from home in Germany, I was at work during the day, so I had to figure how to do the family shop when the store was busy. Solution was either to take one of the kids to push the trolley, or go up to customer services and ask for help. They always seemed really pleased to do this (makes a change from price checking or dealing with the grumpy trouts queuing up to complain). I wasn't on crutches for long enough to get profficient at any of the solutions proposed above, and was terrified of falling and doing more damage. Also, how do you cope when you need to reach up high, or take a 5kg box of washing powder into the trolley...?
The problem comes when you get home, unloading...
Good luck!
Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: favouritesearcher on January 20, 2005, 12:26:36 AM
You could try doing grocery shopping on the internet.  I found it's very reliable (you can specify a two hour delivery time) and the extra cost is only about 10% or less.  Then just pick up a few things such as milk at a quiet time.

Other options: diet meals (saves on cooking too) or a community helper, or Meals on Wheels.

It's not just getting round the supermarket, it's also getting it indoors and packing it away, etc.  Otherwise there's no easy solution.  I tried once with two crutches, push the trolley a little bit, take a step, repeat but the strain on the leg wasn't worth it.

John
Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: Jaci on January 20, 2005, 04:07:33 AM
I've been shopping while on crutches for many months now. I can't push a cart because my knee won't tolerate that much weight. My knee really doesn't like to be bent for more than a few minutes so the electric cart is not an option.

I just carry a large fabric tote bag over my shoulder and load it up. I generally end up shopping every few days, which is fine at the present. For large or bulky items I make a list (be sure it's really specific) and have customer assistance get the items for me.

I used the internet service several times when I was on the CPM for 18+ hours a day for 6 weeks. I just couldn't bring myself to use my 'free time' to go out to the store. I was concerned that the apples would be bruised and the lettuce crushed, but was pleasantly surprised with how carefully everything was packed. The delivery guy was great, he'd keep the items that required refrigeration separate. That way I could shove them in the fridge and deal with the rest later.

I also try to shop during the slow times. I even found one of my favorite grocers near a neighboring retirement community. The seniors are much more patient about someone who is slow.  ;)

Good luck to you.

Jaci

Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: libertynm on January 27, 2005, 05:01:04 AM
Hi guys,

Ventured out to the grocery store the other night with my boyfriend.  At 11pm, it was definitely off peak!  (which was nice).  It was also nice to be in a grocery store again!  Just to be doing something normal!!  :)  I tried it with one crutch, but probably ought to have gone in with two as I was really leaning on that one crutch after the first 20 minutes or so.  It's surprising how much less than an hour of shopping can tire you out.

I'm looking forward to picking up a few items on my own later this week.

Thanks for all of the tips!!!  I really hadn't thought about some of the possible complications that you guys mentioned!



Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: ryiann on January 30, 2005, 11:27:22 PM
I hated the one, one, time I went grocery shopping on crutches.  It was horrible.  I had to do just that, push the cart forward and walk to catch up.  Plus you feel like your in everyones way.  Never again.  I tried one crutch and holding onto the cart, even worse.  I had someone go with me the next time, Husband  ;D, but I don't know if you have this option.  There is nothing worse than trying to go shopping right after surgery and you have a knee that is stuck straight out in front of you.  I sympathize, just take it easy, it will all work out.  Luckily I was only on them for two weeks before I was told to stop using them.  I hope your not on them too much longer. 

Jenn
Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: Mitidai on January 31, 2005, 09:06:22 PM
I use a motorized cart.  The problem is that people can be so rude.  They will not get out of your way.  Then you end up trying to back out of the aisle.  I wish people would be more considerate and realize it could very easily be themselves in this situation someday.

JAN
Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: littlemonster on February 16, 2005, 02:45:55 PM
safeway.com, baby!  Nothing like having your groceries delivered.  Another thing I've done is go in there with a backpack and just put stuff in there and then unload it when I get to the counter.    I've found also that there are many many people who are willing to take me to the store and do the heavy lifting for me.  Or I've also had people pick stuff up for me when they were there.

Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: ranger on February 16, 2005, 03:26:59 PM
I'd add my vote to the online shopping suggestions. I only tried going to the store once alone on crutches, mostly because I was going insane with boredom. It isn't just trying to handle a cart, slippery floors and lifting. It's people crashing around you and into you, small children that materialise at your feet or knock your crutches, distance, things placed out of reach- a hundred minor problems that I never anticipated until I got into the store and tried to do it. I ended up abandoning my shopping and leaving, since I was getting seriously afraid I'd fall. If someone else can come with you, and you can shop from a chair, then it's likely to be a lot less stressful and uncomfortable, not to mention lower risk.
All the online shopping I've done has been a great service, quick and accurate and the cost of it is a small price to pay for staying safe and comfortable until you're steadier on your feet.

best wishes

Ranger
Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: ProfLiebstrom on February 16, 2005, 04:39:00 PM
Get the electric cart (scooter, most stores have them in the back or locked near the front--see the manager for help).  If you can't do that, and if you can weight-bear fully, you might be able to get by leaning on the cart and using one crutch...but I would just shop online or get a friend to do it in that situation.  Or you can ask the customer help desk at the store if someone can push a cart for you.  I just wouldn't want to be on my feet that long if I were still hurting bad enough to be on crutches.

And keep in mind that grocery stores are very dangerous for those on crutches.  Things spill, the floors are slick anyway, and something as innocuous as a grape can mean a major spill for you.  This is to say nothng of the other shoppers!  I had someone in a long line continually pushing her cart into the back of my leg as I stood in line on one crutch.  The front of the lower rack under the cart kept pushing and digging into my achilles tendon.  It was 6pm on a weeknight and everyone was impatient.  I ignored her for a few minutes, but finally turned and said "You know, this crutch isn't just for looks."  She said "Huh?" like she had no idea what I was talking about, but she did finally back off a bit.  A moment later, another checkstand opened, and the cashier motioned for me (as the farthest along in the line without having actually unpacked my groceries on the belt yet) to come over.  The lady started to back up her cart to move over to the line, and the cashier came around to stop her, saying something like "I'll take her (meaning me) first and you will be next."  The lady got all huffy and then PUSHED her cart back into the line we had both been in...meaning I had to crab walk sideways by her because there wasn't enough room for me to get out on my one crutch if I faced forward.  I was so mad I could have spit nails, and she gave me a dirty look like I was inconveniencing her or something.  I pushed past her muttering "you know, I don't use this crutch for fun, it actually serves a purpose."

So my point is that you on crutches in a grocery store is actually not the best idea ever...especially at certain times of the day.  You've invested a lot in your recovery...don't push things too hard or put yourself in the position of being at the mercy of the kindness of strangers...especially in the burbs at 6pm on a weeknight!!

Heather

You are better than me. I would have turned around and shouted at them :p
Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: Ronxski on February 16, 2005, 11:33:17 PM
Mr. Squid and Heather M had great suggestions. Always best to have someone with while you hobble along on the crutches. Try shopping on crutches when you have to cross icy and snowy parking lots and then getting the snow out of the crutch bottoms when you are inside the store and following wet slushy foot prints for about 100 ft till their boots dry off. If any of you are old enough to remember Paul Simon from Simon and Garfunkel. One of his songs kept going through my mind. Slip Sliding Away.

One line in the song... "You know the nearer your destination the more you keep sliding away..." What one thinks about in perilous moments!  :)

I tried the one crutch and push cart thing. That was terribly hard when you couldn't put much weight on the leg. I'm glad I can now walk some and shop on my own. Crutchless in Minnesota
Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: littlemonster on February 16, 2005, 11:39:47 PM
Oh, snow and ice....... i don't know if I could deal with that on crutches...... one of the reasons I moved from Iowa to California.... :)
Title: Re: Grocery shopping on crutches?
Post by: libertynm on February 17, 2005, 03:15:43 AM
I had a small giggle thinking about the little kids that materialize at your feet.  :)  I was in a cafe once and one cute little guy (probably approx 3-4 years old) reached out toward my crutches from where he was sitting with his parents.  He wasn't close enough to grab them, so it remained an amusing observation!!

I'm glad to be in CA as well, although the rain can sometimes be something to watch out for.  The store entrances can be quite wet both immediately outside and inside, as can the bottom of the crutch.

As I got more mobile, I did try the one crutch and push cart thing. . .it was hard.  I actually switched to the one crutch and hand basket.  It limited what I could buy, but that was a good thing considering that I needed to take what I bought up to my apartment later on.  :)

I'm definitely looking forward to being crutch free.  I've been testing the waters a little bit without the crutches (ie to the dumpster from my apartmnet and back with a light box). . .getting there slowly. 

All the best to you all!