RA Guy Adventures of RA Guy

“This is just the first step towards a revolution on how we perceive the sanity and insanity of the human body and the artifacts of illness.”

-Francesca Lanzavecchia, Italian Designer


Francesca Lanzavecchia

This is the first inspirational publication that present disability artifacts in a new light. It is a bridge between user and producer aiming to open their eyes to the possibilities and new values that these vital body accessories can bestow upon the user. Here disability aids become a stage to discuss, understand and cope with disability, illness and human frailty.

ProAesthetics Canes

Left to Right: ‘Tea Time’ Cane, ‘Protraction Crutch’, and ‘Bone’ Cane.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy went crutch browsing yesterday. In a way, this is testament to how much better I am doing. Just a few days ago, I would have never even  considered the possibility of spending time and energy walking from store to store to look at walking aids.

Granted, I was already in the medical part of town having some lab tests done – but I was able to walk around for quite a few blocks before returning home.

(The thought of looking for new crutches has been on my mind since the end of May, when I saw a guy my age who was using a really nice and sporty pair. I wrote more about this at the time, in Design Meets Disability.)

I found a really cool pair of European style forearm crutches, with a very cool molded design in the handle and arm support area. They were much nicer than any I have been above to find online. (I currently use forearm crutches with a closed cuff, which makes them a little more difficult to slip on and off.)

There were a few different styles in the various stores that I visited. Of course, my favorite pair was also the most expensive pair. Ouch!

But I’ll put this purchase on hold, for the moment. With all of the medical expenses that I continue to rack up on a daily basis, I can’t really justify spending money on another pair of crutches based solely upon their looks. (I can see it now, Carry Bradshaw with her walk-in closet of mobility aids. And that set of Manolo Blahnik $600 crutches? To die for!)

In a way, it’s interesting to realize that my use of crutches has surpassed a level of mere utilitarianism, and has reached a point where they are  just another thing I put on when I get dressed. In a way, they are indeed sort of like a pair of shoes. Something that I wouldn’t think of leaving the house without, and something that I might want to mix and match every now and then.

Deep down in the back of my mind, I still do have the hope of reaching a point where I am able to walk without crutches. But in the meantime, I’ll continue to be happy with the fact that my crutches are a part of who I am. And one day, maybe I’ll just treat myself to a nice new pair.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!