Charles (20): "You don't realise how much strength your body needs to take a step."

8 December 2020

Charles Gadeyne is a 20-year-old student from Brussels. He is in digs in Kortrijk, where he studies sports journalism. Charles recently had an accident at the gym where a weight fell on his Achilles tendon. As a result, he had to walk on crutches for a while. "It was not my first time on crutches, but the stairs at dormitory were a challenge," he said.




Working out or playing sports does make injuries more common for him. "Now that is no longer a problem for me. The first time when I had to walk on crutches it was a bit tricky. My balance changed completely because I was not used to it. It then took several days before I could walk properly with it. Stairs are especially a problem. In digs, there is no lift, so I have to use stairs. That was a challenge. It put strain on my arms mainly, but I also had to lean on my other leg. You sometimes don't realise how much strength your body needs to take a step."

Crutches are not particularly convenient or user-friendly. "Finding a place for it is terrible. Now when I enter a room, I immediately look for suitable places to put my crutches. Even then they fall over or someone else falls over. I also always get blisters on my hands. Walking with crutches puts a lot of pressure on your hands, so that creates an additional problem. I've had to use crutches a few times, those problems are there every time. Read here How to increase your comfort with crutches.

"I was in shock, I knew there was pain, but I felt nothing"

Charles plays semi-professional rugby at Olympique Marcquois Rugby in Lille, France. There, he was working out when he dropped a 20-kilogram fitness bar on his Achilles tendon. "I rely heavily on my body, I need it to exercise. When I had that accident, I immediately panicked. I started hyperventilating, I was really in shock. At that moment, I didn't feel any pain, but I knew there was pain." At first it looked like a bruise, but when the situation escalated, his team called the ambulance anyway.

The paramedics applied initial care. A brace was immediately put around his foot and he was given ventilation. At the hospital, it was a different story. "That was horrible. They examined me, I had to go under the scanner and then they said my foot was broken and I also had a severe bruise on my Achilles tendon. Then I was put on the street, I didn't get a plaster or a bandage. I was on the street with a broken foot with no help. I had to ask for crutches myself, I also had to get them myself. That is the life of an athlete for sure, you also have to learn to deal with injuries because it is inevitable."

Like Charles, do you have a lot of frustrations with walking with crutches? Our MySleeve can provide a solution for this!

Author: Justine Cottenie

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