Finally using a canvas backpack

I have never been much of a backpack person. I often need to scratch in my bag while I am walking, and I use crowded public transport up to 8 times a day, where I don’t want to smack someone in the face with my backpack and I want to sit comfortably.

So for me it has always been handbags. And not just handbags, but leather totes which fit my laptop, ring organiser, A4 papers, water bottle, books, jumper, snacks, umbrella etc etc. And I carry said bags for up to 12km every day.

Finally it happened. Back pain, shoulder pain, and sciatica so bad I have been unable to use a handbag for a couple of months. I have really been in agony.

A few months ago I bought a light, canvas, Eastpak backpack (model Back to Work) in grey. The reason I chose this brand and colour is because I carried a grey Eastpak duffle bag around the world with me when I did a lot of travelling in the mid-1980s. I also used it the first time I travelled to Sweden in 1997. It wore amazingly well and had such sentimental value to me.

Plus this model is light, water resistant and has padded straps (which the Kånken does not) and a separate laptop/paper section. The zips also go almost all the way down so it is easy to get things in and out.

AND it was 70% off so cost me $20. I did not want to spend much money in case it did not work out. So far so good. Let’s see how long it lasts. At present I am still taking muscle relaxants and relying on liniment and painkillers to get me through the day and night.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

3 thoughts

  1. I feel your pain. I have suffered from sciatica on and off for years and have been in tears due to pain more than once. I can say that the thing that has consistently helped me recover quicker has been to go to physical therapy. I’ve used backpacks (leather and canvas) for that reason for about 10 years now both for work stuff and for personal everyday carry and I’ll carry a purse when I know I have only a few light items to carry (wallet, planner, small amount of personal care items, phone, tissue and keys) and won’t be carrying it about for an extended length of time. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    1. Thanks for the support and advice Paula. This is the second time I have had sciatica and it has almost reduced me to tears as well. I do not know how people who live with chronic pain manage it. My job involves sitting much of the day and it has been hell. Luckily they understand that I have had to get up and try to walk a bit because that is the only thing that helps. Now the pain has mostly gone but the whole area is now completely without sensation. I think I will have to go for physical therapy as well.

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