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  • melantha
    Hello, I'm new around here, so I apologize in advance if I'm posting in the wrong section. My balance is terrible and I've fallen down the stairs more than a handful of times, so my husband thought it best to buy me a cane. While it does help more than I'd like to admit, it's still a cane and I absolutely despise it. It feels like everyone's eyes are on me when I can be convinced to go out. So, to those of you who use walking aids, how did you come to terms with it?
  • maria1
    When i would stand in line at the grocer I would give myself a little smile because the cane is saving me much energy. Standing still in one place for a while is a drain on me. Using the cart to hold on is good also. Sometimes I use two canes when I feel weaker but not much lately because holding the canes are a problem now. There was a time when I could barely walk and the cane helped me keep some independence, I was grateful for that, to take myself to the store, alone, without someone aiding me.

    Then for some strange reason? my legs got better but my arms and hands stopped being useful, upper back spasms? who knows?

    I know some people who decorate their canes to match their attire, polka dots and flowers.

    "The fastest easiest way to get the job done", I remember a trip to DC, i was barely walking and everyone I passed was looking at me, they were all probably waiting for me to keel over like Artie Johnson on the tricycle on Laugh In. They all seemed to be amazed I could stand at all, I could see the concern on their faces. Wished I had a motorized chair for that trip.

    Energy is at a premium for us, anything to get some satisfaction, even an electric toothbrush, is great. The dishwasher is another great tool, so are reaching aids that grab stuff from the top shelf.

    Finding the right cane is important, we have a variety hanging with the coats, one stronger than the other. Whatever works for you regardless of what others say look or do, is all that matters, to get the best out of the life we have using anything that makes that possible. At least that is what I think.
  • ErinNicole
    Oh my goodness girl... I thank God for my cane every day. 
    At first it was ackward. I had no idea what I was doing. I was using the wrong hand and was still pretty off balance. I was so insecure as I fumbled with it, but now it’s my saving grace.
    if you can get a physical therapist to show you how to use it, it helps so much. If that’s not an option I have a few tips.
    Hold it on your dominant side. (I actually needed a therapist to show me which one that was 😂... both sides of my body are affected)
    Try to place it down at the same time as your weak leg and if you have trouble with that, place it down first. Example... step with the strong side and move the cane and weak side at the same time.
    When you go up an incline lean forward just a bit. When you go down lean back..  just enough that you feel it but no one can really see.
    Going up stairs... dominate leg, cane, weak leg
    Going down stairs... cane, weak leg, dominate leg.
    i know this is A LOT OF 411. Take your time and if you have any questions, this community is awesome. You can also message me anytime. I’m newly diagnosed (June 2019) but the cane has helped sooo much
    At first it’s hard. Kids love to ask about my stick. The first time that happened, I went into the bathroom and cried. Eventually it will become comfortable. You learn to ignore the stares and double takes. I either don’t look or I just smile. Keep your head held high 😉
    I had no idea just how obvious it was that something was wrong until I started using the cane and getting compliments on how much better I walk. It helps with fatigue too 😊
     
  • jasonprestovfd
    That is absolutely great advice and I agree completely. Very well said!
    at first i think it was my pride that was getting in the way of feeling comfortable using my cane.  Once I accepted that I needed to use it all the time, I decided to embrace the idea. I enjoy wood carving (I even air conditioned my garage so I could do it during the summer). I carved a custom cane, it's a pick head fire axe (I've been a firefighter for 28 years). Now instead of getting odd looks because of how I walk, I get really odd looks because it takes people a few minutes to realize it's a cane. I've had more people than I can count stop me to ask about the cane. I've had people from a distance yell to me that the cane is awesome. I got stopped by a security guard at the hospital, once he realized it was all wood he complimented me on it & we talked for almost 45 minutes about my story and now I have a new friend.
    my advice is don't feel odd about using a cane. If you need it use it, use it. I look at my cane as "being broken with style". Find a way to make it your own and embrace the idea. After all MS isn't going to go away, so find a way to make the best of your journey. 
    I hope this helps and good luck