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View Full Version : How did you know when you needed a cane / assisted walking device?



Elo
08-04-2011, 06:24 AM
Hi there... so, bumbling around on this forum and other sites, i've noticed that a lot of people do in fact use canes when they walk, some use crutches, and even others are in a wheelchair.

My question is...when did you know that you needed to get one of these?
More like..how will I know when I need one? Hehe

I did a lot of walking/standing yesterday, and I was having a lot of problems. I kept having to sit down/lean on things, and a thought occurred to me... a cane might actually help.
So meanwhile, whilst I was having major knee troubles, sitting down on benches whenever I could, refraining from much movement, my 59 year old mother had multiple times the energy, walked much faster than me, and even offered to run to the parking lot to pick me up in the car so I didn't have to walk to the parking space!
Gah!

Anyways, just wanting your stories (:
Hope everyone's doing well, or at least okay.

ritzbit
08-04-2011, 06:34 AM
I went to an amusement park with my family last week and used an umberella I brought to protect me from the sun as a cane. And I saw one at the pharmacy the other day when I was with my mom and told her thats what I needed. Whenever I say stuff like that she says "you cant have it both ways" because I say all the time I dont want people thinking of me as being disabled. I wish she would understand my need to feel like a normal 18 year old, while also feeling like an 80 year old woman. If you feel like one would be useful, even some of the time when you're going to be on your feet more, I'd say get one.

ruziska
08-04-2011, 09:27 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again: "pride goeth before the fall- and I don't like to fall on my face". I understand at 18 a cane or any other assistance device is not something to be happy about. I had a hard time facing it at 32 but it all comes down to what is best for you. If you can get around just fine without one, then by all means, go without. However, if you find that a cane, or crutches, wheelchair, walker, whatever help, the use them. As far as canes are concerned there are several stylish ones available. Online or in stores like CVS. If so inclined, you can even make your own cane. I, for grins and giggles and being a knitting fanatic made a cane out of a dowel rod and a tennis ball. I stained the dowel rod after cutting it to the correct length, drilled a hole in the tennis ball for the handle, glued that on, wrapped the tennis ball with yarn and wrapped some yarn around the dowel rod to look like a knitting needle. Crazy I know, but what the heck? I also have a walking stick I covered in crochet. Start a collection. Think of them as accessories, not assistance devices. Look at them in a different light. Start a trend! Be the first to use walking sticks as fashion accessories! How do you know when you need one? Simple, when walking with one is easier than walking without one.

lupyme
08-04-2011, 11:41 AM
I really understand your reticence to get one. My doc griped me out until I did. I have several now. I decided if I was gonna have to use a cane, I was gonna get cool ones. I have a couple of them that fold up. That's handy to keep in your car and in your purse. If you need it, it's there. If not, don't take it out. I even have one that has a sword inside. It's not exactly a daily use kind. I say go ahead and get a fold up one and stash it in you purse or back pack. You may only use it a couple of days a month, but you'll be glad you have it you're at the mall and your joints have petered out on you.

tgal
08-04-2011, 12:04 PM
My answer to this question sounds rude but please understand I mean nothing rude by it,. The answer is that you will know when you know. There comes a point where you can take those long walks when in a flare, your joints hurt too bad, you can't breathe after 3 steps or whatever. I was one that refused for a long time but when I couldn't enjoy time out with my daughter. There is just a point when you know, I haven't used mine in awhile but it is because I don't really go outside due to the excessive heat.

My personal opinion is that when you are starting to ask "how do you know when you need one" you are at, or close to, needing one.

kim,l
08-04-2011, 03:56 PM
i started using my walker when the pain and fatigue became to much for me to handle and when i am in severe flare sometimes i use wheel chair such is life but you get use to it i was embarrassed at first i thought only elderly people used walking frames but i have learned since you do what makes your life easier hugs

KCat
08-04-2011, 04:52 PM
I was stubborn and ignored the need until while standing in line at the post office one day, one of the postal workers was looking at me long and hard. She disappeared and showed up on the other side of the door with a chair. I was pretty green, I'm sure. And yeah, I was about to pass out from pain and low blood pressure. But I was not about to admit it. I was 32 I guess. Maybe 33. Hubby and I went and bought one of those cane chairs. It wasn't so much that I needed help walking. I walk just fine. I just can't stand still for long without support. Church is a real bear. Blood pools and blood pressure plummets as bad as the stock market and I'm down for the count.

I keep it available if I know I might have to wait in line (voting, post office, etc.) and don't give a rat's backside what anyone thinks anymore. As mentioned earlier, I've rented wheelchairs in the mall and used the scooters in the grocery stores though I no longer have to do that anymore (for now - knock on wood). But the cane chair serves me well and I'm glad I broke down and bought it.

magistramarla
08-04-2011, 10:13 PM
I started using a cane years ago - at first it was just for long walks, but it slowly became a part of me. I used it in the hallway when I was teaching. When I left the school, my sweet Junior Classical League students gave me a custom made cane with Roman figures and Roman coins on it. I have the folding cane that was my late father's and a fancy one with a lion's head handle that was my late mother-in-law's. Oh, and I have another folding cane stashed in the car. I never leave the house without one.

I started using a rollator when I had Avascular Necrosis and had knee surgery. It was very helpful in those crowded high school hallways, too. I use it in the house now. My legs are very spastic, and it really helps for those trips down the hall to the restroom or to give me a place to sit in the kitchen. I took it to the Gilroy Garlic Festival last weekend, and it was a lifesaver when I had to wait in long lines.

I have a wheelchair, but I mainly use it for long trips. My hubby has wheeled me around NYC, San Francisco, Honolulu and Tokyo. It was great when we went to Greece. I was lifted to the top of the Acropolis on a wheelchair lift!

I don't look at my mobility aids as anything to be ashamed of at all. Instead, they are the things that give me the freedom to keep doing the things that I love to do.
I'll soon have a service dog. He will be yet another mobility aid that will help to keep me active - but he will be a furry one that will return my love!
Hugs,
Marla

Elo
08-06-2011, 12:40 PM
okay!
Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to everyone, I was busy with my mother visiting.
So I did buy a cane yesterday... we went to walgreens, and I got an adjustable black aluminum cane. It's got one of those handles that look like the top of the pi symbol, or the tilde key ~
I tried to walk with it that night - even bringing it with me to the rose gardens, but.. once I saw there were people there, I was mortified. I swear, I felt like a kid on their first day going to middleschool, not knowing anybody and feeling self conscious.
Canes are actually kind of hard to figure out how to walk on... and they're LOUD when you don't know what you're doing!
But I did walk with it this morning, and man did I get a lot of looks.
I suppose I must look pretty weird, being a teenager with a cane. My mother told me that when people give me weird looks, I should just walk up to them, say "Lupus." And walk away, but i'm not that bold.
At lupyme - A sword inside??? That is AWESOME!!!!!!

If I start having to use a cane more frequently, I think I might spring for the House cane - and get a black one with flames painted up the side. If only axe canes really existed! Although, it would be kind of hard to get through security...TEEHEE.

Thank you all for all of your answers... you helped me to decide to push myself to get one, even if I am pretty embarrassed at the moment. (After walking this morning with it, I'm feeling better though)

Next step... going back to my doc, talking about getting a handicap placard, and getting referred to a good rheumy. I don't think I can push it off much longer because of finances - it kind of needs to be done.

tgal
08-06-2011, 01:00 PM
okay!
Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to everyone, I was busy with my mother visiting.
So I did buy a cane yesterday... we went to walgreens, and I got an adjustable black aluminum cane. It's got one of those handles that look like the top of the pi symbol, or the tilde key ~
I tried to walk with it that night - even bringing it with me to the rose gardens, but.. once I saw there were people there, I was mortified. I swear, I felt like a kid on their first day going to middleschool, not knowing anybody and feeling self conscious.
Canes are actually kind of hard to figure out how to walk on... and they're LOUD when you don't know what you're doing!
But I did walk with it this morning, and man did I get a lot of looks.
I suppose I must look pretty weird, being a teenager with a cane. My mother told me that when people give me weird looks, I should just walk up to them, say "Lupus." And walk away, but i'm not that bold.
At lupyme - A sword inside??? That is AWESOME!!!!!!

If I start having to use a cane more frequently, I think I might spring for the House cane - and get a black one with flames painted up the side. If only axe canes really existed! Although, it would be kind of hard to get through security...TEEHEE.

Thank you all for all of your answers... you helped me to decide to push myself to get one, even if I am pretty embarrassed at the moment. (After walking this morning with it, I'm feeling better though)

Next step... going back to my doc, talking about getting a handicap placard, and getting referred to a good rheumy. I don't think I can push it off much longer because of finances - it kind of needs to be done.

Ahh Grasshopper. There is still so much to learn. I shall teach you...

Knife Cane 1 (http://www.martialartsgear.com/Weapons/Sword_Canes/Sword_Canes.shtml)

Knife Cane 2 (http://www.fashionablecanes.com/90902.html)

Knife Cane 3 (http://sword-canes.com/BELT-BUCKLE-KNIFE.htm)

Elo
08-06-2011, 01:21 PM
Ahh Grasshopper. There is still so much to learn. I shall teach you...

Knife Cane 1 (http://www.martialartsgear.com/Weapons/Sword_Canes/Sword_Canes.shtml)

Knife Cane 2 (http://www.fashionablecanes.com/90902.html)

Knife Cane 3 (http://sword-canes.com/BELT-BUCKLE-KNIFE.htm)

DUDE!! I mean, ehem, sorry, Tgal!!! AWESOME!!

If only i was actually a badass...

Hunniebun
08-06-2011, 02:19 PM
I knew I needed a cane as soon as trochanteric hip bursitis came to stay. I still feel weird sometimes when I am out using it but it's just the way it is and it's much easier on me and less painful then if I didn't have it. I got it at shoppers drugmart and its purple with butterflies of multiple colours all over it.

magistramarla
08-06-2011, 08:00 PM
Elo,
I don't know about the young people in your area, but when I was teaching, my students considered a "pimp stick" to be a fashion statement.
Many of them carried beautiful canes or walking sticks as an accessory at the prom. They often drooled over mine, and several of them begged to borrow my lion's head cane for the prom. Just walk around proudly with it, and you might start a new fashion trend - LOL!
Hugs,
Marla

Elo
08-07-2011, 05:06 PM
Elo,
I don't know about the young people in your area, but when I was teaching, my students considered a "pimp stick" to be a fashion statement.
Many of them carried beautiful canes or walking sticks as an accessory at the prom. They often drooled over mine, and several of them begged to borrow my lion's head cane for the prom. Just walk around proudly with it, and you might start a new fashion trend - LOL!
Hugs,
Marla

That's pretty cool! It's not like that at all here. I think the last (ehem, ONLY) time i've seen someone around here with a cane, was probably about a year ago on a Vietnam vet. So....yeah. Hehe. People around here are into looking as uh... healthy as possible. As long as healthy means revealing, and possibly orange from fake tanning, and bleached hair.
LOL! Canes aren't a thing here. The only time i've really seen people use assisted devices, was when people use the electronic wheelchair shopping carts. So I kind of stand out (:

magistramarla
08-07-2011, 07:42 PM
So, just tell everyone that "they are all the rage in the more high-fashion cities in the country" and go on your merry way. What you want to bet that you'll have copy-cats?
Hugs,
Marla

lupyme
08-09-2011, 11:22 AM
Marla, that's a trip! Your students wanting to borrow your cane is hilarious! I like the term walking stick. I think that's what I'll call it from now on.

Elo, I know how you feel. I really hated the attention too, but people quit noticing it after a while. Kinda like they get used to your new hair color.

lizbond36
08-11-2011, 04:59 PM
I used one when My left feet begin to go inward. due to Lupus eating away at my joints. But in the winter I use it alot more. The cold make my legs numb to the point I can't feel them just pain.
Hugs
Liz