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How can I come to terms with using a walking stick

(66 Posts)
slipperandpjsmum Sun 02-Dec-12 19:50:55

Somedays I struggle to walk and using a walking stick helps. But I just cannot bring myself to use it when I am out. So I struggle on in pain rather than use it. Has anyone else been presented with this? How did you deal with it? I don't know why, maybe it confirms my declining health, I don't want people to look at me differently?

Please help

sashh Sun 02-Dec-12 22:32:30

I resisted for a long time, but I use it all the time now. One thing is that people see the stick and are more understanding, you don't get asked to move more quickly.

It did take time.

I started by only using it when I was at my worst, then gradually used it more.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Sun 02-Dec-12 22:45:49

By realising you can achieve more when you use it. If you sprain an ankle, are you worried how people would perceive a crutch? If you have a headache, would you be embarrassed by a paracetamol?

Your walking stick is an aid to help you stay safe and healthy. It's no more embarrassing than a plaster or a leg brace.

You need to read about spoons. I will find the link. Using my walking stick means I have more spoons to use on other things. It's a small thing for a big reward.

BBS with a linkie.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Sun 02-Dec-12 22:47:48

Here we are.

[http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/]

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Sun 02-Dec-12 22:48:09
MoominmammasHandbag Sun 02-Dec-12 22:50:31

I started using my stick on holiday when no one knew me. Then I finally went public at my six year olds birthday party. To be honest it was all a bit of an anticlimax; one of the kids asked me why I had a stick And I said it was cos I'm a bit wobbly when I have to walk a long way. All the kids nodded and agreed it was a good idea. None of the mums really said anything. I would say my stick gives me about 25 percent more energy and saves me a lot of pain. On the downside, when I fell over recently, instead of landing on my knees I went straight down onto my face.

MoominmammasHandbag Sun 02-Dec-12 22:54:35

Oh yeah and I'm really crap at juggling purse and stick when I'm trying to pay for something in a shop

I have coloured crutches, can't buy heels anymore so shoe budget goes on crutches to match different outfits. I found that NHS issue grey crutches leads to lots of 'what have you done to yourself?' type remarks which then leads to that embarassing 'actually I'm disabled.....' conversation. If you have coloured crutches people assume they are more of a permanent fixture and so ask less dickheady questions. I got mine from www.chicaidcrutches.co.uk/pages/coloured-crutches-344.htm

I felt the same when I first started using a stick, it's a hard adjustment mentally as well as physically, I found one of the hardest things was people asking 'what have you been up to' ?
Thinking I'd hurt my leg.
For the last 2 months I've had to use a push along walker,
Or my 'wheels' as they've become known, I haven't had any comments since having it,
but DH has noticed a lot of older people looking at me disapprovingly, for some reason.
I'm usually concentrating so hard on staying up right, that I don't notice luckerly.
When I first used a stick I ordered a patterned one of eBay which was lighter and nicer looking that the hospital issue ones.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Sun 02-Dec-12 23:00:39

Aye, I want a big purple shiny bling walking stick, the market does need to look to it's younger users. I don't want flowers or tartan.

I use a mobility scooter too, it's a life saver! My wheels have kept me going at one of the toughest times of my life.

<waves to rabbits> my mobility scooter has a faux wicker basket on the front ROCK!

missnevermind Sun 02-Dec-12 23:09:20

I feel a right wally using my stick. I don't use it too often as I usually have the pram to lean on.
I refused to get one for ages, but when my Granny passed away Grandad insisted I take hers.
What it took me ages to get used too was that while it was painful I was usually OK to get 'there' but I really needed the stick to get back.

As the same as the spoons - I tell my family I only have so many 'bends' in me. So I have to save them for when I need them.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Sun 02-Dec-12 23:10:02

I want a proper leg warmer too, like babies in buggies, except giant sized for me. I carry my daughter along standing between my legs at the moment as a windbreak.

MoominmammasHandbag Sun 02-Dec-12 23:10:40

Yep I have a nice patterned stick. I walk a bit funny anyway so I suppose no one has been particularly surprised to see me using one. A scooter though, to be honest it would help me so much . But I can't quite get my head aroun it yet.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Sun 02-Dec-12 23:13:08

Yeah, I do waddle like a duck when I get tired. My limp is not sexy at all. Whereas my walking stick is a good poking device, keeps me upright, makes people move out my way, and is great to use around the house so I don't have to bend over to move things. Am I selling it to you yet?

SirBoobAlot Sun 02-Dec-12 23:14:54

I have to use mine every day. Have been since I was sixteen. Once you use it a few times, and realise how much easier it makes life, then you can feel better about it.

You can get some fantastic small folding, 'pretty looking' sticks to just put in your bag if you prefer. I use crutches now so I don't drop them as my hands have been getting more numb (unrelated to stick use).

I was more conscious of it to begin with, then I worked out that less people were looking at me with a stick than they were when I was falling over because my ridiculous legs were giving way before I started using it.

Bite the bullet!

I now have purple crutches, but before that had an electric blue stick, one with multicoloured spots on, and plain ones that I stuck various ribbons and gems on. Vogue are definitely missing out on an accessory section wink

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Sun 02-Dec-12 23:19:51

Yes, I have a pair of purple crutches on my amazon wishlist. Mobility aids on a wishlist, things I never thought I'd have at the age of thirty, lol.

Some of us entrepreneurial folks should start up a nice chic mobility aid shop, for the fashion minded.

BlissfullyIgnorant Sun 02-Dec-12 23:21:32

Get a stick (or several) that says 'Yeah? What of it?' from here. They do accessories, too, like the attachment for use in ice and snow, but do resist using that on the feet of annoying people in the car park outside the supermarket! grin

Style it out and perfect your fuck off stare! I had a folksy friend 'minifelts' customise me some of her animal mobile phone pouches so I could affix my blackberry and lipgloss to my crutches. My consultant needed me to have my phone in arms reach at all times and it was either that or a fabulous panic button necklace. So I ended up with purple crutches with a purple fox shaped pouch and a red fox set too outs self to a very small number of people

SirBoobAlot Sun 02-Dec-12 23:40:37

Oooh, and check out Glamsticks too. Lovely to look at, even if you can't stretch your budget to one!

weregoingtothezoo Mon 03-Dec-12 05:59:30

Wow - BlissfullyIgnorant what a fab link!
I recently became disabled. Whilst in hospital the nurses said "most younger patients refuse to..." complete with wear splints, use a wheelchair, use zimmer frames, use toilet frames, wear special/sensible shoes, use sticks". I'm not sure why they said it tbh, I got into my head pretty quickly that I could have my vanity and struggle or probably fail, or use the equipment and learn to walk again.
But I have had my two hospital issue sticks for months now and it might be time for something from that link (an 80 yr old gentleman in my choir has a far nicer stick than I do!) - it's admitting I'll need them for a long time. I'll need them for a long time.
Too busy trying to keep going to look at people's expressions tbh. I have to remind myself how lucky I am, often. That's how I get over my "not dealing with" issues.

ThoughtBen10WasBadPokemonOMG Mon 03-Dec-12 06:49:00

Perfect timing for this thread. I ordered a foldable shooting stick type thing yesterday as I am really struggling if I'm in a queue. Not sure that using a stick to help my waddle due to my arm/ shoulder problems.

ThoughtBen10WasBadPokemonOMG Mon 03-Dec-12 06:51:46

I might need to buy some stickers or something to bling it up a bit when it arrives though now I have seen the other options!

Footle Mon 03-Dec-12 15:18:14

I have needed a stick in the past and probably will again. To help with juggling purse , gloves, whatever , while trying not to drop the stick , you can buy a small rubber thingy that you put near the top of the stick . It's not conspicuous compared with the stick itself. It allows you to balance the stick on the counter or table next to you so the stick doesn't end up on the floor. This suggestion would be more help if I could remember the name of the thingy, but it came from Timpsons.

tazzle22 Mon 03-Dec-12 18:03:15

echo others in that the lessening of the pain made me bite the bullet, tBH I could not find sticks I liked to use so quickly decided an elbow crutch ( or two on a really bad day) far better.

wanna bling ones though.. ..... need to get the paint / craft stuff out....... or have a look at some the links above grin

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