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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

slipperandpjsmum Mon 03-Dec-12 20:41:37

Thanks so very much for all those posts. I even chuckled reading them, which from where I am - feeling very sorry for myself just for now - that is really good!

You are right I need to try and alter my feelings and maybe people will see me differently but maybe different in a better way. I def see the world in a different way these days.

Thanks everyone. You have helped alot x

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Mon 03-Dec-12 22:10:50

I just brazen it out these days, went to school in my purple slippers with a bow on as they kept my feet the warmest today.

I need to get a plain black stick and vajazzle it methinks. Save some money on the Glamsticks prices. I have a glue gun and access to shiny things. I will have to show you all the results.

Aftereightsaremine Mon 03-Dec-12 22:20:30

I used to hate using my stick until I got a very pretty folding one which I use all the time. I also no longer get evil stares when getting out of my car when parked in a disabled bay which was always happening before I used my stick. It's also great for getting on the tube & banging it on the floor until someone gives me their seat!

fairyqueen Mon 03-Dec-12 22:30:15

I'm struggling with this at the moment. With or without a stick I struggle with people asking me wat I've done. I haven't 'done' anything, it's Got steadily worse since childhood and feels like it will keep on getting worse. DH told me to say it is arthritis, even though it isn't, just to stop me failing to explain.

Sorry, rambling. Thread just struck a raw nerve.

SirBoobAlot Mon 03-Dec-12 22:57:12

Fairy, people ask me if I've hurt myself. I just smile sweetly and say "no", then look them dead in the eye. No one has the balls to ask me to expand on it.

People are nosy, and people are rude. Don't let it get to you.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Mon 03-Dec-12 23:07:41

I just tell them my body is a disaster area and laugh.

fairyqueen Mon 03-Dec-12 23:10:40

SirBoob, I'll try that. In some ways I'm so confident but this is really getting to me. Have to go to work tomorrow with stick amd a dressing on my face from minor surgery. Am dreading it.

weegiemum Mon 03-Dec-12 23:21:53

I've had a neuro disability for almost exactly a year.

On the worst days I'm in a wheelchair, my stick helps me avoid that!

I got a ghastly metal one from the physio but have been able to surpass it with a lovely multicoloured spotty one that folds up! My nephew calls it "auntie Weegie's magic stick!" (but then he thinks my blue badge is a "magic" card cos I can park anywhere!!)

I try not to use it, I know my almost-13 year old dd1 is embarrassed by me, though her friends all seem ok with it to me.

But there are days where it's stick or fall down! And as I've got serious balance issues, I find it helps people to see I've got problems and they (usually) give me a bit more space (yes I'm looking at YOU mr man in tesco who knocked me over and didn't even stop!!)

SirBoobAlot Mon 03-Dec-12 23:22:22

I totally understand. Without wanting to depress you, you kind of get used to it. And you pick up some very witty responses. I have been known to say "Yes, its a walking stick. Have you never seen one before?" on a really shit day.

weegiemum Mon 03-Dec-12 23:29:37

I get a monthly drip in hospital to control my symptoms (I've got CIDP, or Chronic Guillan-barre syndrome -I'd love to hear from anyone else as it's so rare).

I know the drip is due when I'm using my stick in the house!

memphis83 Mon 03-Dec-12 23:40:54

I started using a stick at 21. My symptoms improved slightly once I started using it as I wasn't using so much of my energy on tryig to be 'normal' so when I use my stick I can actually do more. I also have bright crutches for when my legs are worse and an electric blue wheelchair. My arms are so weak I struggled to get up a dropped kerb once so won't use it alone. I have leg splints and I am yet to find funky ones of those though. Good luck op.

weregoingtothezoo Tue 04-Dec-12 04:28:07

I have bought myself sticks! grin Thank you for the suggestions on this thread.

I was nearly ready to anyway which is why it leapt out really. Buying sticks that are happy and "me" is to me inextricably linked to an acceptance that I will need these for a long time. Intermittently, at least, for a very long time. I'm also in the middle of that sort of acceptance about my chronic pain, and painkillers. Mumsnet helps in so many ways - my thinking was about ready, and now I feel less alone too - at 31 I did not expect to be accepting that I will need sticks and have mobility problems for the forseeable future. Am not quite ready to say forever. Not yet. But here I feel surrounded by others in worse and better positions and can be encouraged.

SirBoobAlot Tue 04-Dec-12 10:46:27

Glad to hear that, Zoo.

Its a grieving process really. Once you get past the sadness, the anger, the fear, you get to acceptance. And accepting is not the same as giving up wink

Can't wait to see which ones you chose! grin

RooneyMara Tue 04-Dec-12 10:52:48

First thought on reading your title was, Oh how cool smile

I can't remember if it was on ER, that female Dr, who used to walk with a stick? And one of my college tutors was similar, they kind of get muddled up but they both had them I think and were super, super interesting and cool women.

No bling. Just brilliant intelligence and a bit of mystery about them.

I'd do it, if I felt I had the gravitas to pull it off smile

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 11:41:43

Totally understand OP. I am only just thirty myself and I have been ill since I was about twenty three, but worsening over the past couple of years intensely. Sometimes I am so angry or sad, even still, at my prospects. But you start to reach a level of acceptance, for me being able to talk about it here has really helped with that. Keep talking, it's always easier when you find people to relate to, and when you add sparkles to the necessities.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 11:43:38

Would 'gravit-arse' do? That's all I have I am afraid.

mouldyironingboard Tue 04-Dec-12 15:07:52

I use a mobility scooter to get around but use walking sticks too. As well as a walking aid, I treat them my sticks as a fashion accessory and match them to whatever outfit I'm wearing. smile

Perhaps we should start a thread in the mn style and beauty section called 'pimp my mobility aids'!

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 16:47:40

Good idea! I've been looking for ways to make my scooter more "me"! I really want a knitted chair cover, pretty granny squares in shades of purple. And a blanket. And a cool bag with a nice lining and a pretty colour. And a functional little side bag for the chair arm to hold my phone and stuff I need access to quickly.

Tianc Tue 04-Dec-12 17:00:12

If anyone's interested, we were collecting links to mobility stuff on this thread: Welcome to the Wheelie-drome!

Must post some of this cool stuff on there!

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 17:03:27

Thanks Tianc, popped you on watch and will come along and contribute soon hopefully.

Tianc Tue 04-Dec-12 17:08:47

Have just put those fabby sticks on that thread.

notcitrus Tue 04-Dec-12 17:23:31

I sometimes use a stick, and find it amazing that it's a magic talisman for getting a seat on a bus - people equate stick with 'needs seat' whereas if I don't have it I certainly don't get offered one and I'm hesitant about asking. And it gives you more space in the rush hour.

Mine is plain black folding one from local chemist, so blends in with all outfits! Also handy for steering small children and fending off annoying people who want to touch one's pregnant bump...

slipperandpjsmum Thu 06-Dec-12 09:27:30

Certainly agree Zoo about feeling alone. When I posted this I prepared myself for no replies and your postings have really helped; about where to get lovely sticks, retorts when people comment and also about coming to terms. I keep bursting into tears when people ask me how I am which is very irritating (the crying not the asking)!! My dr suggested anti dep but I don't actually feel depressed just heart broken that I have lost my old life and all the plans I had for my future feel are slipping away. Everyday is a battle and I feel so tired fighting.

vladthedisorganised Thu 06-Dec-12 12:13:11

I used a stick for a while aged 20 and the first thing I did was customise it! NHS-issue one was painted to look like a thin pillar with a vine growing up it, and later I got a silver-tipped cane which was very elegant as well as practical.

I'm very lucky in that I don't need one any more, but having a cheery stick did make a difference at the time. Having a tiny cross-body bag for essentials and a backpack for everything else helped on the practical front.

slipperandpjsmum Sat 08-Dec-12 10:06:52

Any advice?

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