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People with MS or similar disability: tell me about your first time using a stick/crutch

(14 Posts)
AStickInTime Wed 10-May-17 14:39:04

I've been much worse these past 5 weeks and went to an appointment yesterday. I got there by taxi, but when I was leaving I had to walk a bit further for my transport home. The only way I can describe it was feeling like a learner swimmer in the middle of the deep end, desperately wanting to swim near the rail so I can grab it if I want. This made me really want to hold onto a stick or something, but I'm not sure if it would really help?

I was walking so slowly it was noticeable (and embarrassing for someone who looks fit and well) so I'm ashamed to say, but I got my phone out and pretended to be walking slowly because I'm looking at it. I wasn't looking at the phone. It round the side of it at the floor so I could see where I was going! What a saddo. I've got to get over that I know. But I wanted to ask: how was it the first time you used a stick? Did it feel weird and how did you cope? Do you think it would help my slow walking or not really? I've been referred to therapists but there's a waiting list. I'm not going to be out a lot, but for the little I am, it's painstakingly difficult (legs heavy, wooden, can't seem to move them fast (thighs ache horribly as soon as I'm on them etc).

nuttyknitter Wed 10-May-17 14:43:56

My situation was different - I used a stick while I was waiting for a hip replacement- but I found it was a great way of making it obvious to people that I was potentially unsteady and needed a bit more space/consideration.

AStickInTime Wed 10-May-17 14:45:40

Funny you should say that; it went through my mind that it would make me feel like I was offering the world a decent explanation for my extreme slowness, and then I could put the blimmin' phone away!

Costacoffeeplease Wed 10-May-17 14:46:01

I walk with a stick, have done for 8 or 9 years now (I'm 51 now). I don't always need it for support but it works well as a sign for people to give my a wide berth, as I have constant pain and would probably collapse if anyone bumped into me. It also explains my sometimes slow, unpredictable gait, and I can go from reasonably ok to almost unable to walk at all within the space of about 10 mins. So yes, I think you probably would find it helpful for several reasons

Costacoffeeplease Wed 10-May-17 14:46:27

Cross posts smile

AStickInTime Wed 10-May-17 15:48:52

Do you know, I had no idea people would use a stick as a signal to others, this whole MS journey is a learning curve all the way around! It does make sense though, that it would help.

AStickInTime Wed 10-May-17 22:07:28

Did it take much getting used to?

Costacoffeeplease Wed 10-May-17 22:38:59

I don't have MS, but have had major spinal surgery and started using the stick before my op - I didn't find it difficult to get used to at all. Just a bit of a faff sorting handbag and stick - and finding somewhere to put it in restaurants as it invariably clatters to the floor!

Judashascomeintosomemoney Wed 10-May-17 22:50:29

I don't have MS (though DGM, DM and DF do) but I do have DDD so can go from perfect mobility to being virtually unable to put one foot in front of the other in a day (thankfully only a couple of times a year usually) and I echo what PPs have said about using it to alert others, though I do need to lean heavily on it sometimes. One thing I can say is, get yourself a good cross body bag as it's impossible to use sticks and a handbag!

NotCitrus Wed 10-May-17 22:52:14

I use one (and my mum did), intermittently. I'm not so good at leaning on it as it hurts my hands, but as a symbol for "give me some space and ideally your seat on this train", it's great.
I'd get a folding one so you can put it in your handbag, and the elastic loop is great for hanging it up or over your wrist. About £15 well spent!

Akire Wed 10-May-17 22:54:30

have you thought about one of those walkers with 3 wheels and a seat/shopping bag. Not a zimmer! It's much sturdy to lean on and gives you bit protection from people walking into you. Can help with balance and you can sit down when ever you need!

Akire Wed 10-May-17 22:55:54

Or get a crutch then least you can pretend it's an oh dear hurt my foot to people if you don't want to do the explaining yet.

AStickInTime Thu 11-May-17 07:05:25

Thanks for your good answers, it's helpful. Akire I have seen people use those with a mixture of horror (i.e.: they're for old people and look out of place with the young) and envy because I'd love to be able to stop and sit when I need to (without having to resort to the floor!).

Toddlerteaplease Fri 19-May-17 17:17:11

I've got MS and used a stick for a while (a spotty one) but found I needed more support so I popped into work and jokingly asked one of the physios for some crutches. I feel better with crutches as no one bats an eyelid at someone my age in them, using my walking stick I felt like an old lady and I hated it. People asked why someone my age was using a stick. Had Lemtrada a few months ago and finally got rid of them. Woohoo!

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