First time I had to use my shiny new stick I was at an Air Cadet event with my son and many of his friends who were then mid teens. Slightly sensitive age to be embarrassed by your parents so as I was walking round the parade ground with him I asked him is he was OK with it, and whether I was embarrassing him.
He replied ‘not half as much as when you’re not using it’. It was then that I realised how bad my unassisted walking had got. Bless him…!! If it was OK with him I wasn’t worried about it any more.
I’m glad I’m not the only one that’s had use it or not to use it issues! I think it’s getting over the first hurdle. Once people get used to seeing me with it, it’ll be much easier (quite apart from the fact that even though I’ve practiced with it in the house, I still can’t get the hang of it!)
Oh how I remember this dilemma I even thought of buying a push chair so people wouldn’t know I was having difficulties with walking. I the end I bought a colourful walking stick so people got use to seeing me with it. Even so when I had to move on to a walking frame I still found it difficult (a body image thing). Then it was the progression to a mobility scooter and I had several of those before I felt comfortable being seen on one. Now I’m in a wheelchair and I simply don’t care anymore because if I did I’d probably never go out again and I love to be out and about. There are somepeople who are very nice towards you when you are in a wheelchair and others who are not so nice but I ignore those types.
I look back and think about that first walking stick and wish I could have it back again but alas life and MS moves on.
It’s hard accepting change when it is about mobility and body image and how people treat you, but I wouldn’t be without these aids now though as without them over the various stages I would have been isolated.
So my advice would be try not to think about what others are thinking and think about what you need to do and where you’d like to do it - inside your house or outside in the community.
Iv just come across this thread after like 2 yrs since i last commented. Well after using it n then not using it n then using it again. I then stopped going out that much if im being honest n just left the stick in the boot.for the past yr been going out a bit more n finding it hard to walk again. Im in pain straight away n then comes the fatigue n walk really slowly, im sure snails overtake me sometimes lol. N yet still the sticks in the car. Im with a new bf now, he’s not seen me with a stick, he’s 5 yrs younger than me n im 32 so worried how he will feel. I have mentioned to him about havin a mobility scooter one day, but his response was your not that bad. Iv been gettin electric shock pains shooting down my right leg, n i lose strength for a split second, im worried if it goes on longer i would be on the floor. So think now is a gd time to bring the stick out again
I had a similar query about a month ago cause my MS is not that bad - when I’m tired my balance can be a bit dodgy. I can twist my ankle standing still - what can I say, its a gift!!
I bought a stick - a pretty purple one for a trip next week. It will be a long day and I will be on the London underground so I can whack a few ankles with it too. I was worried about ‘giving in’ when i didn’t need to. Well Poll & Shazzie and all the rest told me not to be so silly and get one. Its better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have one. Did I mention mine is a pretty purple one with a purple pattern!!
You can get them with Rhinestones and with funky patterns now so treat yourself to a new one that screams ‘Look at me’ and turn it into a fashion accessory.
I did look at the ones with a wee flask for a nip of whiskey and you can get some with a beautifully worked sword down the middle but I thought that might be hard to explain on the London Underground. I’m still thinking about it though.
Mine’s purple and pretty!!!
You’re joking rhinestones? ??? Can you get steam punk or goth type ones
Use whatever you need to, I say. Getting out and about is the important thing. I walk in the house with no aid as everything is pretty soft and it is good to do some walking without leaning on one side…! Use one crutch outside very short distances and a powered wheelchair when out and about. I get to do all I want to that way, minimises falls and keeps me mobile as well. Glitz it up or get bright metallic colours, and enjoy the freedom it gives you.
I just googled walking stick bling and gots loads coming up. Also try switch stick on amazon - thats were I got mine. Guess what colour???
try this site.
I still want a sword one though!!!
Try blingsticks - she will make anything to order. I have seen some of her designs on Facebook and she does goth style etc. Have a look.
I’m planning a unique design in my head so if I relapse again I can treat myself to another stick and it will make the relapse a little less painful
Not seen any rhinestone ones lol or goth or sword ones lol. I have got a switch one, love pink, mines is pink in glittery, can’t find my one on line now but its like this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/Switch-Sticks-Winning-Folding-Adjustable/dp/B009YHDJ7G/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1379327290&sr=8-6&keywords=Pink+walking+stick
Oh my word glamsticks are so cool off to check out bling sticks now. Are sword ones an option lol. Axx
Ok been using it for a few days, it’s amazing lol. Gives me a bit more strength using it on right side atm as pretty weak that side. My n the bf popped asda the other day n he said someone was looking at me weirdly, but tbh I didn’t care, it’s helping me n that’s all that matters
Arggh, not if you want something practical/adjustable! The bling sticks are funky but not really my thing…
I’m thinking buy the chrome skull handle and then have a stick made to measure I’d need to otherwise my husband would nab it lol
The sad bit is I use my plain boring one from Boots most as it’s the one that feels safest! I’m not sure how I’d cope with the kind of stick I’d actually like to carry. I’ve even found with clothes/shoes that I’m a bit more skater boy than goth/rock chick these days! I don’t think I’d stand a hope in hell of lifting a new rock boot off the ground when I can’t pick them up barefoot
About two months ago I’ve finally decided to get my first walking aids.
My name is David, I’m 34 now. I have ADEM (the worst was two and half years ago when I was bedridden). So far I did not have any major exacerbations, I can now walk and even ride a bike. Still - walking for more than a few minutes takes a toll on me. Standing still is even worse.
So, I’ve finally got my courage to get my first waking aids. I’ve decided on 2 trekking poles. The biggest problem for me was - how people would react on me walking with those poles (especially those that knew me). Some knew me as a very active person (former amateur marathon runner and triathlete) while others knew that I was very ill before but that I got over it. I knew all the theory “You should not pay attention to what people would think or say”, but… I just could not help it.
I thought some would think (and probably many did) - “Is he trying to show him self as worse than he is because he just drove on bicycle?”, “He is young, doesn’t have any missing limbs or any obvious walking difficulties”… Some friends even openly asked me if my illness did exacerbate (and I respect them for the openness). I did notice much more stares on the street. The funny thing is that many acquaintances thought that I am preparing for some trekking trip .
All those stares, comments and thoughts considering, one thing is sure: I am sorry that I did not buy the walking aids sooner. It just opened doors for me to possibilities of going on a walk with my family in a park (which was very problematic for me before), I managed to go camping which included a lot of walking during the day. I’ve also noticed that by the noon time, even though I’ve walked maybe even one km, I still have enough energy like in the morning and my legs don’t hurt as they would otherwise.
I still feel uneasy in some occasions that I still did not manage to make my self to go there with my trekking poles. Waiting in line in bank or somewhere else, because I feel that every time I would be judged wether or not I deserve to be let to the front of the line (even though I do not want to), and since I do not have some obvious disability I believe that opinions would be divided. Or going to a funeral (no place to sit down)…
Still, I believe that as time passes I will get used to it.
My advice to one and all is “get over yourself and use whichever aid or aids that are required”. Having said that, I just wish that I had been smart enough to follow my own advice. Over 10 years ago, my walking deteriorated to the point where I needed a walking stick. Being stubborn and stupid, I resisted getting one. Then when I “gave in” and got one, my walking improved dramatically - I was more confident and my stride became wider and more more consistent. The stick also became a signal to others that Inwasn’t pissed. A few years later, I needed crutches. Again after struggling before I got the crutches, my walking then improved. Two years ago, after a bad attack, I needed wheelchair. At first I hated it. Then I realised, most of the time I wasn’t going to get from A to B without the chair. Again, things improved. Instead of struggling all the time with the crutches, I used the chair on bad days and the crutches on good days. It’s sometimes very difficult for us all to see the advantages in using walking aids, especially when it feels like we’re giving in, but in most cases, they help a great deal. Derek