Hi MsMaGuss

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Jackie41, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. Jackie41

    Jackie41 Member

    Just wondering how you're doing with the forearm canes. I've been on mine full time for about a year now. Can't see myself throwing them away any time soon. Last time you wrote you had been off them for a while. I've been feeling prety strong lately and thought about trying to do without the crutches for at least a few days. I tried to go to the grocery store without them the other day. I got halfway from the car to the store and thought"what am I doing!!!" It was sort of like you got halfway to the store and realised you weren't wearing any pants. It was more of a brain problem than a leg problem, and it definitely helps to have a sense of humor about it, but I went back to my car and got the crutches and felt both silly and more secure.

    I suppose if I really worked at it could get back to part time use of the crutches, but I just don't see the point any more since it could only be for a few days at a time at best. Plus, if I didn't use them, then on those days I would be afraid to walk very far for fear of my legs giving out, so for me it makes more sense to just use them all the time. On a good day I just put hardly any weight on them but they're available if I have to walk very far.

    Btw, do you "swing through" on the crutches or have you learned the 2 point gait? The 2 point is what I use and it is much easier on the arms.

    Hope to hear from you.

    Jackie
  2. Jackie41

    Jackie41 Member

  3. Jackie41

    Jackie41 Member

    Swing through is what you would do if you had a broken leg. You put both crutches forward and swing your legs through putting all your weight on the crutches for a moment. I sometimes use this if my legs are too weak to walk without the crutches at all, but it's hard on the arms. The 2-point is where the left crutch and right foot go forward together, then the right crutch and left foot, etc. This is what I use 90% of the time. If you're not using this, you should try it. It's stable and very easy on the arms. At the end of the day if my legs are tired, I'll switch to the 4-point which is more supportive but quite a bit slower. There's a crutch company called WalkEasy. On their site, in the interactive section, are little animations showing the different crutch gaits. You might want to check this out.

    In case you ever thought about a rolling walker, here's my experience with them. I have 2 of them. I use one in my house. I have another one which I keep at my desk and use it around the office. They're also nice at libraries and book stores. In fact the library I go to has a rolling walker, so I usually just leave my forearm crutches at the main desk and use the walker. The advantage is you aren't constantly putting your arms in and out of the crutches. You just grab it and go. It also has a seat which I almost never use. There is a disadvantage though. I don't feel as steady in the walker as I do on my crutches. On days when I can't walk without the crutches, I usually can't walk with the walker either without locking the wheels. Also it's clumsy trying to go through doors with it and stairs are impossible. They don't work too well on grass either or at the beach(not a pleasant thought this time of year...brrrr). In the summer, I do a little bit of hiking and can't imagine this with a walker. So although I use them, it's only on good days, fortunately most of the time, and only indoors. I never go outside without the crutches.

    Plus the rolling walkers are fairly expensive, so if you're thinking of getting one, just be aware of the pro's and con's.

    You've probably figured this out already, but a very cheap rolling walker is the shopping cart. At the grocery store I just lean on the shopping cart and let the crutches dangle from my arms. The if I step away from the cart, the crutches are ready to go.

    Well this has been Martha Stewart's tips for stylish living on crutches. Next week we'll talk about walking with crutches while wearing heels. Don't laugh--I've done it many times!!!

    Stay in touch.

    Jackie
  4. Jackie41

    Jackie41 Member

    I've never felt the need for a wheel chair. I prefer to be upright on the crutches. I can always find a place to sit when my legs get tired.

    How about emotionally. Was it embarassing to start using the crutches. It was for me. Especially cause I didn't wait till I absolutely needed them to start using them. At first I just used them more for comfort than necessity and I felt very self conscious about that and so i only used them occasionally.

    The transition to full time use wasn't too hard emotionally because it was so gradual and took over two years. At first I only used them 2 or 3 days per month and only outdoors or at the mall. After a year I used them about 50% of the time. Gradually I got to were I used them most days, then slowly started using them more and more around the house. I haven't walked without them in a year and probably never will, but I'm dealing with it pretty well. How about you?

    Jackie