I'M GETTING A CANE but I'm kind of scared

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by SweetT, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. SweetT

    SweetT New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I finally went on and ordered a cane. Lately, when I have CFS flare-ups, I get so exhausted that I feel as if I'm going to vomit while passing out. My legs feel so weak and as if they're going to collapse at any moment.

    I have my deceased grandfather's cane in my car's trunk, but it's big, old wooden one--------would give the Moses (of the Bible) effect, and I'm not trying to draw that much attention to myself. I love the cane---------I love old, classic things {view my profile if you don't believe me}, and I love my grandfather and miss him dearly. However, I need something smaller and more practical.

    I went ahead and ordered a folding cane seat. I'm hoping that it'll do the trick when my legs feel as if they are going to give out, and when I can no longer stand.

    I'm so excited, but I'm wondering: How are people going to react to me? How will my coworkers, even my buddies on the job, react?

    I guess their reactions are going to be sort of funny---------there'll probably be many double and triple takes. Of course, there'll be some who'll think I'm faking that also :)

    What do you think?
    [This Message was Edited on 09/27/2006]
  2. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    is that people take their cue from how I feel about it.I just act ike I usually act and their eyes are more on me than my cane,Linda
  3. darvick

    darvick New Member

    I agree, it's how you feel about it. Don't worry about others, they are not in your shoes. I really hope this helps you. I've thought about it also cause my legs get weak an shake.

  4. crossword

    crossword New Member

    Went to Walmart and bought a cane. I really don't care what other people think - As long as it keeps me from falling down when my 'trick' knee gives out. It sure is better than breaking a bone. Lots of hugs.....
  5. jjdg

    jjdg New Member

    hi,I have had a cane for quite a while,.I now use a walker for distances,but the cane to go to the store,if they have carts to push. the cane was great and still is but my arms and chest and shoulders would hurt so much if i would walk to far. so I got the walker right before 4th of July,I was able to walk about 4 small town blocks with my grandkids to watch the fire works,the walker gave me more freedom,I was also alittle intimidated at first thinking i'm too young,58,but I have accepted it helps.
  6. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    I know just how you feel. I thought long and hard before I finally gave in to purchasing a cane. I got a fancy one that folds so you can put it in a large purse. It is covered with a lovely paisley design. Yours sounds more practical. I sometimes wish mine had a seat.

    I don't know what people are thinking when they see me and I really don't care. It makes my life easier and I look a lot better using a cane to help me walk rather than hobble around or limp. And it also takes pressure off my muscles which would be overused trying to walk straight. It gives me a sense of balance and people seem to be more respectful and helpful when they see me coming.

    Lately things have gotten worse so I use a walker and/or a wheelchair sometimes. I remember my 75-year old mother-in-law would not use a wheelchair because of vanity so she gradually became depressed and was not able to get out.

  7. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    It has made a HUGE difference in my quality of life linda
  8. llama

    llama New Member

    Hi Sweet T and all,

    I must have recently been destined to get a cane, and I also fought against the idea, stigma etc.

    The fatigue and weakness that I experience if I walk really any distance (beyond what you would maybe in your home)becomes rather frightening due to dizziness and nausea to the point of fainting. So despite all that I was still to proud to use a cane!

    Then came the second wake-up call that finally convinced me. Doctors and everyone are always telling me to EXERCISE. So I'm doing some light stretching exercises and what should happen but my hip dislocated from the socket. It sounded like the crack of a "bat". I thought for a few sickening moments that I had broken my hip as I collapsed to the ground.

    Thankfully, I didn't but now I MUST use a cane to relieve pressure on that hip. Pride will get you no where!?
    Good Luck to you.............Jill..............
    [This Message was Edited on 10/14/2006]
  9. caffey

    caffey New Member

    I have both. I use the cane if I am going real short distances or out to a tight place ie. restaurant or church. I use too much energy with my cane. I have a walker on wheels. It has a seat and a clip on bag for my purse, groceries etc. It folds up into the back seatof the car. I much prefer it. It gives me more stability and freedom in the malls. I am only 53. I had a hard time getting used to the stigma of it but now I don't care. I have to do what is right for me. By the way I had both an aluminum cane and a wooden cane and I prefer the aluminum cane. If you live in snow country make sure you buy the metal adapter that clips on the bottom that will keep you from slipping on the ice and snow. Just remember it doesn't matter what anyone thinks you just do what is right for you and will make your life easier.
  10. mymichelina

    mymichelina New Member

    I am 45 and I use a cane...I have to because sometimes I have balance problems...and it gives me confidence. I have a cool cane , wooden white and black with head of white tiger....bought on e bay...I have more people (especially kids) look at the cane..and comment on how neat it is. I HATE that I have to use one...but it is the only way I can go anywhere.
  11. bkayisme

    bkayisme New Member

    Hi sweet t i had my ortho adjustable cane for about a month and a hlf now i will not go in public with out it i rather have it than fall in public. i lose balance alot and fall as well i have fallen on the floor in the shower i was standing against the wall and still fell cause my legs got weak and gave out. i slouch so it also helps straighten me up i have confidence with itsometimes i feel burning so i get stuck and stop but i brace myself with that cane. ive had people look at me i think cause im so young shaking with a cane whats wrong with her? i look right at them dead in their face.i dont care.its none their business.it took about two weeks for me to get use to it i think im a slow learner. lol but my coordinations off. oh maybe they were staring at my mouth it hangs open i have pd symptoms, havent been diagnosed but going through process. im a site. well now i have a stick to beat someone with lol. but dont fret you get use to it, i will not go out of my house with out it.
  12. Susan07

    Susan07 New Member

    I see your post started 9/27 - have you gotten your cane and used it yet?

    At work use it when you need but leave it by your desk when you don't when people ask you can let them know you don't need it all the time.

    When I started using mine, I started using it at church first for about 6 months before I took it to work. Then once I did take it to work people would just make funny comments about using it to keep people in line.

    I used it when needed like feeling dizzy or if going outside and needed to use the stairs.

    I especially like using one when I'm out because I walk slow and it helps people to see you. Also more people seem to hold doors, etc.

    I'm glad I finally gave up on the "what will people think?" question.

    Take care,
  13. celticfan

    celticfan New Member

    Sweet T I've first started using a cane off and on when I was in my thirties. I'm now 58 and started using a cane fulltime about ten years ago. It was a hard adjustment. I was very self-conscious about the cane I carried and my ugly orthopedic shoes. But I was able to walk better with them. Some days now a cane is not enough. Depending on how I am feeling, I use two canes or crutches, a walker and even a wheelchair. The last few weeks I have been using my wheelchair. These devices are tools that keep us moving. Over the years I acquired quite a few canes to go with different outfits. My daughter who is in her thirties and has this DD, is now using a cane. She even looks elegant when she uses it. Sweet T don't be discouraged, use whatever you need to you going.

  14. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    I guess I don't understand the "stigma" of using a cane.

    I am currently carving a cane out of white willow. It will be beautiful and functional when it is done. I see other beautiful canes for sale, too. Maybe it is the plain metal cane that you don't want to use?

    I don't use one now, but everytime I go to the doc I think "this is the time he is going to recommend the cane." That's why I'm carving one now!

    The only problem I see with it is which side to use it on. My left leg is worse then the right, but the right can be just as bad.

    Besides, you can be like Dr. House! Maybe even cultivate his attitude, ok, better not get his attitude!


    Stop and smell the puppies!
  15. happycanuk

    happycanuk New Member

    If you need it get it and be thankful there is something that will help you. I keep telling my gf that it is better to use a cane (like you, she won't use it at work, so therefore, she won't get one) than to end up flat on the floor. Now, I think THAT would be embarassing. Canes have a purpose and people have used them for hundreds of years.

    Actually, walking sticks have become all the rage. You get 2 of them. They provide tons of stability and are great for exercise.

    I had to get a cane when I broke my foot. I loved it, but I don't need it now. I sure felt secure with it.

    As for other people, well really, who cares what they think? If you are comfortable with it, so will they be.
  16. suzette1954

    suzette1954 New Member

    I too have a balance problem. At home Im fine except in the dark but outside or shopping, I have to use the cane. I still cant walk far because my hand and arm start hurting too much. Ive used the electric carts in the store but usually I lean on the buggy and now can only shop once per mth.

    I think all of us are afraid people will think we are faking but I challange anyone to walk one day in my shoes!

  17. marsupialmama

    marsupialmama New Member

    If you need it, and get used to it and be "natural" about it. Like another poster suggested. If you feel awkward and self-conscious those "vibes" would affect how others react. Don't wrry about what other people think, dowhat's best for you.

    I have a friend with a disability who uses crutches for short distances and wheelchair or scooter most of the time. She is so natural about it all, and very confident, that the mobility aids are no big deal as far as I can see.

    My mom also started using a cane in her early 60s and wasn't happy about needing it, but to the rest of us it was no big deal and it's just a part of who she is. Comes in handy for reaching stuff at the back of shelves and gently restraining grandkids by blocking their path (not by whacking them!)

    If I ever need a cane I plan on getting a funky carved one or one of thse shiny metallic ones with butterflies and flowers on them.

  18. Susan07

    Susan07 New Member

    suzette1954, I found an anti-shock cane on eBay. Relieves the arm and shoulder.

    take care,
  19. At age 26, a physical therapist called my neurologist and had him call in a prescription to the pharmacy for a "broad based quad cane" she gave me the choice of that, or a hemi-walker, but said I "at least" needed the broad based quad cane...

    I used it for over a year, until I got sick and tired of nearly throwing my shoulder out of socket, and also landing right on the metal plate of the cane when my knee would buckle, and just falling anyways with the cane. It was *safer* for me to fall without the doggone cane!

    I landed on that metal plate at the base of it one time so badly, I thought it had fractured my hip! Since I've been on steroids nearly year round for over 2 yrs, (many high dose tapers prescribed for facial nerve pain -trigeminal neuralgia after a botched surgery that was supposed to HELP it, & two radiation procedures after that,) and then another doctor started using steroids to try to get SOME form of adrenal function out of me. Didn't work and I AM DONE with steroids....but, having been on so much of them, wouldn't have been hard to fracture a bone, I'm also calcium & potassium deficient.

    Suprisingly though, even after getting worse, for a few months, and relying on a wheelchair for any trip out of the house, then going back to the cane, in March when I decided I was DONE falling on the cane, or injuring my shoulder in near-falls....

    I have not fallen a single time (I don't think) though, walking is extremely tiring, and painful, and when I have to go to the 2nd floor of the hospital to see two of my doctors, I hang on to hubby for support, walking to far, my knee will half-buckle still...

    I walk on the treadmill ocasionally, when I can muster up enough energy early in the morning (not so often, nearly not at all, now that I'm off steroids--the only positive about those @&$* things!!!)

    As far as what people will think...I cried when I first had to get my cane, I was 26, live in a small town, where it's nearly impossible to go to a store and not see at least one person you know, it only bothered me, really, when I ran into the ocasional rude or blunt former classmate, intentional or not. One of my dear friends from school who suffers from Tourettes syndrome, bi-polar disorder, etc really really hurt my feelings once...and if strangers stared (I was bitter at first, about the cane & or w/chair--I stared them right back down. I wanted them to say something... (steroids too) I wanted to lash out. And DID once, at a gas station....and immediately realized how embarrassing/foolish it was...but, I'd had it with rude people.

    Anyways, later, I got a sense of confidence, thankfulness that my husband and I were leaving the house more frequently, and not getting somewhere--only to turn right back around, not even 150ft-200ft into a store, because "I just can't do it", and, I bought T-shirts! LOL Lots of em.

    Best one? "Keep staring, I might do a trick" ;-)

    "Out of my mind, please leave a message"

    "I've just kidnapped myself, pay me $1,000,000 or you'll never see me again"

    "My issues have issues" (with Eeyore on it! :)

    "Please don't interrupt me while I'm ignoring you"

    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups"

    .........and so on, lol, you get the picture.

    Whatever makes us feel better, and doesn't hurt anyone else.

    My PCP & Neuro loved the "out of my mind, please leave a message" shirt

    Anyways, whether you joke, or address it differently, understand that it's ok to actually go through all the stages of grieving, even, I certainly did---I just got stuck at the anger one for quite a while...many of my meds though, also caused "aggressive behaviour" (they NEVER tell you these things! I'm off them now, except for one, but i refuse to take it every day, only "as needed"

    Allow yourself to just feel sometimes, tell yourself it is ok. Just DO NOT let OTHERS decide how you feel. Unless they want to volunteer to carry you from point A to point B---well, they can........you know. fill in the blank as you wish. :)

    Best of wishes for you.

    Laura--aka AintAsGoodAsIonceWas
  20. SweetT

    SweetT New Member

    I was pleasantly surprised to see the responses to my question. I think this is the first time that I ever got 20 responses to a post!

    I am just jumping on real quick to see what is happening on the board, so I cannot answer everyone personally yet.

    Yes, I did go on and get the cane. I haven't used it yet, however. I haven't had one of my weak legs days since I bought it. I do plan on using it, however, especially for clothes shopping with my girls when they take FOREVER to pick out clothes in a store and my legs and feet feel as if they are going to fall off.

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