Who uses walking aids?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Jackie41, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. Jackie41

    Jackie41 Member

    Here's a topic that hasn't been on the board in a while.

    What walking aid do you use? Do you use them for pain or weakness, full or part time? For how long. How did you deal with the embarrassment or wasn't that a problem?

    I started with 2 forearm crutches when I was 28(I'm 31 now). I use them for weakness more than for pain. I used them part time for 2 years and full time for the last year.

    The embarrassment was a few months earlier when I started using a cane, but wasn't too bad cause a cane is less "drastic" than crutches. Over a few months I gradually started using 2 canes, and from there, the forearm crutches were a small step. For the last year,embarrassment isn't an issue since I can't walk without the crutches any more. It was more of an issue when I could walk without them and was just using them part time by choice. I gradually went from using them one or two days a month to not using them one or two days a month. I thnk the last time I walked without them was about a year ago. My legs gave out after a few steps and I've been dependent on the crutches since.

    Jackie
    [This Message was Edited on 01/21/2006]
  2. ilovecats94

    ilovecats94 New Member

    when voting for president. My husband bought it for me and I thought it would help for my back, but it really didn't. My back was just cramping and in agony the entire time we waited to vote. Would have been much better off in a wheel chair.

    I did have hubby bring a yard chair that I sat in outside while we were waiting in line for the doors to open. Yes, this was at 5:30 AM, and I'll never go to vote at that time again. Was extremely busy...

    I have the cane in my closet now and haven't used it since. It is adjustable so if my husband or a family member needed it, they could use it.

    With all the pain I was in, no one let me go to the front of the line. Doesn't say much for kindness in people anymore, I'm sorry to say.

    Hugs to all,
    Faye
  3. guardianangel54166

    guardianangel54166 New Member

    I ran an assisted living home for many years and had occasion to use aids when needed. When my kids were young I used to use the highchair without the tray when it was bad. I now have my own electric chair and am not ashamed to use it when necessary. The assisted living home was one level but large, so often by the end of the day I would be going from room to room using my chair, limping through cares then back to the chair. What relief! I could even enjoy an evening stroll (with my wheels).
    Unfortunately I could no longer keep up the pace of the home and had to close last fall. I am focusing now on medication adjustments, and stuctured exercise to try to regain strength and mobility. There are still days where I walk into Wal-Mart and use a scooter in the store. With a large store, I walk in and barely make it out with the cart as support. My dad told me to swallow my pride and use the scooter. He was right. Though I must admit I choose a small, more expensive store often because it is quicker.
  4. darude

    darude New Member

    How are you doing? Yea it's been awhile hasn't it!!!! I still am not using anything but know that I probably need to. I mainly get around the house hanging onto stuff if need be. I can go for walks, which I do, but my leg pain is awful afterwards. Leg cramps etc. I might try a cane to start. What do your doctors say about this???????????
  5. crumpton

    crumpton New Member

    I use the electric carts or wheelchairs in the big stores or when we go on a trip and there is a lot of walking involved. I also use a shopping cart to lean on for support.

    I don't know what I would do if they didn't have electric carts and no one to push a wheelchair for me. I sure couldn't push myself around in a wheelchair with my flabby arm muscles! Boy I am spoiled!

    My hat goes off to anyone that can do this!
  6. musikmaker

    musikmaker New Member

    I use a cane a times. It is because I feel unstable and disorented. Other times its because my legs just arent working right. Have been lucky lately and have not had to use it.
  7. gilesgirl

    gilesgirl New Member

    to get around becuse ialso have back problems. I hate to use them but need them. I am 29 and i am use to it now i guess but it dose get u down.

    hugs Vickyx
  8. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    I use a cane when I'm in a flare....like now. I use it because my legs just won't work right. Sometimes I have to drag my left leg and the cane helps me a lot. Yes, it is embarrassing sometimes, especially after I've been feeling a little better and haven't used the cane in a while. My friends and church family get all excited to see me doing better and then WHAM!! I have a setback and have to pull out the cane.

    I have to get over the embarrassment because otherwise I won't get anywhere and I'll be restricted to a chair or my bed.
  9. zerped

    zerped New Member

    I read a great article a few years ago about a woman who was a member of the House of Representatives and was in the early stage of MS. She said that she became comfortable with her disease once she gave herself "permission" to use whatever made sense at that moment, and forget about "what people might think." It's been a big help to me. It doesn't matter now what I used or didn't use yesterday. If I feel like I need to use a cane today, that's what I'll do.

    I can usually get through the summer w/o cane, and then use it winter/spring, but this year I have used it only a bit during the cool, rainy season. I'm using a cane at the moment, but only because I just had hernia surgery. My friends have gotten used to it all by now. When I see them, they'll say, "Hey, no cane today! Must be doing good, right? Cool!"
  10. Jackie41

    Jackie41 Member

    My doctor is in favor of me using the crutches because she wants me to stay mobile. Walking with crutches is still walking and it's good exercise. In fact I often walk for exercise, outside when the weather is good and in the mall when it isn't. The crutches enable me to get more exercise than I could get without them.

    I think you would do lots better with the forearm crutches than with a cane. The crutches are so much more stable the difference is like night and day. Unfortunately, you probably think like I did and felt that a cane was less embarrassing than crutches. I'm not sure why this is so but it seems to be. So it's probably best if you started with a cane.

    A lot depends on why you use a walking aid. If only one leg bothers you, then one cane might make sense. You want to have it in the hand opposite the bad leg. If both legs are tired or unsteady, which is the problem I have, then you would be better off getting 2 canes. You just walk normally where you put the right cane forward with the left foot, and left cane with right foot. With the forearm crutches it's the same. I walked a lot better when I switched from 1 to 2 canes and had less back pain because I walked in a more balanced way.

    Still when I first tried the crutches, I was amazed how much easier it was to walk. If I'm having a good day, I still sometimes use 2 canes around the house, but I never go outside without the crutches. I honestly can't think of a single advantage of canes over forearm crutches except for the silly idea that it's somehow less drastic to use canes.

    Well that's my two cent's worth. Hope it helps.

    Hugs,

    Jackie
  11. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Jackie ... have you been taking any physical therapy for your legs and your weakness? It might help.

    I use a cane when I go outside the house. I use the riding motor carts in places like Wal-Mart. I have such bad back problems and a pinched nerve in my back that I can't stand up or walk for more than 5 minutes without severe pain to the point that I must sit down.

    If I want to go shopping in a big mall, my daughter takes me in my wheelchair.