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Can You Come for a Visit? My ME/CFS Says No
My daughter and son-in-law just had a baby last week. We are thrilled. But we won't be able to see the baby or hold her any time soon. We won't be able to take over little gifts or help out with housework or babysitting.
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A walking cane?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Nielk, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I am finding that I am becoming more and more unsteady on my feet. I have become afraid to walk outside unassisted because i start feeling weak and light headed and need some kind of support. I am thinking of trying a walking cane.

    I used to be able to walk for about 10 to 15 minutes by myself on a good day. Now, even on a good day, I need my husband's arm to hold on to for support. Has anyone been using a walking cane?
  2. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Yes. Do it! Life is much easier with a cane - or stick as we Brits now seem to refer to them. Personally I quite like to think of a walking cane. Reminds me of the days when almost everyone (well if you were a chap) would 'step out' with a cane and top hat :)

    Seriously, it has made a lot of difference to me. Confidence for one thing. I can now go out and know that even if it is somewhere I am unfamiliar with - and don't know my rest stops i.e. benches - I can pause resting on my cane. And if in shops in queues - we Brits love our queues - I similarly have the support I need. Walking - well it's the third leg isn't it so when life is a little wobbly, it's a stabliser.

    I could go on - but for me I never now leave home without it. My sturdy cane - and only £5 from Argos :)
  3. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Thanks @Firestormm- is there anything specific I should look for when purchasing one?
  4. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Sturdy. Some people I know with ME, have fancy expensive ones, but I think so long as it is sturdy, and you feel comfortable with the handle - it doesn't matter as to cost. I have seen collapsible ones used as well - they can be handy I have been told if you travel a lot. I actually have been thinking of getting myself an antique cane - I rather fancy a solid wood one in black with some sort of silver handle shaped like a birds head or something, with a metal tip :) My own at present is rather basic and metal, in black, with a rubber stopper on the bottom: but it does the job nicely and I can't argue about the price. My friend has a pink one - but I think that's going a little too far :wide-eyed:
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  5. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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  6. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I tried one of those but fund it very unstable - it wouldn't stay open when I tried to sit on it! But that was a cheap one.

    One of the most important things when choosing a stick is length. You could perhaps get an idea of the stick length you need by improvising at home with a broom-handle or something, to see if it feels comfortable. Some sticks are adjustable for length, but the range of lengths varies, so they need to include a length suitable for your height.

    I bought all mine in second-hand shops. Personally I prefer the crook-type ones (curved handle) because they are easy to hang over your arm if you need both hands free for anything. They are also best for hooking things off shelves in shops and many other purposes!

    Folding ones are good if you are travelling and need to put them out of the way.

    I was very self-conscious about using a stick at first, but not for long, as once I got one I noticed that many people use them, including young people.
    justy, WillowJ and Nielk like this.
  7. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    @Neilk
    yeah me too, I grab hold of my husband as soon as I get out of the car, on really bad days I use my stick as well.
    I now have use it always when I'm able to do short walks with the dog, but its been a while since I felt up to that.

    Main thing for me is the height of them, I'm average 5'.6 1/2" but seem to need a longer stick.... my husband makes them for me out of tree branches but they're too rugged for walking around anywhere more formal:) I have a boring run of the mill one for that. (The one I have at the moment is his best one yet, I love it)
    Oh and like F said make sure you have a rubber stopper on the bottom.
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  8. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    ...unless you're walking on boggy ground as they tend to come off! I have a stopperless one I use for rambles. (The technical name for the rubber things is ferrules.)
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  9. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    @MeSci
    ah for the great outdoors you need one of my husband's 'specials' :)
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  10. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    What's that then?
  11. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    @MeSci
    see my post #7

    my husband makes them for me out of tree branches but they're too rugged for walking around anywhere more formal
  12. Nielk

    Nielk

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  13. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    Oh yes, they're marvellous things. I have a few by now.

    1. My crook-handled wooden stick, scorched chestnut I think. It's the easiest to sling over my wrist when I need to use both hands, but I'm not quite sure whether it's the most comfortable handle. There's not much in it, anyway. Very elegant, though it's neither adjustable nor folding.

    2. My bronze five-part folding stick with a derby handle. Nice and lightweight, and fits easily into handbags. Being able to put your stick away when you're out is really, really useful. The derby is possibly the more comfortable handle, and it is reasonably easy to sling onto a wrist. I also have a wrist strap on this one, and it's height adjustable. That's useful on the rare occasions when I wear heels. Like other five-part sticks, it's slimline, which is nice as I'm quite petite.

    3. My paisley four-part folding stick, also adjustable, derby handle, wrist strap, and in this case I put a Flexyfoot ferrule on it. This one is new and exceedingly snazzy. It's from Phoenix Walking Sticks, if anyone is interested, and it looks a lot nicer in person. Also not particularly paisleyish, to be honest. It's gold and bronze and bits of green, gold and blue on a black background.

    Go and try out sticks, and think about what height you want. It may not be the height that's recommended. People always say the handle should be the height of your wrist-bone, and for me that's far too low, as it is for some of my friends. Try out different handles, see what's most comfortable. Remember that ergonomic grip ones only work with one hand, so if you're going to keep switching the stick around depending on what the pavement is like or what have you, that won't work. And definitely remember that you don't have to get a grey aluminium-and-plastic hospital job! There are loads of really attractive sticks out there, and it makes you feel far more confident about using them.
  14. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    I borrowed one like that from a friend during a period when I really needed it, and it was great. I especially love the cushiony handle, because you can really lean into it without hurting your hand. Plus the cane itself is very lightweight, yet strong. A great investment for not too much $$.
    I say go for it!
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  15. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Oh, I see.

    There's a local chap who makes lovely sticks - or used to. He made them to order. But my long wooden one is perfect for rambling. Can't do it very often of course. Was going for one tomorrow but very tired so will have to put it off unless I get a really good night's sleep. Want to record some birdsong.

    Sorry - rambled off-topic!:oops:
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  16. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    Mine similarly has a soft handle (mine is untextured, for which I had to go with slightly less cushiony) which is a very important feature for me, too.
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  17. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    I love my walking stick............like it better than a cane because the stick is longer and I feel more stable when I can hold onto the stick at a higher level.....like above my waste almost shoulder level.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
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  18. JAH

    JAH Senior Member

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  19. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I have a couple of those that I used to use for hikes in the hills. They actually make you look cool, not sick! :)

    Sushi
  20. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    Great topic. I'm going to have to get one of these. Think it would help a lot. I'm pretty self conscious about the idea but I figure if not then it'll be a wheelchair and that's even worse. Though the arboretum near me has electric chairs for free hire and I'm contemplating trying that, as else I can't really go and i want to take my daughter, though again very self concious about it. I feel like everyone will question it cause I'm not old and frail, but rather, young and frail. know what I mean?
    maryb and Nielk like this.

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