Today I took my new & first quad cane out for a test stroll -WOW. Before this cane I could only make it to the end of my street alone. With a regular cane I made it just around the block but really painfully & with much struggle. With this bad boy quad cane, I could walk to China!
I still wobbled once in a while but not as bad as before, and not once did I ever have a ‘gasp’ moment. Before I had a dozen anxiety moments per yard. The cane provided instant stability. It helped A LOT and for the first time in a long time I had a ‘pleasant, peaceful walk’ …beyond pleasant….it was brilliant & awesome!!! At one point I was in such bliss with the sun on my face, wind in my dreads & silence in my mind that I got so filled up with gratitude I actually teared up.
First thing I noticed, is that I have regressed considerably since WSIB stopped my vestibular therapy. Also, I really tired myself out planning & hosting my mom’s party and I haven’t been ‘right’ since. I’m definitely in a setback. However the more I walked, the easier it got. At first I kept kicking the cane & once it landed on my foot instead of the floor & that almost sent me tumbling, so definitely be aware of every move you make at first.
When the ground is really uneven and rickety that cane struggles a bit & so will you….but no where near as bad as without it. Avoid big cracks in the pavement or sidewalk/grass borders.
I hit one stretch that was BRUTAL. It was about 4-5 house widths of sidewalk that looked like it was damaged by a small earthquake. It was cracked beyond belief at all different angles. It was a bitch to cross. When the ground leveled out again, I immediately turned around & forced myself to walk the ‘bad patch’ one more time right away. It was way easier the second time.
For the first time in a long time, no one pissed me off. It was all smiles & hello’s. A nice boy approx 18 held the door very patiently and at Coffee Time the customer service girl offered me table service-bless her. Coffee Time was quite a challenging triumph destination & I took the long way! I treated myself to lunch by myself, with myself for the first time since December 2010.
By the time I made it back to my block my inner ear was really really fuzzy/numb…this often happened during physiotherapy, it means stuff is realigning. I knew it was a good thing. My ears were ringing for several hours & on-off all evening since my walk. They ring a lot anyway, but its really bad tonight. I know I got a great workout today-I feel it….but not in the burned out going-to-be-sick kind of way like before. I came home feeling tired but fabulous. After a rest I even cooked dinner-and not a quick fry either. I never would have been able to do that after a cane-less walk, and today I did 3 times the distance!
In terms of the physical benefits other than not falling on my ass & making me hate the world, I noticed immediately that I was standing tall & straight (unlike before) and it felt “off” -it forced me to keep good posture, which feels uncomfortable, but in a good way-like physio
. Also, walking with the cane, it really slows you down & forces you to stay at a steady pace as opposed to rushing to keep up with other pedestrians which kindly kept away leaving me lots of room.
I had 2 major thoughts the whole time:
“OMG! OMG! This is WAY easier!!! This feels GREAT!!!!!! I want to do this every day!!!!!!”
“Why f*ck did I wait so long?? Because my stupid ego, dumbass. I could have spared myself a year of anguish!!! Cazzo!”
All these weeks I have been worried about how ugly it was…but once I was out there, it felt SO good, it never even crossed my mind. The second you touch it, its instant relief. You still get queasy here and there still, and you’ll till wobble a bit…but still, the difference is ASTOUNDING!!!!
Today I fell in love with that cane. I’m in love, totally and completely. L-O-V-E it. I want to dress it up & give it a name kind of love. Seriously.
So, moral of the story: If you have a balance problem that isn’t getting better or is getting worse, and you don’t have a quad cane because its too ugly for your cool self, get the f*ck over it quick. That quad cane turns torture to comfort, panic to peace-if you have to live in this condition, you should at least be kind enough to yourself to be as comfortable as possible, and with the cane, I was pretty darned cozy.
IMPORTANT-Buy your cane at a reputable supplier that knows how to measure & fit it properly for your height!!!