walking with cane: Hi guys I walk in house... - Ataxia UK

Ataxia UK
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walking with cane

Hi guys I walk in house without cane but now when I go out I use my husbands arm cannot go outside on my own. Any tips on getting me walking again outside with cane than that way i could go out again by myself thanks guys!

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I have found a walking stick really useful when I am out.i can walk fine but it's when I stop or change direction that I have issues. The stick helps me with this. Try it. Good luck

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2 crutches, rollator?

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I got by with a quad cane for a time, the wider footprint gave me stability and didn't wobble when I leaned into it. The important thing is to feel safe while you are out and confident that you can get back.

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As well as a walker and a rollator I use two walking sticks with big round rubber things on them to walk ashort distance. They look awful but stops me falling over. I can get out of the house and into the car without my husbands helpand then visit some one and get to their door on my own. Its taken me years to accept that I need aids but I am suddenly alot more independant again.

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The nearest sensation I have to walking 'normally' is by using my rollator. Most of us can say that just pushing a supermarket trolley around feels liberating, gait is much more relaxed, and it's possible to look around without falling over😊

I have a walking stick/cane as well but it doesn't give me the same sense of freedom from symtoms 😊xB

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Thats so true a supermarket trolley is so liberating.

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I find that a cane does not offer the same stability that a walking pole provides. I feel so secure and free to go with them. It take a little practice to get the rhythm of walking with two but I love it. They make me feel like a whole person again. If you decide to buy some be sure you get good ones. There are different bottoms that you can get. I have the stability bottoms. They look like the bottom of a regular cane. The brand I have are Activator and I purchased them at the place where I go for physical therapy. To see what I mean you can check them out at urbanpoling.com. They have made such a difference for me.

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I"ve got lots of canes, (four to be precise, although I can't use them all at once! ha). I have a quad cane too but can honestly say that I have never felt stable enough (I used to walk with two sticks). As my balance has worsened, I have found my rollator very useful for around the house and outside. It gives a lot more confidence and stability. Even my GP commented on how much more confident I am using it. It gives me much more independence too.

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Dear Foffee11, Like you, I'm able to walk, extremely carefully, in my home without my cane. When I go out on my own, I use a cane, although I'd feel more secure with a rollator. I know that because the shops and grocery stores I go into have carts to push with two hands...,I love that! The cane I use has a quad rubber tip, therefore it stands up on it's own, which is handy! The larger metal quad base made a cane too heavy for my liking. I do have an Access Active Rollator for pleasure walking outside, weather permitting. I keep it in the back of my SUV (vehicle), although it's a bit heavy for me to take out on a regular basis. I'd like a lighter weight one for that. Anyway, when I go out with my husband, I still use my cane in one hand and hold his hand with the other. You may want to try that to get use to having a cane for when you go out alone. Others have made wonderful suggestions with using two canes, walking sticks, or poles, one in each hand or a light weight rollator (one you can take out of your vehicle by yourself with ease). My best to you...,;o)

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Hi foffee11 - I understand exactly what you say. I too am able to get around indoors with little problem (a bit of "furniture-walking" is needed sometimes though).

Problems only really arise outdoors though. If I am with someone, then I can hang onto their arm. But I don't like to feel dependent on others all of the time. The only other option is to use a cane (it's actually longer than a "normal" stick, because I find that I need it more when I am standing still (!) or, as "anihol" says, when I am changing direction or moving up/down a step (about 4" - normal kerb height - is my current limit without using the stick).

Using a stick does mean getting used to condescending looks, and sometimes comments, from complete strangers though, so it wasn't an easy decision. However, it is fairly inevitable that you WILL need to use a stick, at the very least. So better to do it now, with no broken bones, than do it later - after a serious fall makes it the only choice if you want to retain some form of independence.

You do get used to using a stick outdoors. And people get used to seeing you with one.

I like the sound of proper walking poles. This is not the first time I've seen them recommended. So they will be my next stop.

Take care, Iain

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Hi there "Foffee",

I try not to use a cane indoors or out though a NYC PT told me there is no benefit to this. Lately I am finding this challenging and everyone whom I know personally has told me I'm nuts not to use a cane. But I seem too young. Also, I find the cane quite destabilizing.I want to get Nordic Walking poles but dont know where to get them . Outside,lately, I take my husband's arm--a fact he is not always comfortable with.

But as to your question. I found an adult tricycle to be quite useful. I bought mine used so it was quite cheap. Turns are do-able but dicey: Go slow!!

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Hi Foffee et al

As always lots of helpful advice and personal stories to compare what works for others.

My concern is how easy it is to accept the symptoms and ignore the problem. Wobbliness is a symptom of loss of brain cells. Slurring speech another symptom. We need to keep them in perspective and know they are symptoms and ones we need to address to make life bearable. All the suggestions will help with symptomatic relief, they won't do much about brain cell loss.

I have used, and still use walking poles. Mine were only cheap from Go Outdoors, a big outdoor equipment retailer in the UK ? I used them To retrain my gait and hip movement. I have widened and lengthened my stride, helpful when walking alone, but not much good in crowded places. My objective was to use my physical body to set up new pathways in my brain, avoiding the broken pathways affected by cell death in my cerebellum. Equally I have used and continue to use feedback devices to improve my speech and again forge new pathways in my brain.

All this is hard work and requires putting time aside to practice. When I don't the wobbliness and slurring get worse. The old pathways are still there and will take over if I don't keep up the effort to use the new ones.

I know some people on here think I have a Pollyanna and unrealistic view of ataxia. This is not the case. I saw how quickly it devastated my sister's life, causing her to avoid her own family and live like a hermit. I know from my 25 years plus work as a professional therapist and psychotherapist that the western medical model has some definite blind spots. If the disease can't be fixed by surgery or pills then it's unfixable!

Most weeks there are stories of people written off by the medical professional who have defied a prognosis of death or disability to recover enough to be in charge of their life again. Guess what, they used their own inbuilt healing system, which is discounted by our western medical system and often disabled to allow drugs to take over. These people will also have spent hours everyday working on themselves, trying and failing, but trying again until they succeed. There is no quick fix for ataxia, but I firmly believe we are all capable of working around it. BUT .. It will take some hard work. The choice of whether to do the hard grind or just give in and let others take the strain for us is down to each of us and must be an individual decision. If that is the right choice for you then take it, knowing your progress will be slowly or possibly quickly downhill.

If you want to fight back and keep your independence, then use any aids available to you to enable you to do just that. Always keep in mind the objective is to use the natural plasticity of your brain to make new pathways and use the new cells you are making in the right places to counteract the damage already done by ataxia before you became aware of it.

Nigel

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Right on Nigel thanks so much to every one let's get running:)

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