British Lung Foundation
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My Magic walking stick!

I have Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, but am not yet on oxygen, and also have long standing circulation problems/angina. Despite my age-lined face, I am told that I usually look healthy! Certainly, I 've had baleful looks from bus drivers because I wouldn't hurry, honking from car drivers if slow crossing the road and irritation shown if I have requested a young person to vacate a Priority Seat on a bus, etc.

Then, last year, I developed arthritis in my hip. Not too badly but enough to make me try using a (folding) walking stick. Wow! It must be a Harry Potter model! Suddenly bus drivers wait for me and even delay starting until I am seated; car drivers are patient and may even stop for me when not at a Crossing; I get offers of help if I drop something while shopping; and last week, on a rare visit to London, several people sprang up at once on a couple of tube journeys!

The most surprising, however, was in Bangkok and Chiang Mai airports this Xmas (en route to visit sons in Australia and NZ). As soon as I approached a queue (check-in, immigration and customs) someone sprang forward and ushered me (and dear wife) either to the head or to a fast-track lane! In fact on one occasion they would not take NO for an answer and insisted I be pushed in a wheelchair all the way to the departure gate. My wife was not so pleased as she struggled to keep up! I have to report that no such assistance was offered at Heathrow or Melbourne, alas.

So, if you feel your difficulties are not adequately recognised while out and about, get yourself a walking stick. I can't guarantee it will be a magic one, but I am sure you will get more recognition.

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Wow Mick who knew a walking stick could make such a difference.

Wishing you well and good luck to you. Xxxx

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Thanks for the tip Mick

Bill

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Next time you travel i think your wife should try a magic stick too. Good luck to both of you.

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My sister finds the same since she started using a stick. She is still amazed by it. It's because you now have a physical sign of disability. x

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It sounds identical to my pushing stick (well it is, going up hills), sometimes it is a leaning stick too. Other times it is a crowd divider as I wave my offensive weapon about in front of me. It can also be used as a door knocker. A wonderful bit of kit, I don't leave home without mine :D

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Thanks for all replies and comments. I forgot to mention that my wonder-stick only cost £6:99. Then I bought a back-up in Thailand for less than £3! Would not recommend going all that way just to buy one yourself though.

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Hahaha 😁

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i am going to get one even if i don't need it yet,in fact i may even get a pair,thanks for the invaluable tip Mick and good luck in your future travels........Skis and a cat with a stick

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That's a very good point Mick89 . Before I got my oxygen I had trouble in crowds especially at the station. People rushing at me caused me to panic a bit as I couldn't move out of the way fast enough. Sometimes they'd crash into me And look annoyed because I hadn't dodged them. And looking at me, you can't tell I'm disabled. So, my daughters asked me to get a stick so people will know I need to go slow. Before I managed to acquire one, I was put on oxygen. I must say people are very kind in most cases. Unseen disabilities are difficult and not talked about much. I wish there was more awareness. Oh, and I really love the idea of a foldy stick. 😊

Thanks for sharing. That was a good and uplifting read.

Cas xx 🍀

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My husband has recently been put on oxygen and whilst he worried about people noticing at first we now realise how much easier it is and how much less explaining we need to do if he uses a lift or needs a seat etc.

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Yes, I find a walking stick very useful at times. I have a folding one with a seat on that stows away nicely in my briefcase sized handbag.

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