Since 1996, my walking balance has always been pretty poor. In '98 it got a lot worse but a couple of years after that improved but my balance was always quite bad at times.
Despite the balance issues I used to walk around unaided and I preferred to use my legs rather than not use them.
So for years I have been walking with no real aid.
A few years ago I went to Devon with my parents and it was also around this time of my life that I found walking was getting to be more of a chore for me, I had slowed down a lot and my left leg muscles kind of felt heavy and tired.
I found a bit of driftwood on a beach and decided to use it as a walking stick. It helped greatly on my stay and when I got back home I decided to use a proper walking stick and it just so happend that we had a walking stick that was originally my great aunties, so I was quite honoured to use it.
The stick, or should I say cane, is great and has offered a lot of help but where the handle is metal it can feel uncomfortable to hold at times and it had no wrist strap so I could easily drop it or if on a windy day, it could blow right out of my hand due to a strong gust of wind. Plus also, the foot was a thin rubber tip that could slip on wet surfaces and also the cane isn't quite tall enough for me and overall the cane doesn't offer a great deal of stability for me.
These were picked up by my Headway's manager and she let me use a proper walking stick with a moulded handle which is more comfortable and has more grip. It is taller as well which is better to use on sloped paths. The rubber tip is wider which adds a little more stability, I'm not sure what it is like on wet surfaces just yet as I haven't tried that out yet. I told her that it helped me more and she said I could keep the stick as a present which was nice :).
But all in all, it helps me get around a lot easier so I thank my manager Deborah Robinson for that :).
I sometimes use my cane still at times, if I am doing very little walking I will. But further walking I will use the new stick. I like to use the cane sometimes as it looks dapper and I have had some compliments in the past on the cane :).