Walking stick

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AmyAcorn
AmyAcorn Member Posts: 29
edited 11. Feb 2020, 12:36 in Living with arthritis
I'm looking for some advice please. I've had RA for about 8 years now but after it being pretty quiet for about 4 years it's been the worst it's ever been for the past 9 months. Over this past month or so I have had such severe fatigue that I'm sometimes finding it hard to move about because I feel so weak. I've been on Hydroxychloroquine for about 6 weeks so still waiting for that to start working (been told it can take up to 12 weeks) and I also take naproxen and cocodamol for pain relief but nothing seems to touch the fatigue. I have been back and forth about the idea of getting a walk stick to help me get about a bit easier when I'm feeling exhausted and weak but for some reason I have it in my mind that I will be seen as a failure or something for using a walking stick (especially as I'm only 36). What are people's though on walking sticks and other aids?

Thanks 😊
Amy

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  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I have psoriatic arthritis, controlled by humira amd methotrexate, and osteoarthritis, for which I take cocodamol and do sensible exercise. I've been using a variety of walking aids since I was 42: my view has always been that, in addition to easing the strain on my affected joints, they enable me to go further and do more. As for what others think, I don't think they do as they are too involved in their own lives to notice little ole me. Even if they do notice so what? Are they diseased and in constant pain? Nah, probably not. Twerps. Don't know what they're missing! :lol:

    The stick should be held in the opposite hand to the affected joint, with it adjusted so the hand is at hip height. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • GavinMK
    GavinMK Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    AmyAcorn wrote:
    I'm looking for some advice please. I've had RA for about 8 years now but after it being pretty quiet for about 4 years it's been the worst it's ever been for the past 9 months. Over this past month or so I have had such severe fatigue that I'm sometimes finding it hard to move about because I feel so weak. I've been on Hydroxychloroquine for about 6 weeks so still waiting for that to start working (been told it can take up to 12 weeks) and I also take naproxen and cocodamol for pain relief but nothing seems to touch the fatigue. I have been back and forth about the idea of getting a walk stick to help me get about a bit easier when I'm feeling exhausted and weak but for some reason I have it in my mind that I will be seen as a failure or something for using a walking stick (especially as I'm only 36). What are people's though on walking sticks and other aids?

    Thanks 😊
    Amy

    I'm 41 and mentioned in another chat that I'm not ready for a wheelchair...

    However I have, over the years, looked at walking sticks and I think you can get some pretty awesome sticks depending on your personality.

    I also think they are great for many uses other than just helping you walk, you can push things from a distance, defend against muggers, do an impromptu dance :lol:

    if you're worried about what other people think then I'd just recommend getting one that suits your personality.

    I saw one once that had a straw and a vile of whiskey attached... going to use that when I have my next work evaluation I think
    grumble
  • stellabean
    stellabean Member Posts: 307
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I am 60 yrs old and have used a walking stick since I was 45 now I use 2 crutches.I have OA, RA (in remission) 3 damaged discs in my neck spinal degeneration Crohns disease and several others problems. I use crutches to help when I have extra pain, am feeling more tired that usual, to give me more stability ( neurosurgeon said don't fall on your outstretched arms) and to enable me to do more than I could without them. Most people when I go out to the town (not very often) are so engrossed in their mobile phones they only notice me if I haven't been quick enough to avoid them walking into me. If they say anything I usually reply "Try looking where you are walking for a change". I would love for them to have to walk a day in my shoes that is if they could wear size 4 with special insoles ( my feet are a mess).
    My neurosurgeon also told me to just use a wheelchair but I haven't yet and if using walking aids keeps me on my feet then that is how I am going. Just make use the stick is the correct length for you. I bought some at a store selling aids and I wasn't totally happy or comfortable with them. I found out several weeks later they were wrong and had caused strain to my lower back.
  • phoenixoxo
    phoenixoxo Member Posts: 625
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Amy,

    Are you new? Welcome to the forum :)

    I use two sturdy grey NHS crutches indoors and a powered wheelchair outside. That's been the case since February 2011, when I was involved in an accident resulting in a serious injury to my right knee. I've been told I can't have any surgery due to a circulation problem, so I'm very much in the 'grin-and-bear-it' camp when it comes to mobility aids in general.

    That said, I do remember being in your shoes, so to speak, or similar shoes, when I was in my mid-20s (2005 or so) and thinking about getting a single crutch to help me with my arthritis, as at that stage it wasn't under control and I had a lot of pain and tiredness.

    I had a physio appointment in which I tried out a crutch and a walking stick. I preferred the crutch because I liked the fact that I could hold it securely around my arm. My fingers were swollen and I was worried I might drop a walking stick and have to ask someone for help to pick it up again. Well, I suppose I could have taken a pick-up stick out with me too, but then I'd have run out of arms altogether :lol:

    Of course you might not have this concern about dropping things, so perhaps you could have a physio appointment, try out the options, and go for whatever works for you. I haven't really looked into colourful walking aids, but I know they're available.

    Best wishes,
    Phee
    PsA (psoriatic arthritis) and other things since 1990. Happy to help when I can :-)
  • AmyAcorn
    AmyAcorn Member Posts: 29
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks to everyone for their responses, I think I probably just need to get over myself and get one lol.
    I think I perhaps just over think things sometimes and worry that people will think I'm a fraud or something (as people can't see the pain you're in).
    I've been off work this week as I've over done it on the overtime (unfortunately my boss doesn't seem to get that I need to take things easy) and ended up making my arthritis worse. I think I was more worrying what people at work would think of I had a walking stick but I guess I shouldn't really care what they think lol

    Xx
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Amy
    go for it, I got my first walking stick aged 33, best thing I ever did. I did get a smart one for work and a funky one for home.
    There are some nice ones out there
    Good luck
    Best Wishes
    Sharon
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Amy, we all need tó 'get over ourselves' at times. I remember the first time I had to use a wheelchair. I felt a total fraud. In fact I made sure no-one could see me getting out of it in case that proved I was a fraud. (Was I planning to sleep in it :? :lol: )

    As long as the people whom you care about and whose opinions you value know you need a stick, what do the rest of the world matter? (If they mutter about it, you have a useful weapon :wink: )

    Bosses do have to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people. Why not print off some of Versus Arthritis' info for him / her? As you say, pain is invisible but a few expert words might help convince.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • N1gel
    N1gel Member Posts: 161
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Walking sticks can be very cool! I bought a black wooden one with a silver band when I was in my 30's. Great if you want to be served quickly, just whack it down on the counter :lol:

    Wheelchairs can be cool too, you can run over people's feet in supermarkets and they apologise to you! :? :D

    Seriously, I realised I was missing out on a lot of the things I used to enjoy (like seeing exhibitions) because I didn't have the stamina to walk round. So using a wheelchair has given me back my freedom (just make sure you keep doing leg exercises).
  • mumofboys3
    mumofboys3 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi. I'm 42 but I've had a walking stick for years, since my early 30s. I did however get myself one with pretty purple flowers on it, a little bit more feminine :) I understand what you mean tho about not being ready. Recently used a mobility scooter in the supermarket that I was adamant to my husband I didn't need yet. I did. I relented and tried one and it really helped. I'd definitely recommend anything that makes it easier for you x