Twist or Stick

For some time I have been debating with myself as to whether I should get a walking stick.  I guess a major part of it is that I don’t want to admit to myself that I need one and I also worry about the reaction of others – weirdly both positively and negatively.

My hips, legs, and feet get so sore from walking just a short distance or standing for any period of time.  I get a lot of sensory overloads which affect my balance.  If I am honest I am frightened that I am going to fall over in public and to have something to lean on I think will go a long way to giving me a bit more confidence if I am out of the house.

In the last couple of days, I bit the bullet and ordered a collapsible lightweight stick.  I tried to find one that isn’t too “old”, “invalid-like” or overt – not that easy I might add.  It arrived yesterday and as soon as I unpacked it and tried it out I knew I had made the right decision.  I immediately felt safer walking and more comfortable.  I would encourage anyone in similar circumstances to go for it – it sounds strange but I feel reassured by my stick like I have an old friend walking with me.

Tomorrow my son is playing football.  I love watching him play and he adores his football matches.  The only issue is standing outside for an hour or more is agony – sheer agony.  Not that I want him to know that and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  But now I feel less trepidation about going knowing I can rely on my stick.  Of course, I will need my wife to get us there and to help me but I feel like I am somehow more independent, I feel a bit more empowered, no longer quite as imprisoned by this illness.

I am worried about what people will think, though.  No doubt it will draw the inevitable questions and I will have to explain the signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and prognosis of ME/CFS probably several times.  But, you know what, that is also a good thing.  The more people who are well informed the more that can be done to beat this illness.  So bring it on – my stick and I are ready or you!

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Author: Jonathan

Hello! My name is Jonathan. I have ME/CFS and have done so for around 2 years. I live in rural Aberdeenshire with my wife and our dog Trudy. I am originally from the Outer Hebrides where most of my family still live. After school I left home to study psychology at The University of St. Andrews and moved to Aberdeen after graduation. In 2004 I joined what was Grampian Police, now Police Scotland, where I have enjoyed a varied career in a number of operational, community and partnership based roles including a 2 year sabbatical working in residential child care. Prior to developing ME/CFS I was a keen cyclist, runner, climber and skier. I love the outdoors, always have since I was a child, and I try to spend as much time outside as I can. I have never blogged before so this is a whole new experience for me. I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

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