Always use the right tool for the job
It is vital that you always use right tool for the job. In my case I must find aids that help to keep me safe. The first thing to do, unless you have done it already, work out what causes you the biggest problem. Now concentrate on how to find solutions to the problem. Accidents can hurt you both physically and mentally, I am saying this with the benefit of experience. Accidents can also reduce your self confidence.
Problem is balance
Nowadays the biggest issue is my problem with balance. My MS consultant describes me as a ‘frequent faller’, he’s probably correct. It all started off in the winter of 2003. I was working in Northern Holland and very nearly took an unplanned visit into a frozen canal, It would have been a one way trip. Next day I bought a walking stick. I used it more as a warning signal to other people that my balance is not good. At the time that was the right tool.
No one gives me a second glance
A couple of years later I did an upgrade to one Leki walking pole. After another couple of years I advanced to two. Meanwhile my drop foot was getting worse so I started to use a MuSmate. By now walking any distance was hard work. I was working abroad and was using Gatwick & Heathrow airports. Inevitably it is a long walk from the departure lounge to the gate. I swallowed my pride and was now ferried around in a wheelchair.
I have now abandoned the Leki poles and use a rollator or a mobility scooter. No one gives me a second glance but it means I have my independence. Over a period of 10 years I have had to upgrade the tools the allow me to be independent. I’m sure in years to come there will be further upgrades.
Time to grow up
I’m not saying that these items will be as useful to you as they are to me. I found them by luck, good fortune or someone else recommended them to me. As far as I am concerned I have found the right tool for the job, keeping me on my feet and mobile. Wih time I have had to chane the tool I know people who are too proud to use the items I have described. They struggle on and hope for the best. I’m sorry but you have got to man-up and be a realist
The series of articles
This is one of a series of articles, Managing day to day life with multiple sclerosis is the introductory article. The next article n the series is Pace your life. Walking is good for you is the previous article in the series.