Home > Psoriatic Arthritis > Walking sticks, canes etc

Walking sticks, canes etc

So back to the present moment of today, I once again have to get used to the laser vision stares that come my way as I walk down the street. A seemingly healthy guy with a cane just seems to draw a lot of eyes. For some reason, strangers always feel the need to ask me what sport I was playing when I got my “injury”. Uh, I got into a cage match with my immune system, and my immune system seems to have won. I am tired of pretending to be a soccer player, but they always seem to like that response and leave happy. (I used to answer by saying that I had rheumatoid arthritis, but that never seemed to work — too many blank stares, and too many comments on my age.) I was once even asked if I had gotten hurt while mountain climbing. How adventurous of me, no?

RA Guy – On Becoming Visible

Okay, I know I have “disclosure issues”. i.e. I don’t like telling people I have arthritis because, quite frankly it’s none of their business.  I don’t want their sympathy and I don’t want their crappy fish oil/no tomato/no potato cures.

So I can really relate to this post “on becoming visible”, I have used a walking stick in the past, I have a couple. I started of with a nicely carved solid wood one. It really helped, I was in a lot less pain, for about a week. Trouble was, I was putting so much weight through the stick that my hand shoulder etc started to hurt and I quickly realised that I would rather have sore feet than a sore hand. What I couldn’t cope with were the “laser vision stares”. I would rather be in pain. Vain but true.

A few years on I got a different stick, more of a hiking pole, but with a nice comfy handle. It also had a bit of a spring in it so it was easeir on my hand/arm. It was still a stick.  Young people, who look fit and healthy with a cane attract stares.  Everyone is trying to work out “what is wrong with you”, if you look to be walking okay (maybe becuase you’ve just left the house but you know you’ve got an hours shopping to do). people assume you are “faking it” or “attention seeking”.

The other thing that nobody gets is that with arthritis you can be up and down faster than a bloody yo-yo.  I can need a stick one week and not the next.  This does no mean I am “getting better”. Using a stick does not mean I am “getting worse”.  No one understands flares until they live with them. For me, it’s easier to put up with the pain than face other peoples judgment. For now anyway, I don’t know what I’ll do when I can’t lean on the pushchair!!


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