I prefer not to use a cane, but when I do I have a delightful assortment to choose from.
Back in 2003, when I set out to purchase my first cane, I gravitated toward “quiet” canes... canes that would not command much attention, but Jake stopped me in my tracks. “If you're going to use a cane,” he said, “USE A CANE! Make a statement! Be bold!” With that advice in mind, I chose a red paisley cane that was sure to get noticed. I never regretted that decision.
Beyond the fashion statement, though, my cane announces to everyone in the vicinity that I am not quite able-bodied, and that maybe I should be given a little extra slack. It is a symbol as clear as the handicapped placard in a parking space. With only a few exceptions, I have found it to be quite effective.
The only problem with that lies in those “in between” times. Those days when I can get by without the cane, but still need a little TLC, if you know what I mean. A casual bump in the crowd or someone passing by me quickly is likely to throw off my balance just enough to send me for a spin. On those days, I carry the cane as a symbol. It clearly tells people to be just a tiny bit more careful around me. Like when a truck has the wide load sign on the back.
Even more tricky than that is when I am with people who actually know me. They tend to judge my status by the presence of the cane.
She's got the cane, give her some room... uh oh, the cane is out, take it easy on her... how're you feeling?
And then the reverse. No cane? Great! You're back to full strength!... Glad you're all better!... Let's go!
I'm not really better, but now expectations are high. Hmmm... I think I”m catching on. Cane = health status.
Live and learn. My cane serves two purposes. Now even if I'm feeling fairly steady, I bring my cane to places where there will be crowds, or lines, or reason to stand for long periods of time. I keep my trusty friend handy, not only to steady myself, but to serve as a sign post. Warning... allow wide berth... do not over exert.
By the way...
* A fold up cane is priceless. You can take it with you anywhere and feel secure. Especially good for traveling.
* An adjustable cane will solve the problem of height differential when wearing heels versus flats.
* A wrist strap can be a great help when running errands like grocery shopping.
Published On: November 06, 2008