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Avoiding assistive devices is not a good idea

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What a wonderful weekend in America’s Pacific Northwest!  I wrung every last bit of energy and physicality from this MS riddled body and, I’m paying for it today, but that’s okay with me.  It’s a control thing for me.  I’m much more willing to tap my own energy to the maximum on my terms than I am to let multiple sclerosis take what and when it wants.

So, today (and last night, really) I’ve got a bit of a hobble when I walk. And, as always, it got me thinking…

At some point, most of us have experienced some form of lower limb weakness.  This symptom can be very scary because it could mean potential disability in the future.   Such (even temporary) symptoms can be a window to a world we would much rather bypass.

If such a symptom is fleeting (meaning a week or two) we may simply chalk it up to the MS flare and get back to our lives; but we’ll always remember it and fear its return.

Many with whom I’ve spoken put off the use of assistive devices for far longer than we should (and I’ve done it as well).  What I didn’t know until some recent physical therapy is that if I don’t use a cane (or whatever you use) when I need it, I may actually be doing damage.

It took a bright physical therapist to put this into simple terms I could understand:  If we’re not using something to help us walk properly, then we are strengthening the muscles that help us limp; not those which help us walk properly…duh!!!

Therefore, last night and this morning as I weebled and wobbled around the house and yard without anything to help, I realize I’m making it easier to walk like this and harder to walk properly.  That’s not what I should be doing.

I’m going to nurse these aches and strains with some stretching today and I’m going to grab a cane (or maybe a forearm crutch, You guys who use canes have really got to try one of these things – but that’s for another day) and walk as properly as I can while I am still able.

Wishing you and your family the best of health.

Cheers,
Trevis

Last Updated:5/11/2009
Important:The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not Everyday Health.
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Date: 06.12.2018, 15:27 / Views: 51192