Monday, December 10, 2007


Walking with Canes

I'd love to say that walking with canes is easy, I'd love to say that I'm able to do everything with the canes that I can do with my crutches. Unfortunately this is not the case. As I've said before it's almost like learning to walk all over again. The exertion causes my back to hurt, I sweat profusely, and I can't go nearly as fast as I can with the crutches. (I move like an 80 year old man!)

I've been practicing with them since last Friday, November 30th. Mostly at church and at work. On a flat surface I do pretty well (tile is easier than carpet). I'm even able to go over a curb (up), up and down stairs, and increase speed slightly. Going up an incline is no challenge at all.

However, going down an incline is extremely difficult. I almost fell last week at therapy when I attempted to go down a ramp. In order to avoid falling I had to turn into a wall and Renee had to stabilize me before I continued on. I almost fell at work while walking in the restaurant. I'm not really sure what happened, one minute I was walking fine, the next minute both legs were going opposite directions. I caught myself but my housekeeping supervisor was scared out of her wits!

At church this Sunday I tried to step off a curb. The canes didn't give me the support I needed and neither did the legs. As I was stepping off the curb I lost my balance, dropped a cane, and had to grab my father to avoid falling. Dad's been having back issues so I'm sure this didn't help him.

Later that day I went to visit my Grandfather with my cousin Chuck. On the way out of his building there's a very slight slant down towards the parking lot. (When I say very slight I mean minimal, almost unnoticeable.) Half way to the car I couldn't walk any further. I'm not sure why, but I just didn't have the balance to trust that I wouldn't fall if I took another step. I asked Dad to get my crutches from the car. As soon as I had the crutches on my arms I was able to walk comfortably at a normal pace, as if there was nothing wrong at all.

The fact is, walking with the canes is scary! I realize some of this is in my head. Before getting the C-legs I was prepared to fall, and it happened at least once a week. Since I've had them I haven't fallen once. Now I've almost fallen three times in the last week. The other part of this is that every time I've walked outside with the canes it's been either raining or wet from recent rain. The conditions, the physical exertion, and my own fear make it very difficult.

With all this in mind, I haven't fallen yet, only almost fallen. I'm continuing to practice with them and this obviously justifies continued physical therapy. (Renee was talking about discharging me the last time I was there.) I've also noticed a marked improvement in the way I walk with the crutches since I started practicing with the canes. Interesting, huh?

Keep your chin up, it will come in time.
I have faith!

Looking forward to seeing you at the Party :-)
It's interesting to read about how different it is to walk with canes versus crutches -- hard to believe there's that much difference! It sounds like your walking muscles are definitely being strengthened in this process.

Keep up the good work!


You are really amazing.
Jeremy, did you ever think about having more challenge in your life??? Every time you turn around?? It almost sounds like Emeril, "let's kick it up a notch!" every time you start to get comfortable. And to top it all off, winter in Indiana is a definite challenge.
Hope your dad's back is doing better. Has he thought about pilates after he recuperates?
Love, and congratulations,
80 year old man...Now how would you know that? many times have you been 80? Not once.
I love the Emeril comment. Let's kick this up a notch in the YOU KNOW Where. Remember the words from Handel's Messiah...The crocked straight and rough places plane. That's a wish for you and the whole world. It an attention getter. Enough, enough. have and are working very hard and we all notice that. Consider yourself a role model even though you don't want the notice. Hope to see you Sunday, if not this one, the next one.
I can do anything through the Good Lord who strengthens me....Jeremy lean a little bit to your left...
In time, in time you will be running a marathon however, you must train for the race ahead. Keep up your hard work, you may not think it's paying off but you are encouraging the rest of us to get up and learn how to walk all ove again in so many ways....
Thanks for the pep talk, I needed it.
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