Day 23, Gratitude for my Walking Sticks

I am so grateful for my Nordic Walking Sticks! I wish I discovered them a long time ago! They help prevent the most common injuries I get from my disabilities: Meniere’s and no depth perception!

These are great! They attach to your wrists and have a great foot! Also, excellent exercise!

These are great! They attach to your wrists and have a great foot! Also, excellent exercise!

Many people have limitations and disabilities. I’ve avoided the term disability until recently because I’ve seen it become a mind-set. I have no depth perception, and Menierre’s, a disease I inherited from my mother and maternal grandfather -thanks guys, I would have preferred inheriting your good looks! or fast metabolisms.

I grew up thinking stairs were something you either walk or fall down, it was basically a coin toss. I sat in movie theaters with my sisters and friends wearing 3-D movie glasses wondering which version everyone was so excited about, the blue movie or the red movie? In sports, if you throw a ball at me I waved my arms wildly and was unable to prevent being hit in the face. I failed my first driving exam, I hit the car in front of me while attempting parallel parking. I found it hysterically funny but the State trooper in the passenger seat was not amused. Adapting to monocular vision is not easy but necessary to finding your place in the world!

Add in Meniere’s Disease and my life ramped up to a whole new level of fun. I have bilateral Meniere’s and over the last five years, I started having drop attacks. A drop attack means one minute you are standing or walking and the next minute you are flat on your face. There is no warning, your body is unaware you are falling -so, you are unable to use arms to stop your fall. I suspect one of my last falls cracked my tooth and resulted in my dental hell this month.

Reluctantly, I decided I needed a cane. If I can touch something solid my brain can apparently use both points to use as references. A friend offered me a scary aluminum cane with four feet and a sturdy handle… a geriatric aid. Hell no! I went on eBay and bid on several antique walking sticks and lost each bid… Then, as often happens with Serendipity-Googles, I discovered Nordic walking sticks.  I thought they looked very cool, I wasn’t sure they would work or if using one would help but I immediately ordered a pair, with help from ‘Pete’ who emailed for my height, so I would receive the correct size.

I love my walking sticks! I have not fallen since using them. I have a walking belt to which I attach the dogs and I have a stick firmly attached to each hand via a comfy wrist cradle. They have rubber feet, which kind of ‘walk’ with me. This month my dental problems and medications have worsened my Meniere’s, the tinnitus is so loud I look to see what’s ringing, I am tipping and dipping constantly. When I go out I only use one stick and it is wonderful, I have avoided drop attacks because the stick prevent my fall! Also, I can use it to determine how far away from objects I am while walking, no more walking into parked cars, posts and corners! If you know anyone with a balance problem, this would make a great gift!