Adventures in Rehab

Only someone who has had to spend two months using a walker can understand the excitement of graduating to a cane. Don’t get me wrong — today’s walker is an engineering marvel. They not only fold in seconds for car rides but can be flipped into service at the blink of an eye. But contrary to what I thought, people do not put tennis balls on the back support legs in an attempt to make a fashion statement. The rubber feet the walkers come with will wear out, fall off, scratch floors, etc. Definitely replace them with tennis balls asap.

Of course my first cane will be one of those medically approved jobbers and I will have to prove to the therapist that I know how to use it correctly. (Who knew there was a right way and a wrong way to use a cane? Ah, the things you learn in rehab!) But once I’ve mastered that skill, I’m moving onto the posh canes. Maybe I’ll even get one that serves a purpose other than to steady my pace.

Nanny McPhee’s walking stick was magic although not at all fancy-looking by design!
The knob on John Hammond’s cane (Jurassic Park) contained a mosquito with dinosaur DNA.
Charlie Chaplin used a cane which was actually an Irish fighting stick known as a Shillelagh.

I’m not a magic nanny, a mad scientist or a fighting Irishman. The only writer I can think of who used a cane was Oscar Wilde.

His cane contains his initials and the number of the prison cell where he spend time for indecency. The harshness of the prison exasperated his already fragile health.

Oh dear. All these canes have a back story or a purpose. What shall mine be? Gored by a rhino during a safari? Fell off the cliff while climbing Everest? Certainly it can’t be tripped over my own feet and face planted on a slate floor! That hardly warrants a fancy walking stick now does it?

*** Photos are from Bing Images

23 thoughts on “Adventures in Rehab

  1. After I broke my back the second time, I had to learn to walk again… I never got a walker, I got crutches, then a hospital jobby walking stick. When I finally got to have my own cane I called it Simon and Simon helped me loads. The good news, which I hope will help you is I don’t need Simon anymore! I hope you won’t need your walking stick very soon.💜😂

  2. I somehow missed your accident, JT. I can only hope and pray your recovery is quick. My parents had to deal with walkers and canes. I’m glad they had the help but they weren’t going to improve which was very different.

    1. My mother had a fancy walker that she could actually use as a seat when she got tired. By then she was also on oxygen. My ankle will probably never be the same but there are so many cool walking sticks that I might as well enjoy them.

  3. Hi Jan, I am sure you are pleased to have graduated to a cane. My husband is starting rehab physio today. He was in hospital for 2 1/2 weeks with encephalitis and a blood clot on the brain. Somehow, at some point, his left arm was dislocated and its been in a sling for 3 weeks.

    1. Oh boy, I hope your husband gets loving therapists! They can make a world of difference. It’s pretty easy to dislocate a shoulder – I’ve done it a couple of times. It is painful though.

      1. Hi Jan, he never even noticed the shoulder dislocation because the headaches from the encephalitis were so bad. He’d been in ICU for two days before the physio picked it up. He is now seeing my physio (I have back troubles) and she is lovely.

  4. I knew you have to learn how to use a cane. Not from personal experience but when my mother did– something she resisted vehemently. Love the photos of the various canes. A fun retrospective that will inspire you to use yours. Stay safe

    1. I was surprised by the number of people both real and fictional who made canes a statement about who they were. Even Chaplin whose use of an ancient fighting stick was probably a slight against the British.

  5. The finely turned thigh bone of a Siberian mammoth? Or African ostrich?
    A whittled floorboard from Steinbeck’s writer’s cabin?
    An extendable pool cue? A hiker’s pole?
    Maybe a cane of hazel containing a witches wand? Or stiletto?

  6. That tennis balls at the bottom of your walker is STILL a thing is just crazy to me. Can’t they design a better walker? Of course, there are the ones with wheels, but in some cases I’m sure those get away from a person.

    I borrowed a can from a neighbor a few months ago when I was having balance issues. It probably came from the drug store, was nothing pretty or fancy, but I relished shaking it in the air at a driver that cruised through the red light and turned right without even glancing to see if there were any pedestrians to worry about. It was so satisfying, I almost wanted to go buy a cane, just for shaking angrily in the air.

    1. There are much spiffier walkers you can buy but I’m not quite there yet. Mine is the cheap generic variety, thus I didn’t mind sacrificing a few tennis balls. Cane and walking sticks do come in handy for dealing with bad drivers! Especially if you can use them to cast spells!

  7. Dear Jan, it is truly a time to celebrate when you move from walker to cane. It is a whole world, this serious and humbling event of suffering a devastating fall, and each step forward is a celebration. When I was laid up for many, many months after injury, I found great solace in watching old dancing movies from the 1930s and 1940s. I can recommend Fred Astaire to dazzle you with his mastery of dancing with a cane. Congratulations on moving forward.

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