I should have got a mobility aid a lot sooner than I did. I couldn’t possibly have one, I thought – I’m much too young. One day I went out on a family outing and they decided to go for a long walk. Oh no, I thought. I tried desperately to keep up – my lovely mum trying to hold me upright as the pain increased. I was hobbling along, having to sit on every bench going. The car was now long behind, so I was stuck. I think that was the day my grandad saw how bad I was getting, when he, then in his late 80s could easily out walk me. When we got back he took me straight into a shop to buy my first mobility stick. The choice was an old fashioned floral pattern, or copper. I picked the copper one, but it wasn’t really me.
The stick made a difference – when I reached my saturation point of pain it helped to lean on, and when I was dizzy (quite often) and clumsy (very often) it helped to keep me on my feet.
I then stumbled across a website called Glamsticks where there were rows and rows of beautiful handcrafted sticks. They started from about £20 for a light-weight handpainted one, and went up to about £55 for fully-covered diamante, glitter and more! My first stick I picked was a multicoloured diamante folding walking stick. It was bright, cheerful and didn’t scream disabled. I got stopped constantly to compliment it.
But fickle me wanted more! My next stick was my own design (well, with a lot of help from the lovely owner of Glamsticks!) It was sprayed a pinky-gold, with butterflies and fairies outlined in pink gemstones and glitter. It’s incredibly girly and ever-so-pretty.
But two sticks just isn’t enough! My winter coat was purple, and I needed something to match it. So my next stick was silver with prple swirls all over it. Lovely!
So that gives me three, but which do I pick in summer when I wear a lot of white and blue? I’m saving up for my fourth and probably final stick, which I’d like in shades of ocean blues.
Walking sticks don’t have to be NHS grey any more, but can be fashion statements in their own right. I want a stick that says something about me, and glitter and gemstones are perfect.
Perhaps four aren’t enough. What about one for every day of the week? Well, I’ll give it a go!