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Thread: Questions for "Full-Time" Walkers

  1. #1
    Senior Member uscmolly's Avatar
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    Questions for "Full-Time" Walkers

    I'm really trying to work to get my percentage of chair use down and walk more, but I'm struggling with a few areas. I hope those of you who walk full-time or most of the time can give me some insight into how you accomplish certain things. Here's some of my questions. If you could let me know your injury level and what equipment you use for walking, that would help too.

    1. If you use orthotics, do you leave them on all day?
    2. How do you handle showers?
    3. If you use a walker/crutches/2 canes, how do you move stuff around the house?
    4. Do you ever use a chair? Where?

    Any tips or advice on how to make the transition would be appreciated too

    TIA!
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

  2. #2
    Senior Member fishin'guy's Avatar
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    I can answer the "do you wear them all the time", my therapist wants me to work up to almost all the time, so good luck. I imagine the item of how to carry things when your in the forarm crutches, is a good question, don't know.

  3. #3
    Molly, don't know if I can be of much help to you, but you can ask anything you want, here or pm.

    Before surgery, I was barely able to walk with a cane and holding onto someone. It got to where I was using a w/c more and more. After the surgery, posterier,decompression, and rods/pins at c-4-5-6 (and time to heal) I was able to walk again with one cane. In the twelve months after surgery I got strong enough to drive short distances again and finally to go to the store by myself again.

    I did what exercises I could, I did'nt have any insurance, so no PT. Then last December my lower back got worse and my legs weaker. Could fine nothing new with my spine, but accidently found a bad kidney when checking my circulation with a ct scan. I'm hoping I'll be able to get stronger again (legs and lower back). My legs are'nt any better, but my back does'nt hurt as much as it did. It's only been eighteen days since the surgery, so I guess I'm kind of rushing it.

    As far as how I carried anything, I found it easier to balance with a bag across my shoulder. I've seen some people use back packs. I think it depends on what kind of balance you have. Shoes, I have to wear athletic shoes. No flats, no sandles, nothing neat.......

  4. #4
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    Well, here we go, oh boy,,,,,,,

    1. No orthotics, they were never offered

    2.Yes and no, I have one and did for the first 5 years. Now Not really

    3. Walker for 4 1/2 years than a quad cane, than a single now, very rarely, move stuff took time, i'm like a bull in a china shop.

    4. Never, would not let my self use one.

    Every transition was hard, but I was pig headed and never wanted to look back.

  5. #5
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    1. I wear AFO's and wear them all day. I only take them off when I sleep or back in the south when it was really really hot and they bothered me.

    2. I usually sit on a stool in the tub but since the house I rented only has a shower, I wear a croc sandle on one foot with the afo and shower standing up. I will be glad to have a normal tub again

    3. I use baskets, bags and whatever else to carry things around the house. I did recently purchase a laundry cart like they have in laundry mats and it is wonderful (from amazon.com). At work I purchased a file cart and I am debating on getting them to order one for the house. I hang on to it like a shopping cart and can walk without my cane. It has a top basket and bottom basket and would be perfect for the house.

    http://www.amazon.com/Fellowes-40914...5451868&sr=8-1

    4. No never brought one home with me. They wanted to measure and order and I said no. Big mistake...I am going to pay for it when I am older with worn out joints/knees.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  6. #6
    Molly, I am a walker. Took me almost 5 months to work my way out of the chair. I used a walker for a long time then progressed to a quad cane for probably close to 6 months. Then to a single cane, pretty tricky at first but my accident happened .... will be 7 yrs this Oct. I never used any kind of crutches, just the walker then the q-cane, I still use my cane today. I am NOT a pretty walker because I walk on my heels but at least I can walk. I usually have to lay daown 2-3 times a day just to get off them for a while because they feel Like I walk on broken glass, best way I know to say it. once in a while I will still use my walker to get to the shower but then on my own in it. we have a very small shower so I can lean on the sides if needed. anything else you want to ask you can always pm if you don't want to put it on the open forum.
    Doug

  7. #7
    Just a tidbit on orthotics, you are supposed to wear them all the time, with the exception of sleeping or not wearing shoes.


  8. #8
    I can't wear my KAFO for more than 4-6 hours without having skin breakdown. My AFO I seem to be able to wear longer. So I plan my day around what would be possible to do in my chair and what really requires me to be able to be up on my feet.
    I also struggle with carrying things. Using any kind of bag throws me off balance.
    I use my chair if I am doing something that requires alot of carrying.

    I think it is fine to use a chair sometimes and walk others. There really isn't a need to get rid of the chair all together if using it sometimes makes you more functional or improves your quality of life. If my brace fit better, I might be able to manage never using my chair - but I would just be "managing" not really living because I would be less independant and too exhausted to enjoy anything. Walking is great and I will never stop doing it or give up improving my walking but often I am still more independant in my chair than I am on my feet.
    C3/4 Brown Sequard

  9. #9
    Senior Member uscmolly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie-Bug View Post
    Just a tidbit on orthotics, you are supposed to wear them all the time, with the exception of sleeping or not wearing shoes.
    Julie, why is this? I can't see a reason to keep them on if I'm not going to be out walking.
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

  10. #10
    Senior Member uscmolly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexAgain View Post
    I think it is fine to use a chair sometimes and walk others. There really isn't a need to get rid of the chair all together if using it sometimes makes you more functional or improves your quality of life. If my brace fit better, I might be able to manage never using my chair - but I would just be "managing" not really living because I would be less independant and too exhausted to enjoy anything. Walking is great and I will never stop doing it or give up improving my walking but often I am still more independant in my chair than I am on my feet.
    I totally agree, but I think doing what is easier is keeping me from walking more. I'm just trying to push myself to the best of my ability. Getting my walking endurance up will allow me to do a few things that otherwise I wouldn't be able to do. I don't think I'll ever get rid of my chair...too speedy and functional for certain activities
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

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