It's been a week since my last entry and I still don't have anything to say. I feel like I've shared everything there is to share. Dry and raw. That's what I was looking to accomplish through this blog. Twenty three entries... Is that all it took to say everything? Probably not. I often feel compelled to write about things I've already written about. Like I'd love to write about my legs right now. Yes, I will do that.
They hurt! And I felt pretty wobbly today. It's like this: anytime I lean in any direction, to any level, while I'm standing, I feel myself start to tip over... Like a teapot, kind of. I keep tipping for a second and then I jolt myself upright into a 90 degree angle to avoid falling. Sometimes I grab onto a door frame or wall for support. Basically my main problem is that I don't compensate well for a change in posture.
I can get pretty wobbly when I walk, like I can't keep my back straight. So I have to concentrate to avoid swaying too dramatically like a pendulum. Not only would I look stupid by swaying like a pendulum, but such dramatic changes in posture would even further increase the likelihood of me losing my balance and having to catch myself or worse: falling. It hasn't happened yet, though, despite the ice and snow outside! Pendulum walking would also hurt my back after a while. When I stand and sometimes when I walk, I can't seem to keep my feet firmly on the ground. I feel my weight shifting to the back and my toes rise up off the floor.
Until I figured out the mechanics of my balance problem, I didn't really think it was significant because I can stand on one foot and often even walk heel to toe, as if on a tight rope. I felt that surely I didn't need a cane because I could walk and stand unassisted. Yes, sure I can, but it shouldn't be as uncomfortable and difficult as it is.
Lately I've been imagining myself walking and standing with a cane when I feel myself tipping or my legs aching. I've also been noticing people's canes and how they use them. Many people with canes seem to limp or walk gingerly. I've also seen people walk a bit without using the cane -- some people don't rely on it completely! I know my Granddad uses a cane when he's out of the house, but he can walk without it. My old boss, too. She wouldn't use it inside the office or to and from the washroom. I would never accuse them of using their canes for attention because I know they have mobility issues. So why do I assume that people will think I'm using a cane for attention? I'm so gosh darned insecure!
I see a lot of those black canes with the "7" shaped foam-padded handles. I think that's the kind of cane I would like to use. Not those hook-handle canes, like what Scrooge McDuck had. Those look hard on the hand. Oh Scrooge... I love you. I have glasses now too, so I can dress up as you for Halloween again, like I did when I was five! I just need a top hat, which is fine because I LOVE hats. When I was little and in love with Scrooge McDuck, I LOVED his accessories. I thought they built so much character because he used them as props: adjust and take off the hat; take off the glasses; tap the cane on the floor to get someone's attention. I STILL think these make great props and I imagine that if I get a cane, I will wrap some sort of chain around it. That way I can shake it and bang it on the floor to get some percussion out of it when I go out with friends and there's music and/or dancing. There are also canes that can be made into seats. That would be good when I have to wait in line for things, like my concert in April to see Florence and the Machine!
Or hey, I could also get a pretty cane for special occasions. A friend of mine sent me this website called "fashionable canes" and there are some with crystal-like handles. Oooh! I'd love this one if it wasn't pink:
http://www.fashionablecanes.com/74640a.html -- I still don't know how to make hyperlinks on here!
How theatrical is this cane! It seems so contradictory, though. I don't want a cane because it will draw attention to my issues and perhaps make people think I'm looking for the attention, but if I do get a cane, I want to use it as a prop, or to get a fancy cane as an accessory!
Let's go back to my first point on the contradiction because I've never explored it before in this blog. See, if I use a cane, people I know and strangers will probably look at me in shock. "Oh my God! What happened? Are you okay?!" Then I'll have to explain why I'm using it -- that I have a Dandy Walker Variant that makes me lose my balance and causes leg fatigue and pain. So the cane will make visible issues that have been mostly invisible. Damn. I'm too modest to talk about myself that often! I think it will upset me to hear myself describe the condition and symptoms regularly.
It could be liberating to talk about everything, though. Perhaps after I keep talking to people about it, the phrases "Dandy Walker" and "neurological condition" will stop feeling so strange coming out of my mouth. Maybe the cane would help me feel more comfortable talking about my issues. It could also be liberating to have a cane because it would make my issues obvious to people. With a cane, my difficulty and suffering won't be as invisible as they are now.
Wow. And I thought I didn't have anything left to write about my health and disability issues! This was one of those beautiful occasions where writing makes me think. Then the thoughts just keep coming, seemingly from nowhere, spilling out of my brain faster than I can type them.