When a successful person like Megyn Kelly suffers a setback, people are apt to quote the biblical proverb, “Pride Goeth Before A Fall.” The same thing could be said of someone who is too proud to use a cane when they need one.
After reaching a certain age, an epidemic of falls begin to occur among elderly friends, family, and acquaintances. Just this week, I heard of four people who were hospitalized with broken bones and/or a concussion, due to a fall. Only one of these four is known to use a cane.
Unfortunately, once you’ve fallen, you’re more apt to fall again. That’s because you lose your confidence, for fear that you will have another bad fall. You feel unsure of yourself, maybe a little shaky, but you’re determined not to be seen in public with a cane. I’ve been going through this cycle lately, and finally made the decision that I’d rather use a cane than suffer another fall. It was a little embarrassing, especially when old friends asked, “why are you using a cane?” May I offer a piece of advice? Don’t ask anyone that question. I can assure you they wouldn’t be on a cane just for the fun of it.
Now, I’ve started physical therapy with the hope I can walk like I did just a few years ago. But when I told my therapist my goal of caneless walking, she said that I might always need one when walking through the woods, or on uneven terrain. It’s all part of aging gracefully, (but not willfully).
Sometimes, even a cane won’t do the job. My husband is diabetic, has no cartilage in his knees, and little sensation in his feet. He must use a walker if he’s going to walk for any length of time. Many people might find this humiliating, but I think just the opposite is true. I’m immensely happy that he’s facing facts, and cares more about his health than his appearance.
A friend of ours who has experienced at least two bad falls in the past few years, proudly stated, ‘I will never be seen on a walker.” If this scenario hits home, ask yourself these questions. Do you really want to end up in the hospital or a nursing home, upsetting your family, and no longer seeing your friends? All because you were too proud to use a walker?