Saturday, March 17, 2007
I've Been Caned...
As punishment for my sins against physical health throughout my life, the Universe has caned me.
Yes, I've had to start using a cane recently. I twisted my knee a couple of weeks ago and have been suffering with it since then. I limped and teetered around for a couple of days, hoping the pain would disappear, then decided a cane would help me get around. It's a humbling experience in some ways, but I have found a cane is useful for more than just walking.
First, I noticed that my pets were all afraid of it -- apparently dogs and cats instinctively fear sticks. Of course I wouldn't strike any of them with it, but I've found that by holding it in front on me and swishing it around a bit, I can keep them from jumping up on me (which is important now that I'm unsteady on my feet). Subsequently I discovered I can use it to press elevator buttons, or to hold open elevator doors without risking my hand or arm in the process. I can use it to push/pull items on the floor closer to me. I can shake it in the air at naughty children who are riding their bikes on my lawn. And it does help a bit in public places--there are a few people who will hold open doors for me, or offer me other courtesies, as a result of my using the cane.
It's a real ego-killer to occasionally catch sight of myself, reflected in a plate-glass window, stumping along with the cane and lurching from side-to-side. On the other hand, now I really empathize with people who live in constant pain. I understand better how people can become addicted to pain medication. And I feel even greater respect for those who go through life with serious disabilities.
On the lighter side, I discovered when Googling for a picture to accompany this blog entry, there are THOUSANDS of websites that in one way or another focus on walking canes! Who'd-a-thunk-it?
And I guess I really will have to see a doctor about this bum knee after all, since it's not getting any better. Darn.