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Walking sticks vs. canes

  • By DavidStone

    I recently switched from a traditional cane to a longer walking stick. I used the cane primarily as a balance enhancement but found that after a while, I was leaning on it more and more thus bending my back and shortening my stride.

    By substituting the longer walking stick, I seem to be maintaining a much more comfortable upright stance and using it only for balancing (and help on steps). I’m also able to lengthen my stride as I can swing it further ahead while walking.

    I bought a commercial walking stick via Amazon and shortened it to better fit my height. I also wrapped the top 12-14” with para-cord to improve the grip. I also drilled a hole through the top of the shortened stick to add a short loop to allow it to be hung from a hook. The only downside I’ve found is that it is a bit more difficult to put in the car or store in restaurants, but this is easily overcome.

    Hopefully, this will prove useful to some of you.

    David Stone

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  • By Chris H. Keymaster

    That’s a really great suggestion, DavidStone! Glad you were able to customize a tool to help your walking. Para-cord comes in handy in so many ways! Thanks for taking the time to share this with us. – Chris, ParkinsonsDisease.net Team Member

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  • By DavidStone

    Just a humorous side story; my seven year old grandson tripped on the stairs and broke a bone in his foot a few weeks ago. Upon returning from the emergency room with a rather robust plaster cast, he requested his own “walking stick”. A few hours later he had a scale model of mine and was using it very successfully.

    On the following Saturday, as is our custom, we went to the neighborhood diner for breakfast. The sight of both of us walking in caused quite a chuckle until everyone realized he was wearing a cast.

    David Stone

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    • By Chris H. Keymaster

      This is an awesome story, David! Really unfortunate that your grandson broke his foot, but it’s clear that he looks up to you. Your Saturday diner custom sounds great. Thanks so much for sharing this. – Chris, ParkinsonsDisease.net Team Member

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  • By DavidStone

    Chris, I neglected to mention that Max broke his other ankle exactly one year ago to the week as his latest accident. We have identical pictures of him sitting on the casting table both times. The only difference was the color of the cast (he went with Orange this year) and the ankle that was broken.

    I plan to keep his walking stick after he no longer needs it this year.

    By the way, if anyone wants a couple of tips on making their own stick, I’ll be happy to provide some ideas based on my experiences.

    Regards,

    David Stone

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  • By DavidStone

    Chris,
    I noticed a post from a veteran who had been diagnosed with PD and and indicated that he had gotten the brush off from the VA. As a couple of years ago, the VA policy changed to make PD Presumptive result of service anywhere within the Vietnam war zone. More recently, this has been unofficially expanded to include certain locations in Cambodia and Laos where AO and other toxic herbicides had been stores, used locally of where Ranch Hand missions were conducted.

    Veterans whose claims have previously been rejected or have pending for a long time should contact a qualified Service Officer (through one of the veterans service organizations to inquire about these changes. From the time I was diagnosed by my private Neurologist to the time the VA certified me as 100% disabled was less than 5 months and there was no pushback as to my qualifications or claim. Times have changed a lot over the past few years and the VA has really undergone a change of its view of PD survivors. Also, the really good Service Officers are a Godsend as they provide the most direct root to a successful submission by assuring that all the nesessary info is provided with the initial submission.

    Regards,
    David Stone

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