As you go through a concussion recovery, you try a lot of things to hopefully hasten the recovery process. There’s so little known about concussions. It’s difficult to find something that works. Looking back, there’s one thing I used that made a huge positive impact on my recovery: my walking stick. Read on to find out why.
Using my walking stick got me out of the house. I was able to go more places without having to ask someone to drive me somewhere , and eventually was able to take buses and get around.
Increased Physical Activity
I became fatigued quickly. By fatigue, I mean a sudden shutdown where I’d have to stop what I was doing and rest – or sleep. This really made it difficult to get out and do much. However, using my walking stick enabled me to do just that. I used it as a support and it helped me with balance.
Eventually I reached a point where I was able to go to the gym. I wasn’t able to work out as I had in the past. But, I was able to walk around the indoor track. This is what I did.
My husband would drop me off on his way to work.
Using my walking stick, I walked along the inside lane of the track (the walking lane). I had to hold on to the wall some as well, but I used the walking stick to help get around the track. Six laps of that track equal one mile. Sometimes I would rest in some of the chairs they had there. Then I would walk some more.
Being able to walk around the track enabled me to measure how far I was able to go. This became very important. Here’s why.
I realized that I needed to stay positive and keep fighting to get through it all. Because I could measure progress, I was able to see that I was indeed moving forward. Instead of saying “well, I walked a little further the other day” I was able to say “I walked three laps around the track, so that was half a mile.” Or maybe I’d walk three laps, take a break and rest in the chairs, and then walk another three laps. I don’t recall exactly how long I walked or how many laps or how often I rested.
So if I walked three laps, it was half a mile. Six laps: one mile. Eventually, I was able to add a (very) slight jog. I started by just doing so at one or both of the shorter ends of the track and walking the longer sides. Or eventually lightly jogging one lap and walking others. In any case, I was able to see the progress I was making.
After leaving the gym, I took the bus home. The walking stick helped in walking to the bus stop. Of course, most bus stops do not have benches. So I used it to lean on while standing and waiting. It was great for support! I honestly don’t think I could have stood that long otherwise.
All those things combined helped me keep moving through my recovery. My walking stick was key. Just helping with walking and then with support, especially for longer activities was pivotal.
I couldn’t drive for the longest time. That meant that I couldn’t get to the grocery store for a long time. Just walking around in the store would wear me out. After a while, I was able to drive to the store, which isn’t too far away. Then I used my walking stick to get into the store. At that point, I used the cart for support. That enabled me to take care of home responsibilities more easily.
And on and on it went…
My strength slowly built up. I was able to do more at the gym and eventually didn’t need it any more. I was able to take buses further distances. By doing that, I was able to get to doctor appointments without having to ask someone to drive me. That might not seem like much, but to me it meant a lot. Using that walking stick not only gave me back some independence. It also meant I didn’t have to ask people for help as much. I always felt like I was really imposing on people’s time, and was glad to be able to get around without having to ask.
Of all the things I tried, that little walking stick was a key component in my recovery. It unlocked doors, so to speak. I could measure progress. I could get around more. I got out of the house. I didn’t have to ask for help as much. It was worth every penny and then some, and it wasn’t even very expensive. Funny how things work. I spent money on a number of doctor visits and tests that did not help at all. Yet something totally outside the realm of medicine turned out to be one of the most helpful and most pivotal items in my recovery.
When you can measure amounts like laps around a track, you can see how your endurance is building and how your progress is coming along. You might not have a gym around to go to, but there are other options. Take a car and drive a route that you normally walk and determine distance points (a quarter-mile, a half-mile, etc.). Use a pedometer to track the number of steps you take. See if you can walk the track at a local school. In my town, the high school track is always open to everyone in town. So people often go there to run or walk around the track, including me. For that track, four laps equal a mile. You can apply the same principle that I did at the gym. If you start using a walking stick, perhaps you can do more and go longer distances than you would otherwise. I know I was able to.
Think about getting a walking stick, and start measuring your progress! I really can’t emphasize enough how much that changed my life. How much it helped. It wasn’t just the physical aspect of making progress. It was a great emotional boost to be able to get out and do more, and to see what progress I was making. It’s so important and sometimes difficult to stay positive. This helped me.
Good luck! Keep at it!