Getting Ready To Be Crippled

caneI bought a cane over the weekend. I don’t know if I am becoming crippled or not.  Seriously, this is up in the air. But I’ve had enough times when I can’t walk without holding onto something; it’s apparent that I should at least have one around. I spent $10, okay?  Hopefully it will be a temporary cane for emergencies, but I really don’t know.

If you want to send me medical advice, I hope you won’t.

I got the cane on Saturday. Sunday I was dressed for church. “Let’s see what this looks like,” I said to my husband. I was going to pose with my cane and look at myself.

“Are you bringing that today?” he asked.

“Nooooooooooooo,” I said. “I’m not ready for that. I’m not ready to be someone who needs a cane; to be seen with one and to have people ask me questions. I’m just curious how I would look with a cane. How I might be seen differently.”

I turned to look at myself, leaning on a cane. I looked exactly the same. The cane matched my hair and my glasses. I did  not look one day older. I did not look weak or feeble or anything near that. I did not look like someone who would need a cane!

“Okay,” I said. “That’s not too bad. If it happens, it won’t bother me much, except for being slowed down or if I can’t lift…”

It’s a weird thing to become crippled. I’m close enough to be able to see this to some extent.  There is no way I am “cool” with it, but I’m aware now, I value my ability to think clearly and communicate more than I do my mobility.  Being physically crippled won’t impact my work at all.  This is enormously lucky.

I just wanted to update. I don’t think I’m going to know exactly what’s going on, what can be done or what will be done, for a least a few weeks, if not a few months. It’s another reason I got the cane.  I have enough information to know I have a serious problem that will not resolve on it’s own. So I’m in this situation…

I can still pick up fifty pounds of dog food and put it in a shopping cart. I can also lift it out and put it in the car. I’m not saying I should be doing this, but I can.

I can get the bag of dog food out of the car and lift it into a metal trash can where we keep the dog food.  Clearly, I am not crippled, right? Except for one or both of my legs go out at time, with no warning at all. So if I’m not standing next to something I can grab, there’s really no telling. If I fall at a bad time, in a place in a bad way, who knows?

Remember when I fell over the rail at out rental house, landing in the freezing mud at four in the morning?

We were leaning church on Sunday. I stopped to get some Holy Water; my husband stopped behind me and then turned to wave at someone. When he did this, his stiff Carhartt jacket, brushed me and I almost fell. I did not know I was unstable until the split second I grabbed a chunk of his coat so I could remain standing.

I could have used a cane at that moment, but I can still lift a giant pot of boiling water from the stove, dump it into the sink slowly so it won’t splatter.  You see the dilemma.

I will eventually need surgery on my spine. When and what kind are up in the air.  How long this could be put off – up in the air. What permanent damage might be done while I’m waiting? Up in the air. Results post surgery? Up in the air.

I’m going to have to be patient. It’s a Saturn transit.

The biopsy I had was negative, but I do have tumors. What will be done about them (if anything) is up in the also up in the air.

One thing that’s occurred to me, it’s doesn’t really seem as if I am going to lose anything I really need.I don’t need much, I never have.

37 thoughts on “Getting Ready To Be Crippled”

    1. I didn’t look. I will look, if I am going to need a cane, long term. Right now, this is just for if I find myself with a leg out…it comes and goes.

      I am in PT for this now…they think it may help me. I don’t think it has a hope in hell. But they have a protocol so I in that stream.

      Point is, if they do the surgery, if will fix the need for a cane…it’s possible the surgery is soon. It’s also possible I put it off until garden season ends. I want a garden REAL bad.

      Point is, I am not needing this necessarily, permanently right now. Or even at all, 23 hours out of each day.

  1. Elsa you are a very strong woman! This is tough but your angels are always around and we can send some more over there when you are in a need ((Hugs))

  2. Avatar
    Warped by Wuthering Heights

    I say get a sparkly, glittery, neon light-flashing cane, and use it to smack anyone in the butt who gets out of line!

  3. Capricorn does plan ahead. I’ve seen canes that collapse to purse carrying size.
    My mother referred to her cane as a walking stick. It didn’t make her feel so old. Then she graduated to a cane with the more stable four foot base.
    My brother has PT now for balance training and leg strengthening. Recently he fell, alone at home, when he stood up. It was quite the scare. His hot tub is taking out the soreness from the fall.
    I say anything to prevent falls is a good thing.

  4. “I say anything to prevent falls is a good thing.”

    I agree. I am not resistant to using it. I just don’t have the need most the time. I am able to move and lift with no restriction. Then, bam. Some event causes a leg (either leg) to collapse.

    My spinal cord is flattened…but minimally. However, my whole neck is narrowed….”severely” in two places. So clearly I’m in for lots more trouble. However, right now, carrying a cane takes up one hand for no reason. I can’t use it, convincingly, because I can walk normally without it. So who is going to put a cane down when their foot is right there, working great.

    This is the same reason they are not rushing me to surgery…yet.

    The x-ray showed the severe narrowing (and a variety of other problems). But it also showed a muscle in spasm. They could see the bones pulled over. This is what the PT is about…to resolve that muscle and overall, strengthen my neck. See what relaxing the muscle did.

    The MRI showed the cord flattened, but not damaged…yet. Clearly it will be. I have lupus and arthritis. It’s pretty complicated. The narrowing will cause more problem when I am swelled….can’t say the level of the swelling when the mri was done.

    I want surgery, but may be stupid. The fact is, the meds I take for lupus (critical to me) mess up healing, as does lupus itself. So maybe they can shoot it full of steroids and buy me a summer?

    And the surgery is intense, that’s for sure. But like I said…unavoidable over time.

    I believe it will be all right. This is why I don’t want people writing me their opinions. It drives me crazy. I have doctors. 🙂

    And the situation really is specialized. Unless you’re a rheumatologist / neurosurgeon, please leave me be! 🙂

      1. Without surgery, I will wind up paraplegic. My spinal cord is compressed and it will only get worse, though how quickly is unknown. Most likely fast, though.

        Whatever damage is done to my spinal cord will be permanent. I am on a precipice.

        This is separate from lupus, and from tumors which are not cancer. So I have multiple problems, but do think I will survive. But maybe a year to sort it all. This is very very, all of it.

  5. I agree with Sue Ellen. Anything that prevents falls is a good thing. I had an older friend who didn’t need a cane but used one in the winter to be on the safe side. Praying that the physical therapy will help you Elsa.

  6. I’m very sorry for these turns of events. More than that, I hope that people respect your request to not offer you medical advice. I know that it is insanely stressful when people chirp about this or that “technique” that worked for them. People say “oh, but they mean well” but I say nope, they chirp out that stuff because their egos want them to be the one that gave you THE ANSWER (cue angels singing).

    Well, I’ve probably said too much and will retreat my scorp moon back into the shadows….

    1. Well they also tell you all the horrible shit that is going to befall you if you don’t do what they say and how stupid you are if you don’t listen to them.

      Take mail like that and multiply it 50 or 100.

      And then I’m supposed to respond? To ten pages of writing?

      How can I possibly respond with anything appropriate?

      They PT appointments are twice a week – I have to drive a LONG way. A chunk of time.

      I have a doctor, a rheumatologist, a gynecologist, two radiologists and a physical therapist…as well as a family, three dogs, a business to run and I’m a volunteer.

      Really, I just like to run my own life, truth be told. And set my own priorities. I am far from a child…started taking care of my family when I was 8 (did all the cooking) and I have been on my own since I was 15 years old. So I’m not really that easy to mess with, lol. And I am busy.

      But yeah. People write to tell me my ears are going to fall off and I am a moron for not realizing this. I grew up with Henry, for Godsakes. You think I don’t know about natural healing? Diet?

      I knew about it when I was six years old! But it’s the threats that kill me. And the alarm,.


      Please! I have a condition aggravated by stress. I know how to take care of myself…people will just have to have some faith. And if I do die, I don’t even care! I die, I die. So please. This is up to God. God has never, ever let me down. Why would today be any different?

  7. Thats awful, Elsa. {{{Hugs}}} Just the idea that you might need a cane must be hard to accept for you. I know I wouldn’t like it, but as long as there was another way I could get around, I would do it for me and no one else. No one will care if you have a cane. You’re still the same person.

    If you need a cane you have to get a better one than a $10 cane. That looks like the old person’s cane. Blah! Do it in style! I see a lot of the senior population in my local supermarkets with “hurry canes”. Some of them are all terrain. They’re about $40, but look nicer and have a lot more flexibility.

    1. I’m not sure I will need a cane. Post surgery – no cane? So this is just because there have been enough times I have needed a cane (late at night, at home), I thought I should have one.

      Also, if I start needing one, I’ll become informed about them. Right now everything is up in the air. But there have been times where it would have helped to have one so now I do.

      And I don’t look old. I like how I look. 🙂

  8. Elsa, LOL, an all terrain cane!

    I have been a Dr Christian Northup follower for many years. She earned her credentials as an MD, but talks about the “white coat” syndrome. She is on the forefront of women’s health research. If you research her accomplishments and are interested further in her, one link is…!/host/dr-christiane-northrup

    If you subscribe to HH Radio for $24/year, you can listen to all of her previous shows….On most every show she walks a caller or two through some process that clears/shears cords of discord….

    She is a big advocate of the work of Robert Fritchie and often leads callers through his divine healing process….

    There is a free healing program on his website, and it’s worth reading the testimonials as well….

      1. You are right, Luna.
        It’s not my life and not my path. Everyone has their own soul journey.
        Just wanted to offer that people are being healed
        by the power of group intention….

  9. I pray you will get better. I feel that you will. My sister in law was in a horrible accident some years ago (caused by her very troubled son) and miraculously survived. She has had 7 surgeries so far in the past 8 years and will probably need more in the future. Although she’s often in pain, that has not stopped her from going on 2 safaris with a third trip planned with her students, sponsoring a child in Africa and raising money to donate to his school, being promoted, working 2 jobs and having articles published as well. She’s a reader for her church and an avid fan of the theater. She’s close to 70, and since the accident, has had to use a cane. Frankly, I can’t keep up with her. Her reach is wide, and her determination is strong, Elsa. Just like you!

  10. Avatar

    Elsa is the cane good for smacking ice off things and knocking rolls of paper towels off a high shelf at the supermarket? Or generally knocking shit over for the fun of it? I know its most important function is to keep you stabilized and what you’re dealing with is no joke but I’d hate to think you couldn’t have some laughs with it. Healing energy sent your way.

    1. My husband used a forearm crutch before a second accident put him in a wheelchair. That crutch came in handy for whacking loved ones across the knees when they aggravated him, LOL

      1. I can’t see hitting anyone with a cane, but my husband tells a story how his grandfather would hook his cane around his little dog and pull him over…slide him, cross the floor. 🙂

      2. About a forearm crutch.. speaking from recent experience: it’s looks and feels like a cane, and makes moving around, in the various moves a person tends to do (turning, bending, or both at the same time) easier. With natal Mercury in Aries, plus Saturn in 3rd, I appreciate that. And since my forearm is doing part of the work, my hand and elbow are more available, for carrying something. More than when using a regular cane, I mean.
        Haven’t hit anyone with it, either, but yep, handy for poking at objects otherwise out of reach.
        My wishes, and prayers for the best for you, Elsa.

  11. Dear ((((Elsa)))))
    People around me who have strong Cap traits are able to survive everything and to function in impossible conditions. Like My grandfather who lived with parkinson’s disease for 45 years, died when he was 91 and as stubborn person he often skipped necessary medication although it is Lethal in this case.
    So I believe you are able to recover?
    I keep my fingers crossed.

  12. It speaks well for your level of intelligence to always have a plan and to always think positively no matter how many obstacles are placed in front of you, Elsa. I admire that.

  13. Hey, been there done that. My neurosurgeon commented “Those were fine mirrors you were grinding in there”. I would have had my left leg dragging behind me without the surgery. Yes I did have a cane for a while, actually it was a walking stick that I carved. However, being as stubborn a a Leo could be I refused to let it get me. A positive drive (it’s more that just attitude), refusal to let it get me and listening closely to my surgeons were all important parts. The most important I found was the faith that helped give me the will to recover. I have 2 titanium rods in my back. I still have some weakness and tingling in my leg, I only have pain if I stop and think about it. It was 15yrs ago that I had my surgery. Don’t worry, you’ll only have the cane for a little while if you make up your mind to get rid of it. The best thing I ever did was have the surgery. Personally I don’t think you’ll die…at least from this. You have faith and will. I have no doubt that you’ll get through this.

    1. Thanks, Tim. I intend to have surgery. I don’t have any fear about it. I understand the situation. But I also *everything* wrong, the whole neck. So there are real questions around how to best approach it. But I expect to have a cadaver bone(s), and plate(s). The thing is, I take meds for lupus which suppress the immune system. Your average surgeon wants people off these meds before they operate. If I go off the meds…well, it’s quite bad. So there’s considerable juggling…and maybe convincing to be done. But I’m not the one who needs convincing.

      Also, I am in a small town. You can’t go pushing doctors around here, like there is more than one rheumatologist. There is not! So like I said…Saturn transit. I will work this out, but think it could easily take a year.

      Some of these surgeries take six months to recover…that’s if you don’t have lupus. So if I don’t want to go through something, I may as well kill myself right now…which is not going to happen. 🙂

      I have never had an easy life. I accepted this when I was eight years old so…onward. 🙂

      And I am not using a cane. I have it because there are times when I should be using one, but I don’t have one. So next time that happens, I’ll be prepared.

      I am still learning what the hell is going on..that’s what the tests are about. And the PT for that matter.

      I am becoming a lot more aware of how heavy my head it and what it takes for my neck to hold it up. For example, I don’t think I will be bowing my head anymore, or at least not anytime soon. I am increasing the odds of becoming paraplegic…like in an accident, pre-surgery.

      A gal I talked to who had the (neck) surgery told me….she texts with her phone level with her eyes. She is careful in the grocery store so no one bumps her with a cart. She does the PT exercises, often, simply because if she doesn’t, it hurts.

      All these people bent over their phones, have no clue how much they’re going to regret it. So I’m sort of moving at the speed of many doctors right now. This is not something someone should do rashly…because it’s serious, but also because I have lupus. Lu-what?

      I need Dr. House. 🙂

      But for now I am just doing the pt, modifying my behavior / posture and stuff. Because it may very well be that the 20 times I bowed my head in mass, caused enough aggravation, it’s the reason I nearly fell when my husband brushed me. It’s sort of like, pay attention and limit yourself (Saturn) or ignore this and be limited beyond your wildest imagination (permanent paralysis).

  14. (((Elsa))) I hope you won’t have to use a cane. I saw a man with a really cool-looking one, and the thought occurred that if I ever needed one, I would want a weaponized one (because I’m weird).

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