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Is walking with help really even walking?

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    Is walking with help really even walking?

    I always see on here people talking about walking with crutches or with a walker or with canes etc. and thinking of it as walking. To me walking is being able to stand up and balance and walk around without any support. When someone tells you that you will probably be able to walk again following an sci mean that you will walk with support or that you will really walk. Because for me although I guess walking with support might allow you to go over certain obstacles that you can't in a chair, but other than that how is it really any better? For me I can wall walk and basically get around anywhere as long as I have something to hold onto, but I don't consider it walking either. I can not stand on my own and I can;t take more than on or two steps with support without falling down, so as far as I am concerned I can not walk. I mean realistically what is the big deal about "walking" all supported since you can't really carry anything anyway when your hands are full of crutches or a walker or something anyway. Not trying to get flamed by anyone that thinks that they are making progress towards getting better because they can do this and couldn't before, but I'd just as soon use my chair, because at least then I can carry stuff on my lap. How likely is it that someone with no muscles in their ass will ever be able to really walk again, and how many people really regain the ability to walk by themselves after an sci?

    #2
    As someone who cannot walk even with help. Yes. The ability to walk even just 3 steps with help would make so many things easier.

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      #3
      According to my physiatrist and PT, walking is exactly as you describe: getting around entirely under one's own steam, without external support of any kind. What I do with my KAFO and forearm crutches is technically referrred to as ambulating (not walking). Everything is relative, so I think of myself as being able to walk with my KAFO - but it's nothing like the years pre-MS. So I take my therapists' point! But theirs is a technical definition, whereas t8burst's represents a practical experiential point of view.
      MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

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        #4
        13 months out with massive exercise, and can go 50 feet with a walker. This may not be walking, but it sure is nice to be able to grab onto something and stand up, hang on with one hand, and grab stuff with the other. Nice to get stuff off the top shelf, and out of the back of the pickup truck. The longer I can stand there, is more time off my poor ass. One has to count there blessings where they can.
        T12L1 Incomplete Still here This is the place to be 58 years old

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          #5
          I try to be thankful for what I have left and I know so many others on here as T8 pointed out can not even come close to doing many of the things that I still can and probably often take for granted. I just get frustrated because I feel like my body is teasing me, because I am so close to being able to walk, but still can not. I don't expect someone with a complete injury to understand really, because they knew from the beginning that they would never regain any function below their injury site. With my partial I can ambulate as another poster called it but it's just so close and yet so far. Every once in awhile I try to walk without anything knowing that I can not and go a step or two then my lack of muscles in my ass causes me to twist around and I fall down. Just after my injury I would sometimes forget and do the same thing. I also have no ankle strength at all so that doesn't help either. If I am always going to need a chair then I'd just as soon expend my time and energy getting better at using a chair, and if I will be able to really walk then I should focus on strengthening those muscles. It's the not knowing that is getting to me. It affects every part of my life, because If I walk I can return to my old life, if not I need to build a new one.

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            #6
            Arndog started an awesome thread on this subject: /forum/showthread.php?t=144701

            Highly recommend reading it.

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              #7
              Originally posted by nauticalmike View Post
              If I am always going to need a chair then I'd just as soon expend my time and energy getting better at using a chair, and if I will be able to really walk then I should focus on strengthening those muscles. It's the not knowing that is getting to me. It affects every part of my life, because If I walk I can return to my old life, if not I need to build a new one.
              I do not know you or your injury level, but it is very unlikely that you would make a 100% recovery after a SCI. So, your old life is gone. Things will have to change, how much depends on how much you are able to recover. But nothing will be the same..

              Sorry if this is bad news..

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                #8
                Originally posted by agnes View Post
                I do not know you or your injury level, but it is very unlikely that you would make a 100% recovery after a SCI. So, your old life is gone. Things will have to change, how much depends on how much you are able to recover. But nothing will be the same..

                Sorry if this is bad news..
                No it's true, but even if I could walk well enough to make it up a gangway I could probably go back into business for myself by hiring helpers to just do what I tell them and that would enable me to deal with the financial problems I have. I know I'll never run and jump and rock climb or anything ilke that but if I could balance on my own and walk over an open space without support, braces would be ok, it would enable me to reopen my business. Problem with boats though is hat they move around so balance would be key otherwise one fall and no one would ever let me back on their vessels because of fears of liability issues.

                So do people walk somewhat normally with braces? or do they always need crutches or something too?

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by nauticalmike View Post
                  So do people walk somewhat normally with braces? or do they always need crutches or something too?
                  I must use forearm crutches or fall flat on my face. Walking/ambulating with orthotics is a whole new ballgame - you can't ever forget they're there, which is a good thing as far as remaining upright is concerned! Bracing adds weight and is cumbersome, compared to organic anatomy - we have to find ways to simulate movements that used to come without thinking about them.
                  MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

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                    #10
                    Are there any walking paras or quads here that have had a wound that wouldn't heal? That's one plus, I would assume. A big one.
                    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

                    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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                      #11
                      I don't know about you Mike but I am going to fight that chair as long as I can.
                      I went from a walker to cane to afo's. I walk twice as far and fast as I can without them. When in the woods I use walking poles. I'd say I walk somewhat normally.
                      Someone here said use it or lose it, I buy it. Your not going to strengthen your ass sitting in a chair thinking about it. Some say it's better to conserve, it's up to you.
                      I'll figure out how to work the chair when I have no choice. This is probably all been said in Arndogs thread but I'm just heading there to read it now.

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                        #12
                        My father fractured T11-T12 and walks with bilateral AFOs and forearm crutches. His walking is limited by back pain, that increases with each step. Some days he can walk a few blocks before he needs a break, sometimes he can walk over a mile. Honestly, he walks more on his "arms", then on his legs I think.

                        He doesn't consider what he does "walking". He dreams of walking in the woods, and maybe using walking sticks would be acceptable. Using the AlterG, he feels like he is walking....

                        I constantly struggle with encouraging him to "walk", and waiting for him to finally sit down.... and rest. And maybe, begin his life again. Life right now is filled with hope, exercise, pain, regret, sleep, exercise, hope, pain, regret, sleep....

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by t8burst View Post
                          Arndog started an awesome thread on this subject: /forum/showthread.php?t=144701

                          Highly recommend reading it.
                          Thank you. I just finished reading it and it answered a lot of my questions.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by lynnifer View Post
                            Are there any walking paras or quads here that have had a wound that wouldn't heal? That's one plus, I would assume. A big one.
                            I was always really fearful of getting a pressure sore because of the spine book that they gave me in the hospital that was so overly protective, so much that it was preventing me from doing lots of things that I could be doing albeit painful otherwise. Can't anyone get a sore that won't heal though after prolonged pressure? My mother got one on her ankle following a long period of being bed ridden due to a broken hip a couple years ago...Well it took surgery and over a year to heal, so not unhealing entirely I guess. But she's an AB otherwise.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by nauticalmike View Post
                              No it's true, but even if I could walk well enough to make it up a gangway I could probably go back into business for myself by hiring helpers to just do what I tell them and that would enable me to deal with the financial problems I have. I know I'll never run and jump and rock climb or anything ilke that but if I could balance on my own and walk over an open space without support, braces would be ok, it would enable me to reopen my business. Problem with boats though is hat they move around so balance would be key otherwise one fall and no one would ever let me back on their vessels because of fears of liability issues.

                              So do people walk somewhat normally with braces? or do they always need crutches or something too?
                              I don't walk normal, I do get on boats, sometimes dangerously, I do work on a rocking boat now. It's hard, it didn't come easy, and I'd I don't keep it up I lose it fast.
                              I have tried giving instructions ( FAIL!) I get down and do it now without blinking, I just don't get up that good, worked at it a long time to get where I'm at today. Wouldn't trade it for an easier way out for my mind to be at ease, and the sense of accomplishment I get.

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