Is it a milestone when one first acquires a cane? There’s no blank to enter that data point in my baby book. Should infirmity be an addendum to my wedding album?
What I wouldn’t give for the event in question to be possession of the sword cane†—yes, exactly that object of awesomeness you are imagining, where a bona fide sword emerges from a carved wooden stick!—handed down from my paternal grandmother’s second husband’s estate to my parents…
But—alas!—no, the cane I’ve acquired is a modern aluminum number. I needed it because my knee simply would Not. Stop. Giving. Out. One minute, we’re taking steps as always, the next: a lucky catch at the top of the stairs that left my heart pounding.
Thanks for the excitement, autoimmune disease!
I opted for a HurryCane (Model HCANE-PR-C2) because it was the only purple option available for immediate delivery from the nearest chain pharmacy. With the heretofore reliable knee deciding to dictate for itself whether it would bear weight or not, I didn’t have time to wait for delivery by UPS or another common carrier.
Not even Amazon-speed delivery would do! I needed support ten minutes ago.
With effectively zero knowledge of canes aside from a firm grounding on correct usage on the side opposite the bad joint—thank you, television reruns of House plus sitting in on a single one of Dad’s PT sessions after total knee replacement—I worried that a collapsible cane would be wobbly or otherwise not sturdy.
This fear was unfounded. Once the elastic strap releases the HurryCane’s three sections and each narrow end slots into its wider receptacle, the interior elastic pulls the entire stick firmly together, and my not particularly insignificant weight is borne with ease.
There’s no wobble to my HurryCane.
Weighing in at exactly 1 lb (455 g), the HurryCane is less stressful on my generally tender wrists than I feared a stick might be.
Historically, I’d wondered if a walking stick might make getting around easier, yet I feared stress on my small joints from carrying one. My large joints have tended to behave themselves more often than my tiny ones. This week’s experience of sudden failure was a novel one. My fingers or my toes typically give out first.
I thought toting a stick would add to my hands’ burden. Since I can dangle it from a wrist by its strap—or leave the HurryCane standing alone‡ on a firm, flat floor—it has been perfectly fine to use around my house. Until I take it on my upcoming trip, I won’t have any commentary about using it outdoors or on uneven ground.
If I’d had time to wait for Amazon delivery, I could’ve spent a mere $34 there for my HurryCane (±$2 for alternate colors), whereas Walgreens charged $39.95 regardless of the choice of black, purple, blue, or red.
Ordering direct, the official list price is given as $69.95, but the actual direct sale price is also $39.95; they do sell limited edition colors and discounted bundles at HurryCane’s own site, so check there first if your favorite color isn’t one of the four standards or you if plan to buy in bulk and color coordinate your cane to all your outfits.
A knee compression sleeve was my doctor’s advice, and I couldn’t wait two days for that to arrive, either.
I did end up ordering a second knee compression brace from Amazon that fit much better than the simple black neoprene tube my pharmacy stocked… once the adjustable one arrived.
Since it cost $20 more than the basic Walgreens model, I’m very glad that it did exhibit superior performance. Following the doctor’s advice to use compression on the affected joint was the most important factor in healing my knee, however, and the Walgreens garment did do the job with an occasional need to tug it back up sooner than the mail order one ever could.
If you have a heavy thigh and a distinct size difference between the leg above and below your knee, you might also prefer the Neenca velcro knee compression sleeve. The Neenca wears somewhat cooler during a heatwave than the tube style Walgreens brace, but both felt hot when temps topped 90º F. Suffering begets more suffering!
When a body part as integral to movement as a knee acts up, any immediate solution is often more useful than the late-arriving ideal one. I was darn near delighted to see the DoorDash driver pull up with my pharmacy package that day.
There’s little more to say about the HurryCane beyond it’s timeliness when I needed it and its suitability to my needs. I do enjoy the ridiculous wordplay of its nomenclature.
As if any aluminum stick has the power to turn those of us who need one back into a Tasmanian Devil style tsunami of energy and motion!
Then, too, the HurryCane does come with a rather minimal “carrying case;” I suppose that’s worth a mention. It’s a thin poly or nylon pouch, “secured” shut by an inch of Velcro on the open end. There’s no handle or drawstring for the pouch.
After a few days’ use, I feel confident I will soon toss the useless sack, but the wrist strap attached to the cane itself works well enough to drag the stick along if I’m not actively leaning on it. Between the compression brace and the cane, my knee did seem to recover quickly over the following few days, and I did not need to report to the doctor for a steroid injection this time.
Folded up, the HurryCane measures about 15″ long. The base is wide enough to stand on its own on even surfaces; its three points form an equilateral triangle about 4″ on a side. The handle is 5″ long, feels ergonomically curved in my hand, and is more rigid than giving or spongy.
Standing about 5′ 3″ tall, I use the HurryCane at its lowest setting. It turns out most female users of canes use the wrong size. Follow sizing directions on the packaging or online using this WikiHow article or get help from a physical therapist if using a stick for support for the first time.
Many people use the wrong size cane, and I read somewhere that women are more likely to fall with an overly long cane than without any assistive device at all though that appears to be an open question.
Speaking for myself, putting a compression sleeve on my recalcitrant knee and offloading some of my walking weight to an aluminum cane seemed to give my complaining joint the support it needed to heal. I hope I won’t need my HurryCane again for a long time, but I’ll find a place for it in my closet.
Autoimmune disease offers nothing so readily as new ways to be baffled by one’s own body.
†In truth, my dad did use the sword cane to get around for a brief period after each of his knee surgeries. I lived in fear, because I was pretty darn sure going to the grocery store with a concealed sword is not legal in this day and age. Fortunately, Dad’s an introvert, like me, so he was happy for me to do all the shopping, and he didn’t take the cane/weapon outside the house much.
It is probable that Dad was just amusing himself with my horror at the idea of him using the sword cane in public. He’s an attorney, so more aware of the law than most, and that sounds like something he’d find funny.
‡The cane stands easily with no fiddly adjustment necessary on hardwood and tile. It will usually balance on the low pile carpet we have in a few rooms, but generally tips over on my plusher bedroom carpeting. In the bedroom, I hang it over the knob on the back of a chair to keep it in a convenient and useful position when I go to sleep.