SERVO 04.2014 7
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The March issue came today, and I was stunned —
for lack of a better word — reading the Mind/Iron
editorial. About three months ago, I had to start using
a cane because of a back issue (going back about two
years) that gets worse rather than better. I won't go
into all of the doctors and procedures I've been
through with no success, so for the moment, I'm on
pain meds and transdermal Lidocane patches.
Everything you wrote I have experienced. I use an
offset cane because the C and other styles made the
pain worse. In addition to the items mentioned, I
would like to add getting into and out of my truck — a
Tacoma — and trying to jockey the cane and my body
so I don't fall. Storage of the cane in a vehicle is also a
challenge. I usually just put it in the back seat and
struggle getting in and out. I thought about a
scabbord strategically placed to hold the thing, so it
won't get in the way.
My cane has a pistol-like grip which is sort of
comfortable, but I've hurt my right hand — the one I
hold the cane with — and the right wrist. I'm
considering trying to get a Colt 1911 style after-market
grip that is softer, to hopefully ease the distress on my
right thumb and muscle pad. Failing that, I'm going to
get a good plastic 1911 and try to fit it to the offset
I haven't tried any of the four-footed self-standing
canes because they look like they would be even more
unwieldy to store. Sigh.
I really encourage you to explore the cane issue —
especially the grips — which is the biggest problem,
followed by the "what do you do when you need two
For me, this has been a very depressing and
lifestyle altering change. I can no longer kayak, fish,
hike, or even walk around a mall with my wife without
pain. Sadly, the mobility problem may cause me to
shut down my consulting business, as it's hard to visit
clients and work on experiments.
George T. Cannon
I'm sorry that you came to learn of the cane by
necessity. I'm also very active and would probably go
nuts if I couldn't run/bike/swim for more than a few
days. Perhaps you'll have time and the insight to
develop something for the many thousands of others
in your situation.
I wish you the best.
Bryan Bergeron, Editor