My legs can no longer support my weight. Have any advice?

Few the past few months my legs have been getting weaker, and to be completely honest it terrifies me. I have been so down lately, I don't think dawning on the fact that my legs are getting weaker, is good for my mental health. I personally think in general that I am depressed, with how fast my ataxia is progressing. I can barely run now if at all, which I won't be able to play tennis anymore. I am still able to move my hands and arms, but not as fast as I use too, my speech is also still rather good, which I am happy with. My doctor advised me to keep doing my leg strengthening techniques and he even told me that if I keep falling that I should start using a walker only if I needed it, which I have been using more for walking long distances. Classes start tomorrow and I'm excited but nervous since I will be using my walker for the first time around people of my age. To be honest I'm scared what people will say but I can't really walk that well or that fast anymore. So I have been down lately and I just wanted to get that off my chest, and sorry for being so negative. I'm not usually this bitter, thank you for letting me rant, any advice would greatly appreciated.

Hi Janelle.. you may take encouragement from the fact that I am now 71 [72 in November] and still getting around using my walker. I do exercises everyday and neurophysio keeps me thinking positive. She explained to me that the lack of strength and muscle problems are secondary condition and not a symptom of ataxia. The ataxia has caused this of course and the biggest problem is lack of use of the right muscles.

Do be guided by neuro physio and keep exercising. We dont all get speech problems and a speech therapist will tell you that prevention is better than cure.

Wii fit plus is good way to make exercising more fun.

Take care and good luck with return to college xx

The only thing I can add to what Patsy said is that those who think less of you because of the walker - that's their problem, not yours! We didn't ask for this, but we are making the best of the hand we are dealt. When I first used the cane to get around I was a little apprehensive about what others would think, but I realized that it doesn't affect me. The only people that I care what they think are my wife and immediate family - and they are all very supportive.

Take care!

Hi Janelle :slight_smile:
Take the bull by the horns, if it makes you more confident and mobile using
a walker, then do it :slight_smile:
I would probably benefit from using one, at the moment I get by with a cane
but I know how much more freeing it is to walk around a supermarket with a
But, I can understand your reluctance. Often first impressions can be deceptive,
some people can be insensitive and not look beyond what they see.
This is one way of sorting the wheat from the chaff, it could work to your advantage :-)xB

Loose weight, buy a walker and start exercising .

Dear Janelle, I echo what others have said! I was diagnosed with ataxia eleven years ago, although I had very small symptoms starting about eight years before diagnosis. Anyway, I started to use a cane about four years ago as I fell really injuring my back. Recently, I bought and Access Active Rollator online and use it for pleasure walking, as I feel safe and secure. I'm all for better safe than sorry, so whatever works for you! It's not uncommon to feel depressed with a chronic disease and there is help available! Just keep exercising for strength the best you can, as that helps! And don't worry about using your walker, as it's your new "normal"! My best to you..., ;o)

Try to stay positive! Your true friends and family will love you no matter what, so don't worry about what other people think. Take care of yourself and keep those legs strong with exercise.

My legsare much weaker too since I went into the wheelchhair after xmas .Howevver the rollator was very good. I went everyywewhere wewith it and it gave me some independence.I was definitely more mobile and safely so. A Rollator or walker was a good indication something was wrong and people got out of the way.I too suffer from depresssion and get down about the things I can no longer do.Take care.

I forgot to add, I recently finished aquatic therapy and LOVE it. You can't fall in water...,ha! I plan to continue doing it on my own. Being in the water is a good way to exercise! ;o)

I woke this morning and my walking slowed down to the point using my fore arm crutches my steps were so short I was walking and got about a foot with about 15 steps and the bottom of my feet were really tender to walk on. I just cant wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Fill your room with your favorite colors and favorite things. Wear your favorite outfits with your favorite color. Decorate your walker with fun stickers. Think happy thoughts and sing your favorite songs. Think about the things you CAN do and pray everyday. Write encouraging notes on fun post its to who ever is living with you.

To help myself feel better, I think of our veterans who have prosthetic legs and how hard it must of been to use. I know its not the same but it makes me want to exercise as hard as those veterans did with those prosthetic legs.

i'm scared too and get depressed thinking about it. but i try to shake it off quickly and think positive again.

I have been doing my exercises everyday, so far I have lost 15 pounds. It's a slow process but I'm doing it. Also I have a walker now, since I am in school.

displaymom said:

Loose weight, buy a walker and start exercising .

Thank you very much everyone, your kindness has truly touched my heart. You all are right I just need to keep my head up, and keep doing my exercises like I have been everyday. I will try to do more as well. I am so grateful for all of the encouragement, euniecorn thank you for the great Idea. I will definitely do that.

I use the following (link for image purposes only - I didn't buy here):

My onset began with leg weakening 1st and I can still shamble about but I do miss Long Walks, Hiking, Biking and Volly-ball. It's hard to accept that all of a sudden YOU are 'the other people' who get sick / walk funny / etc. I have Clinical Depression as well and my self esteem really took a hit when due to the inability to do aerobic exercise my waistline went from 29" to it's current 48". All that crying aside, I am very lucky that I was able to do any of it at all. Some born with "MD" don't live to see or do much at all in their lifetime. I hope it is some consolation that you are not alone. Take heart that you had a chance to run and play as you did. Sometimes it's a double edged sword, knowing what you lost but you can also remember the times that you COULD do those activities. Remember to talk about how you feel and not hold it all in. I really hope I gave some help. Best of luck to you. Cheers,