Several months ago, my former step-father offered to make Lyn a walking stick when he learned of her stability problems. It was a generous offer of his time and skills. He asked Lyn if she wanted any colors or special designs on her stick so that he could personalize it to her preferences. He let her know that he had a couple of others scheduled ahead of hers. She was very excited at the offer.
The work is done and she has the stick. She has had it for some weeks now. However, I have yet to see it. I have asked her to show it to me. Each time, she acts as if she doesn't hear me. She doesn't refuse. She just does not respond to my request and changes the topic. I find this very amusing.
On Saturday, I called Mom while Lyn was out with her respite provider. Currently, the only way for Mom to have an unsupervised conversation is for it to happen when Lyn is at day hab, with respite or asleep. During the call, Mom told me that in their recent day trip up to Taos with their lovely neighbor, Mom had Lyn bring her walking stick.
When they stopped to visit a historic home in Taos, Mom reminded Lyn to bring her walking stick from the car and use it. She pointed out that Lyn had practiced using it and could do it just like their lovely neighbor uses her cane. "I know. I know!" Lyn stood there clutching the stick to her chest with both hands as though she were afraid to drop it. With that, they started to move from the parking lot to the entrance.
Mom quickly realized that Lyn had positioned herself in the shadowing spot that lets her reach out to clasp Mom's shoulder anytime she needs additional stability. She also realized that Lyn was not going to use the walking stick if she was keeping it clutched to her. Mom stepped out of Lyn's reach and maintained a distance the rest of the time. Lyn, however, continued to refuse to use it even though she was actually making herself more unstable by keeping her arms pinched in tight.
When they got back to the car, Mom asked why Lyn carried but didn't use the stick. " I don't want to get it dirty.". Mom pointed out that it is ok for the stick to get dirty and that it will easily clean. Lyn rejects this notion.
The stick has become a cherished possession of Lyn's. She has decided the best place to store it is laid out on the guest bed. For now, it is the resting stick. We shall see if we can convince her to put it to its intended use.