This is a guest post written Meghan Fish-Bellefleur who suffers from an inflammatory arthritis known as Ankylosing Spondylitis to critique a product suggested to her.
After suffering with sometimes crippling pain and stiffness for approximately 2 years, I was finally diagnosed with an inflammatory arthritis and auto-immune disorder, Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). Now with all this new information I have been absorbing in regard to this disease, I have also developed fears of further aggravating my condition, particularly falling. I wouldn’t say I fall a lot, but I do have a tendency to be on the clumsy side and found myself taking a few mild tumbles down the stairs.
For the average person, a simple tumble may leave you sore and generally unscathed. Now for me, falling down can literally cripple me with pain and inflammation, so that explains the fear. When you are drugged on muscle relaxants to the point of not remembering a full day, I get scared at the idea.
So this brings me to my winter fear, ice. Living in Ottawa I am confronted with nasty ice for at least a few months out of the year. I have to work to pay the bills and that means getting out of the car to walk to my office, but that also means confronting the ice. There are some days where I just won’t risk it and stay home, but this winter has been particularly nasty and I can’t afford to be away that much.
My husband, being a physiotherapist and thoughtful individual, purchased some inexpensive traction aids for me about 2 years ago when I first started having back pain. Do you think I used them in that time? Of course not. They have been sitting in the packaging all this time, while the skeptic in me assumed that nothing could get me across that frozen death trap.
Then there was yesterday, when I was forced to use them. Unless AS provided me with the Superman ability to fly, I was forced to put those $10 anti slip soles from the local Costco on my feet.
Guess what? I made it! I think I may have actually broke into a dance across the ice, not really, but my fears have really subsided. The spikes offer perfect traction on the ice and I wasn’t going anywhere.
Fear #98 overcome with this disease… now on to conquering a new one.
Commentary: The traction aids in question are the ‘Due North – Everyday Traction Aids’. They were purchased at Costco in Ottawa at the end of 2011 for $10-15, but were never used until January 11th, 2014. Runner’s World rates them in their Top 10 for Trail Running Gear. Overall, I think it’s a great product, the spikes bite into the ice quite well, they are very compact and inexpensive. Anyone who is at risk of serious injuries if they sustain a fall should seriously consider getting this type of product.