This is a tough one! I also need a 'walking aid' (my neuro said so, and the number of falls I have had support his recommendation, not to mention that I can't get very far on my own!), but "vanity, thy name is woman!"....Or so I thought. The only functional aids available here are those wonderfully sturdy, but horribly ugly (no offence to anyone) grey aluminium crutches that support your forearm - the kind I used when I broke my ankle...Using them is like being pregnant - complete strangers feel compelled to ask you very personal questions and get upset if you don't respond with equal enthusiasm. And yet, those oh so sweet and slender canes with sterling silver handles are absolute crap at actually helping support you (my husband collects antiques, so we have a few of those around, and they are so gorgeous, but I don't know what they were made for - it certainly wasn't as a real walking aid). I am sure there must be something a little less obtrusive than the crutch, but a little more functional than the slender canes - at present, I have a traditional SA knobkerrie - it is a very sturdy, rough-hewn stick with a rounded 'knob' ( I am not being pornographic here!) as a handle - it is great for warding off potential muggers, but the grip is not great for long-term use.
I still haven't really got to grips with the psych angle of actually using a stick (for walking - I have no problem hitting people with it) - I just kind of ignore the necessity and take it along like I do my handbag...If anyone has an idea for a discrete, but functional stick, please let me know...I know vanity is foolish when compared to necessity, but I hate all the unwelcome attention that crutches garner, especially in the absence of a cast on one's leg...I am still relatively young (as many with ms are) so I cannot just mutter 'old age'
(as my great Auntie Alma does - she had hip replacements and loves to share her story)...Sigh, this has become rambling, but I am sure that some of you will relate to not wanting all that horrible pity from people who don't even know you....