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lydia

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Well I fell yesterday. For quite awhile I have felt like standing and walking is precarious. Uneven ground, tripping over nothing, tripping over rugs and cords (and cats, but who doesn't?), people bumping me, a hyperextending knee, then a buckling knee....it's like running a gauntlet...what is going to finally knock me for a loop? I don't even know how it happened. I was walking down the stairs, was approaching the last step, and bam, I was completely down, entirely laying on my side. Never saw it coming, didn't have any sensation of falling or losing my balance. Didn't feel my knee buckle. Did it? I don't know. Didn't even try to break the fall. It was so fast. Not hurt, but bruised hip and shoulder. Sore ankle. Maybe I twisted it? Is it just a coincidence that I fell while experiencing all the crap I am experiencing? Did I just fall, like people sometimes do for no reason (or do they?), and it doesn't imply some impending doom? I have never fallen in my adult life...except on ice. I don't know what to make of it.

So I can't help it but have to ask...would you mind sharing any experiences you have had with falls? I guess what I am most curious about is the lack of warning that a fall is imminent. That startle feeling, when you try to catch yourself...I just don't get why I didn't feel that.

Thank you all for reading,

Lydia
 

Al

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The couple of times I fell while not holding onto something was similar to yours. I described it like stepping out into mid air. Went to put foot down and felt nothing there. It was as if someone cut my leg off at the knee. Real weird sensation. I too was lucky. No breaks. Other times I was transferring and had hold of someone or something and felt the knee give out. Lucky again. Now use the Hoyer lift. No more standing or walking.

AL.
 

MtPockets

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Hi Lydia,
Sorry to hear about your fall. I could probably qualify as a fall expert of sorts :lol::lol: considering I have fallen probably 35 to 40 times in the past 6 years. Most of my falls were just being clumsy and resulted in very minor injuries. I would recommend trying a cane to help stabilize you some. I used one for about 10 years I guess and many times it saved me from completely falling. Maybe this quote will add a little humor to your dilemma. May God Bless you and keep you from falling.

This was 2 falls ago:
Just a note to jog everyones memory, be careful when transferring into or out of a wheel chair.
While transferring from my car to the wheelchair I can usually have my wife lock my legs in straight position and pivot around into the wheel chair. It has worked that way for over a year without any problems, until 2 days ago.
We were going out to eat, when as my legs were locked into the usual position and I was standing up straight, and I was about to pivot, my legs gave way completely, (I have no muscle movement in the legs or feet), and I fell.
Strangely I fell forward onto my hands, elbows, and knees, with one arm hanging onto the door trying to support my weight, yeah right.
This left my feet flat under me and bent in a 90 degree position. I am not sure, but I do not think feet are meant to go into such positions, I thought in my mind, as I heard a strange scream. It came without notice. Wossie that I am it sounded sort of like a girl. While in the midst of pain in my feet, back, arms, etc. Hanging half way on the door, and finally falling all the way to the pavement. You get the picture, I tried to say, please pull me forward so my feet can straighten out before they break in half. I do not think it came out that way. Someone was screaming what the HECK ARE YOU DOING STANDING THERE WHILE MY FEET BREAK IN TWO) Oops sry for the caps. Fingers not working too good either.
My wonderful wife had just come from the Doctors office where she had a cast removed from her right arm for tendon surgery on her right elbow, due to pulling on me in the past, so she could not use that arm.
She said politely, what do you want me to do. Since shoot me was not an option, the gun was at home, I said go get someone to help.
She left. It seemed like I lay there in mostly the same position for ever, calling out to anyone who drove by the parking lot to help me please. They must have thought I was a mugger waiting to jump them. Maybe it was the sobs that scared them. Because no one helped.
Finally, actually about 5 minutes later my wife came back and said someone was coming to help me since ,
I'VE FALLEN AND I CAN'T GET UP.
A very large man came and lifted me into my wheelchair. I ended up with a broken left big toe. Many strained and pulled muscles that I never knew I had before. Not bad considering all the weight I had put on both feet and the crazy angle they were at.
Morale of the story: Do be careful out there folks. When you least expect it, something may not go as planned. And most of all be nice to everyone. You may never know when you may need them to pull you butt out of a jam. :)
I can laugh about it now, but I sure was not laughing then.
 

sukilou

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Many falls

Hi Lydia,

I have been walking in a precarious mode for over 3 yrs, and it was the falling that made me seek medical advice. My first fall resulted in a serious injury (a hairline skull fracture). I had tripped over the garden hose, and thought I was getting very clumsy in my old age. Ha! So I started paying more attention to where I was stepping and making sure that I lifted my feet when walking around. Well, my balance difficulties progressed to being very unsteady on uneven ground, climbing stairs, stepping down and up curbs, getting up from chairs, turning around while standing, and being nudged. I fell in each of those circumstances, and with the nudging, fell outside and broke my wrist requiring surgery last May.

Each time I fell I would try to figure out why I had lost my balance, and then I would concentrate on being more careful when I was in that situation again. But it didn't always work, and I would find myself down again, almost without warning. I think that in my case, there's a combination of rigidity and lack of muscle tone that interferes with my being able to catch myself from falling--I only realize I'm going down after the fact, not before. I was using a cane at first, but now have graduated to my new best friend, a 4 wheel walker.

If you are having falling problems, please don't take any chances (use a cane or walker). Broken bones are not fun!
 

BethU

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Hi, Lydia ... I am in the pre-fall phase, I guess you'd call it. At clinic last week, the neuro had me walk around the halls, then recommended that I use a walker and ordered me one. She didn't want me getting a light aluminum one ... she wants me to use a heavy one. I didn't feel unsteady, but she said I was side-stepping all over the place, back and forth. She wanted to know if I'm "wall walking" yet, and I'm not really, but I do kinda steady myself on furniture as I walk by.

I've had one fall so far, and it wasn't bad, as I was in a crouch and trying to stand up, and, as you experienced, my legs just gave out with no warning. I had no chance to put my arms out to break the fall. Just bam, down like a sack of cement.

I have a dozen near-falls a day, but I don't know how a walker is going to prevent them, as it's usually when I'm bending over feeding the cats, or standing and turning around. I do wobble sometimes while I'm walking, so a walker will work if I'm just plain walking somewhere. It would help if I had a little pain (just a little, please) where I'm weak, to remind me to slow down and be careful.

I guess if nothing else, the walker will slow me down. Maybe it will convince my husband to use his. We can have walker races ...

Hang in there ...
 

suzannj

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Hi Lydia,
I just saw your post today. Holy crap . . . I cannot believe you fell like that! :( How unsettling. Thank God you weren't badly injured. I would find that very upsetting, and I hope you're okay. No falls for me, so I don't have any perspective to offer on that front, however I would definitely mention this at your appt (like you wouldn't) and see what s/he makes of it. Please be careful, it may have just been an isolated incident, but better safe than sorry. No shame in using a cane to protect yourself either.....I walked with one for weeks and weeks after spreaking my ankle (a word I invented myself because the ER doctor said he couldn't determine if it was just a bad sprain or a hairline break :) ).

I'm so sorry that this happened to you and I hope it never, never happens again!
(((((Suzann))))))
 

lydia

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Hello All,

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with falls. I don't know if my fall is significant in any way whatsoever but obviously hope not. I will share this with the new neuro next week at my long-awaited appointment. It seems to me that if the fall was caused by something related to what I have been experiencing physically then....wouldn't something show up during the office exam? But what I wonder? If the fall is related to what is going on with me, then it seems it is from one of two reasons. 1) balance issues and not being able to recover when going off balance, and 2) leg not working properly. Because of the way the fall happened, with no warning so no attempt at recovery I think it must be something with the leg. Plus that leg has been buckling slightly (I talked about this in a previous post regarding "weak in the knees") and hyperextending horribly (ouch!)....but who knows?

It's the end of the semester and I am buried and trying not to have conversations with the new neuro in my head....

Lydia
 

lydia

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Had my 2nd fall today

So I had my 2nd fall today. This one was a clear example of losing one's balance (as compared to the first where I don't know how it happened). I was in a carpet store, and I am not sure but think something startled me out of the corner of my eye, and then I just lost my balance. For no real discernible reason. I knew I was falling, and back I went. Fortunately, there was a pile of carpets behind me just about knee-high that provided a nice cushy landing zone. Of course, that was a mighty low seat and getting up again was the usual chore (but I did it myself-a big improvement over my escapade last night when I required my son's assistance). Other than being embarrassed in front of the salesman I am no worse for wear. Just don't know what to make of it. It was a different sort of fall than the first. When is it not an isolated incident? When does it become a pattern?
 

rose

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Lydia,

I don't know the answers to your question, just wanted to say that I really feel for you! You have an admirable, terrific attitude and personality, and I feel certain that whatever this is won't get the best of you. ((hugs))
 

Al

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I'd guess and say 3 in a short period of time is a pattern and maybe time to get a walker.

AL.
 
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