Saturday, April 5, 2008

And then comes the Fall...

I am having a no-where kind of day. I want to be sad about this morning, but I want to ignore it even more.

I fell down the stairs. And I did it with Olympic skiier finesse.

How could I have been standing at the top, talking with the kids about the phone one second, with no intention in the world of actually *going down* the stairs... and then two seconds later be all akimbo at the bottom??

At least I didn't drop the phone. Nope, wouldn't want to harm the phone!

My left leg has been buckling a lot lately. I usually catch myself or grab onto something. And I know that I have been a little extra careful around stairs for the last few months because my depth perception is wonky and I get mixed up and swoon.

So my leg buckled, and of course, I went DOWN instead of backwards. And mistreated every joint in my body along the way.

My tail bone and elbows, and ankles are like screaming pixies. My neck has seized up and stubbornly refuses to obey right or left, up or down. And my left shoulder... gets worse by the hour in spite of a whack-load of anti-inflammatories. It's throbbing, and I can't move my arm backwards or up to my head. I've seen a lot of rotator cuff injuries in my time... and I'm scared.

And embarrassed. And feeling bodily-betrayed.

Have any of you dealt with stuff like this? Any advice?




First of all, you're a nurse (like me), so there's no use in telling you to go to a doctor and get checked out/ won't do it anyway! LOL If something "falls off", I'm sure you'll seek other medical attention. So, I don't think you're asking MEDICALLY what to do/for advice.

I have had to train myself to take only one stair at a time to avoid collapse, but it sounds as if you weren't even THINKING about going down the stairs at the time. I have also had to "train" myself to avoid potentially hazardous situations (like stairwell landings, for example) or to automatically secure myself to something, either by leaning or jamming the toe of my shoe in a railing "just in case"...beyond that, I've got nothing here to offer...sorry.

And so sorry you've tumbled...that whiplash you are describing really SHOULD be checked out though...just in case you've fractured something. But you already know that...knowledge just MIGHT be the thing that kills us. :-)

Linda D. in Seattle

Nervus Rex said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, somewhere inside of me I know this. :) I guess that I just need a kick in the butt!

I do like the idea of securing myself and will make a mental note to self: "batten down the hatches".

I don't think that I'm broken... torn, whiplashed... maybe. Bruise ego, for sure!

Thanks, Linda, for stopping by and reminding me of my own rules ;)

Anne said...

Hi Shauna:
I have gotten to the point that whenever I am faced with steps, I need to have somebody in front of me. Mostly because my depth perception is nil and I can't gauge how deep each step is. As for inside my house, I live on the 1st floor and my sons live on 2nd floor. I rarely go upstairs but when I do, I come down on my butt.

On escalators, if each step does not have a yellow stripe on the end of it, I need a body again in front of me - both up and down. Without the yellow stripe, each stair blends into the next.

I fall alot. It is safe to say that not a week goes by that I do not fall. Because of the numbness in my legs (mostly from knees down to toes), if I hurt anything below the knee, I don't know it until pain shoots up past the knee.

Consequently I have walked on broken bones for up to three weeks before getting x-rayed, set the bone and cast. My right foot has had upwards of five breaks in the last 20 years, none of them on steps. Balance is a big problem for me.

The only advice that I feel safe to give you is to make sure you give your total undivided attention to the motion of going down the stairs - and then resume conversations!

Take care, Anne

Diane J Standiford said...

Whoa! Anne! Geez! Uh, back to NR: I had my first fall in 2004 (DX 1990), luckily no on stairs and luckily have acting classes under my belt.(We would spend weeks falling) Since the furst fall--5 more through 2005. All "buckling knee," LOOONG story about seeing speacialists/getting $1,400NASA material brace, nobody really helped me, so now I don't walk. makes me so mad because I KNOW if I jut find the right Dr.,so I keep looking, and try to keep needed leg muscle as fit as possible. The conclusion was weak quads, so work your quads. You can lie down w/pillow under knee/upper leg and push your leg up, hold ten count and do ten each leg. Search for quad exercises and adapt to your ability and comfort. Thank goodness it wasn't worse. Take it easy!

Shauna said...

Here's your kick in the butt......get thee to a physician....
The other S.

CrazyCath said...

Shawna - another kick in the butt (that tail bone will get mighty sore with these kicks!) to add to the other S's. Get to a physician!

Reason it out this way. Your profile says "probable MS" which means you may be struggling to get them to give you a diagnosis. Diagnosis helps in that you start being taken seriously and getting proper treatment. What more evidence do you want than a fall from a buckling leg? Get to a physician. Get treatment. Get it documented. Get painkillers.

Take care of yourself. No one else will! You know you need the rest - rest up girl!

From one who knows what it's like to have the symptoms without the evidence and struggles to be taken seriously!!!

mdmhvonpa said...

Ouch! We have hard-wood floors so I tend to stay away from the stairs ... time to leave a wad of pillows on the landing?

Nervus Rex said...

LOL, Pa, there was a pile of laundry from the Littlest's room at the bottom... that I had the pleasure of landing in :)

And everyone else, thanks for the kick in the butt (goes along with the other bruise quite nicely!)

I have nothing broken but my pride... no fractures or tears (YAY :) ). I do have whiplash, as Linda suggested and I never even considered from a fall down the stairs... Thanks, Linda! So I'm supposed to "take it easy for a few days" and "try to stretch" my neck and shoulders. Anti-inflammatories for the swelling, and hot packs for the muscles, which, unfortunately, although they feel GREAT, set off the spasms up my neck again...
I'm supposed to book in with my neurologist in the next couple of weeks for a check-in.

I can tell you, I'm taking your very welcome suggestions to keep something sturdy at hand around stairs.

What is it about MS that messes with depth perception? I didn't realize that was even a symptom! I have developed an obsessive fear of escalators this year -- I just can't judge them and get all messed up at the top (going up is OK, but down I just can't do).

Anne, I can't believe what your poor feet have been through. Thanks for the advice about talking OR walking, LOL!