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Falls


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#1 betty32506

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 05:25 PM

There is so much information on this site. The answer to my question no doubt is in there somewhere. But I hope someone can give ma a simple, not too complicated answer.

I have fallen 4 times in the last 3 months. I appear to have nothing wrong with me and have a normal gate. But I just suddenly fall. Each one has been a different situation so I don't really know what to watch out for. I have always had some problems turning around or getting up too quickly. I am used to watching out for that and before it has never caused a fall. I am now more cautious than ever. I have stopped even stepping on a small step stool I used to reach the higher cabinets. Reading posts on another site I get the feeling that this is not too uncommon.

Two of these incidence was severe enough to warrant medical care. One I cracked my sacrum. I have to find a way to prevent a serious problem like a hip fracture.

The last fall I was on our driveway starting to blow leaves from the door way. I moved the mat out of the way and turned to go back the few feet (maybe 6 feet away). The blower was on the ground and I don't know if I had gotten close enough to be reaching down for it. It was like a tripped, but there was nothing that could cause me to trip. One knee hit the cement but instead of regaining my balance I just "tipped" over and landed on my head. I don't see how it is possible to fall while standing and land on my head.

After the fall that fractured the sacrum I had to have help with all most anything I did. I used a cane and after I felt l really didn't need it anymore I still tried to hang on to it for a few days. Each day I lost it more and more. We run a business out of the same building I live in and all day I am scurrying from one area to another. I don't have a problem and then it seems I just loose my balance and fall. I don't see how these could be called dizzy or vertigo. I don't know if the cane would give me any stability if I had it when I started to fall. Someone suggested a walker but I could not do what I do using a walker.

I think preventing a hip fracture is so high on my priority list that I will do what I must. Even a fall once a month would mean I am contending with a walking aid that might only be useful once a month. I think I can hang onto a cane if I knew if it would be helpful or not.

My question is does this type problem have that as part of it's symptoms. I am undiagnosed but probably is sclero or lupus and I am taking plaquenil.

I am 73 but still do normal activity. My bones are low density.

Any ideas???? :unsure:

Betty

#2 Elehos

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 02:42 AM

Hi Betty,

I've had the same problem with balance for some years now, and it has nothing to do with dizziness or vertigo; I simply tip over for no apparent reason. There are days that it's not a big problem, then all of a sudden I'm "playing pinball" down the hallway or flailing my arms like a tightrope walker and trying to get centered again.

I always use a walker when I'm out, but not the type you have to lift and clunk along with. My husband got two for me, one for the house and one to keep in the truck, and they're more like push carts with a seat, and having brakes on them has been a life saver. Most days I don't have a choice about using one in the house as well, but living in a cape cod means there's always something within reach to grab onto, and I tend to walk through the house grabbing doorways, counters, or whatever else is there.

Are you going up and down stairs with your business? I always joke around that we don't need a dog since I have to go up stairs on all fours and pretty much look like one anyway. It's safer that way, so forget vanity! On the way down, I do "cross country skiing" by grabbing onto both rails, moving very slowly, and making sure both feet are on the same step before taking the next one. If you do have to go between floors frequently during the day, it might be good to get a walker for each floor.

There's no doubt that lupus and sclero will change your life along the way, but making certain adjustments will make it safer for you, and although you may have to slow down a bit, you can still accomplish what's necessary. I hope this helped a little.

Hugs and warmest wishes to you,
Elehos

#3 Heidi

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 04:59 AM

Hi Betty,

Have you talked with your doctor about these falls? Maybe had an MRI? It sounds like maybe something neurological or vestibular may be going on (but I am certainly not a doctor).

I looked on our website and found this link to an article talking about balance disorders
I hope something in this article will be helpful.

Please do keep us posted on how you are doing.

Warm wishes,
Heidi

#4 betty32506

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 04:12 PM

There are no stairs but one short ramp. I don't have a problem to doing any of that. I can move quickly except that I have to remember not to get up or turn around to fast. Since I do not have a problem with any of that it makes it difficult for me to ever be on guard for the one time I culd fall. I can't very well run at a snails pace when dealing with customers.

I am really hoping to get out of this soon but every time it appears favorable something happens. It is my son's business but my husband and I hae a lot invested in it too. So by staying I am not only protecting my son's future but our own as well.
Betty

#5 betty32506

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 04:20 PM

Heidi,
Thanks for your response. I have not had time to read your reference will I will. Several months ago I went through a long, complicated series of test but I guess that was a good day and nothing was revealing.

Recently I have had both MRIs and CTs. Just as I suspected they found the head empty. :wacko:

I was dizzy recently but attributed it to a series of eye surgeries and my eyes were out of balance. But connected to the falls I was not dizzy. I have an apt. with my doctor next Tues so in the meantime I am gathering as much information on this issue as I can.

Betty

#6 tmgilbertpt

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 10:55 AM

As a physical therapist I treat many patients with balance problems. If your doctors rule out any major neurological problem, you may want to ask for a referal to a therapist. They can provide you with a lot of exercises to help you retrain your balance. With each fall you become a little more scared of falling again, which is quite normal. Performing different balance actvities will improve your balance and give you a greater sense of security and help reduce your fear of falling. Hope this helps. Tammy