How often do you fall? I used to fall a lot more often than I currently do for no other reason than that I take more precautions than I used to. I am the master of falling down stairs, up stairs, and off of curbs. But my special talent is that of falling when standing perfectly still!! Yes, I can be standing straight and suddenly fall to one side or fall backwards.
In the past I was stubborn and thought I could just fight harder to keep myself upright. That just increased my number of falls and my recovery time. Falling is common for folks like me that have Fibromyalgia. One of the pitfalls (pun intended), is that even if I don’t break a bone when falling, my recovery time is still the same. The reason for this is that my muscles tighten up so intensely that it takes weeks and months of rest and massage to return them to “normal”. It took eight weeks for my body to heal after falling backwards and landing on my arm. Since then I began taking precautions.
For me falling isn’t just from having balance issues, instead it is mostly caused by the loss of feeling in my legs and feet. At any time, without warning, a leg or two, or a foot will lose feeling. The problem is it doesn’t register with my brain until after it fails me as I try to take a step. Same goes for falling sideways for no reason at all. The other evening I walked over to the sofa, stood there for a moment when all of a sudden I began to topple over sideways. Thankfully I landed on the soft sofa and not the floor!! I was reminded once again that I have no control over when I fall.
After five years of falling I finally began to take some precautions. In the beginning I used a walker, but found that it wasn’t really helpful in keeping me upright mainly because of the constant pain in my hands that made holding on when needed impossible. At times it would cause additional injury to my body when I fell because my head would hit it or my body would become tangled up with it. I find walking with my hand against a wall to be a better solution for me. My apologies to everyone who has my finger prints on their walls! Overall the best long term solution was using a wheelchair. While pain from walking or standing are the my top reasons for using a wheelchair, it has proven to be the best way to keep me from hitting the ground. I have removed all floor rugs and mats from my home. Floors are kept clutter free and rooms are not allowed to have so much furniture in them that one might feel like they are working their way through a maze. Having less to trip over or to walk around makes a huge difference. What are ways you prevent yourself from falling? I know it is impossible to prevent every fall. But when the time to recover from your falls is causing you miss out on life because that is all you are doing, something needs to be done.
If you find that you are falling more than normal or frequently, start taking precautions! The last thing you or I need to do is to add to our downtime!
The Disabled Diva
Tagged: arthritis, balance, chronic illness, chronic pain, degenerative disc disease, fall, falling, fibro, fibromyalgia, health, invisible disabilities, lupus, mental-health, MS, pain, pain pals, precautions, psoriatic arthritis, ra, spoonie, spoonies, topple over, trip, wheelchair