Stability problems

This is going to sound like a bit of a ramble, but I feel I have to fill in the background!

I have written posts before, one about the optimism about getting a new puppy and not letting this illness dictate and rule the rest of our lives. Late September, said puppy hurt her shoulder and on the Vet's advice, I was taking her round the garden on a lead. She suddenly lurched off to the left taking me with her, as I stupidly didn't let go of the lead! I say taking me with her, but only my top half followed as my feet didn't seem to get the message quickly enough and I ended up falling very heavily and breaking my shoulder (ironic or what!).

Anyway, that's getting better slowly with exercises and use - however, a few days after the break I was sent into the hospital with swollen legs for tests and after a full heart scan have found that although my heart pumps well,it does not relax properly allowing fluid to build up. I am now on tablets to stop that happening which seem to be working well. My breathlessness was also blamed on this, as was my asthma, my PMR and my scoliosis!

My main problem though is my feeling of instability which I tried to explain to my doctor - I now use a stick everywhere outside to make me feel safe and can step out (breath permitting) at a reasonable pace. The trouble comes if I try to look up, want to turn suddenly (my feet don't seem to understand that) or tryto walk on a surface that I do not consider to be 'safe'.

After this very long preamble, my question is 'Do others feel this vulnerability, or is it just because I am over reacting due to my fall?

7 Replies

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  • Difficult to say isn't it? I found walking on uneven surfaces very difficult with unmanaged PMR and hated walking downstairs if I didn't have a handrail or at least a wall to rest my hand on, I blamed it on the muscle problems in PMR. My balance was rubbish - I could fall over anything - and I know there are quite a few people who had similar experiences. I suppose that I also felt my legs didn't want to do as I was telling them. I certainly feel my arms don't want to do as I want them to do when changing bedlinen even now!

    Some years ago several ladies in the NE PMRGCA group participated in a Nordic walking course set up by AgeUK or someone. One was only able to walk with a zimmer because of balance problems, others required a walking stick for confidence. Nordic walking uses a pair of walking poles - something I see a lot of elderly people here in northern italy using rather than a walking stick. After a few months these ladies were able to walk without aids - they put it down to the improvement in muscle tone and using the poles allowing them to walk confidently.

  • I found walking outside at the beginning very daunting, partially due to muscles having a mind of their own, plus partial sight loss. Like you, I did use a stick, but decided I need to do something about my balance. Pilates helped me without a doubt.

    If you don't feel you can attend a class, there are some good exercises on the Arthritis website to improve your balance. Other web pages are available -Age UK is also very informative on exercises etc.

  • Thank you, I feel so much better after your and PMRpro's advice = will look at the websites you suggest. Hope you are both having a good day.

  • I've had a lovely day! Watching five sets of fabulous tennis followed by a bit of similar standard skiing. Then we went for a walk - a really glorious sunny day that wasn't quite as chilly as it has been - and it felt different somehow, almost thoughts of spring. Though they are threatening snow at the end of the week! Which will make a change - 2 inches of snow in the last 2 months isn't helpful to a ski resort!

  • Yes, I've been feeling this lately especially when crossing roads; my body seems to want to lurch in the direction I look in and my feet feel distinctly wobbly and won't straighten up quickly. I feel I need something to hang onto in order to stay upright. I just hope this is something which will pass as so many other symptoms have and hope yours do too.

  • Yes I hope so too! Hope you get your snow PMRpro, tried a snow buggy a long time ago - less arduous than skiing!

    Thanks once agaion

  • I don't ski any more - we just drive into the mountains to a favoured ski hut and watch others falling over... So we like the sun!

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