Monday, June 27, 2016
Put Your Right Foot In...
I took a spill last week. Oh it was a real header, stubbing my toe on the sidewalk seam and went faceplant into the cement. I grabbed for my grandgirl and pulled her down, too. Fortunately she kind of fell on me... My right leg got caught on a sidewalk chair and my left arm on a table. Knocked off my shoes and skinned off my ankle. I was a bit of a mess. And for over a week now I have been finding bruises that are still just coming out.
This is not the first faceplant fall I have taken over the past few years. One time, again on the sidewalk, I smashed my chin and broke my glasses. Once was out walking the dog and turned wrong and landed on the ground. The pup tried to come to my rescue. I tripped on the carpet in my Upland apartment. And Macy's...that was a huge header right at the entrance. And each time I find myself falling I try to catch myself, so I stumble forward, trying to remain upright, moving speedily along until I can no longer stand up. SPLAT Sometimes I fall back into the chair as I try to stand up...I am actually up, actually standing and I just lose my balance and sit back down.
Now understand I have never been graceful. Mom sent both my sister and me in the early 60s to "Charm School" at Sears...twice. I have always had a habit of walking through the door before actually opening the door. I would get out a ladder to work on the gutters of my house in SE Portland and the neighbors would come running out to offer to do it for me. I have owned my own pair of crutches since 1985.
But this is different than it used to be. This is becoming a problem. And then I thought about my feet. See, I have neuropathy of the feet. Slowly over the last 10 years I have lost feeling in my feet. Started with the right big toe and now it is in both feet, numbness through the ball of the feet. My right foot is worse than my left but the competition is fierce. After all the tests, it is found there is no reason. The neurologist said, "A small percentage have no reason for the neuropathy. No diabetes, no rheumatoid arthritis, no weird stuff going on." Just lucky I guess.
Some people lose feeling in their feet or hands and that's all there is; some people have severe pain that goes along with their numbness. That's the weirdest part. I can't feel much but pressure on the bottom of my feet and toes, but the pain is at times excruciating. Like tons of pins sticking into my feet while the toes and soles are on fire. I can't wear closed shoes or straps across my ankles. I must have a soft sole to cushion the foot. And I think that this is why I am falling so often. Where is my foot going?
Also, my right leg has never been straight since I had my knee replaced. It doesn't bend as well either (but MUCH better than before the replacement, both the bending and the straightness). It is a lack of lifting my foot high enough that is part of the problem along with not knowing what the foot is doing at all times. So I stub my foot. I try to catch myself. I stumble forward. I move speedily along. Alas, I can no longer stand up. SPLAT
My newest idea is to work on balance. I will not recover the feeling in my feet; it will only continue with loss. But I can work on balance. I am thinking of trying tai chi. And one of those balance balls thingies. Good thing I have a walker down in the basement to hang onto while I work on this balance thing, eh? Otherwise no one will be able to save me--not my grandgirl, my pup, myself :)
And so we go, sharing the thrills of aging. Not always as fun as it sounds ;)