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1st fall

I was shopping on Saturday & was walking downstairs holding one side of banisters, when suddenly I went down, I ended up holding the right sided banister but had swung myself face down & slid down a few stairs, I had no warning, no numbness but plenty of embarrassment, poor shop staff couldn’t do enough but I just had to get out of there. I’m a bit bruised & sore but just can’t work out how this happened or is this normal?

Dumbo,

For me falling will never be normal, even if it is not unusual.

Falling is flippin’ horrible no matter how many times my body has thrown me on the floor, it still amazes me how rapidly it happens. I am a bit better at dealing with the indignity now but bloody annoying all the same. People are generally OK once they get past their shock.

The only thing I can say is you will get better at reducing the likelihood of falling and avoiding dodgy environments.

All the best

Mick

Hi,

Yes, I’m afraid that falling is a very common problem with MS. You probably know that MS causes the insulating layer around nerves (myelin) to become damaged. When the normal electrical impulses, needed for walking, are disrupted it can lead to a collapse of one leg. And this can be sudden and unexpected.

I’ve got used to “locking” my weak leg at the knee which helps, but occasionally I’ll slide to the floor as there is no power to keep me upright. Last Saturday I had to call for an ambulance to get me up off the floor at home.

It would be useful to get a walking stick for extra support and balance.

Best wishes,

Anthony

Yup, me too. My last fall left me with the most enormous black and purple bruise on my hip/upper leg. And caused my OH to get help from a neighbour to get me up again. Quite embarrassing as I’ve only met this man a couple of times before and to meet him dressed in just pants and a T-shirt is not my most pleasant memory.

Even in my ‘walking more or less properly’ days, I’ve fallen over a tiny flaw in the pavement, tripped over my own feet, just fallen for no apparent reason. I’ve even fallen in the loo in a hospital. Paramedics have been called for several xtimes too.

It’s undignified, embarrassing and I’ve lost count of the bruises, cuts, pulled muscles (from trying to save myself) and damaged clothes.

Sometimes it is simply a matter of one leg giving way, collapsing under me. I’m so used to that happening now when walking with a walker, that I generally don’t fall. But it takes time to figure out the ways your body is likely to let you down.

Sue

Ladies and Gentlemen, falling is not natural nor good for your body. I am my wife’s sole caregiver outside of the hospital.

My wife has fallen a lot over the years. She preferred a “rotator” for walking so she could have a seat to sit down in case she required a seat. The last time she fell, she blew out her foot and angle requiring surgery. She was already in SPMS and in my impression should not have PT which she was given after the first surgery to stabilise the initial break and a second surgery to remove the stabilising cast and put her in a repair cast.

After her first surgery she was “carted” because her blood pressure went over 200 (Not good either!). They did not tell us if she had a stroke or her BP went back to normal without any other damage. After this trip to the hospital sent to a nursing home for rehab. A few months she had another incident at the nursing home and they could not calm her down, so they gave her too much medication to calm her down, which required that she be taken to the Hospital ER. Her doctor showed me the chart from the nursing home and she was given too much medication. Her problem was an extreme case of reaction to the extent her illness, SPMS was at.

A consideration if falling has become a problem is to add an elevator if you have a second floor or something to enable the person to remain seated while moving upstairs. If that is not an option, consider moving to a one floor type of housing.

(I have low BP and after a few fainting spells, I broke my foot/ankle/toes. Instead of an operation I was put in a boot cast. So I understand the danger of falling.)

Although I don’t have MS or I don’t think so, I have a lot of falls, about two and half years ago I was really Ill and one of the thing that happened was that I would stand up shiver and shake then drop to the floor, where upon I couldn’t get up I was so weak. I had lost altogether seven and a half stone. They told me it was my blood pressure being to low.

What happened next was I was admitted to hospital where they found what it was. Which was great but the problem was that it took time to get better. I was still getting drops attacks during my gallbladder infection and had a nasty fall where I chipped a bone in my ankle, which was not long after the operation and i still had a drain. I was picked up by my brother in law and taken to the local hospital.

To this day l get light headed, even though it maybe my blood pressure it’s high when I go to the doctors and really low when I take it at home. I don’t know if you get high or low blood pressure with MS, or if it is a symptom of MS. I used to have high blood pressure and take tablets but I haven’t taken any for almost four years.

What happens now is if I don’t take my time standing up I get really dizzy and if I fall I still find it hard to get up. It happened yesterday and I found I was stuck and found it hard to stand up.

I hope you find out if your symptoms are MS or not.

Kay

Yep, fell down in the garden two weeks ago, ended up with my head in the spikey hedge! Fortunately that day as my front garden is the stopping and chatting spot for everyone, not a person saw it. Previously, nearly fell down in the Works a month before that although my fault entirely, decided on a day I shouldn’t be doing anything - to do something. I knew before I set off I should not be stubborn and have a give-in-to-it-day, nope, fell then couldn’t find my parking ticket, had to get everything out blah blah, very embarasing. Went home and sulked for the rest of the day! I was actually grumpy.

Oh I forgot, last year I had some falls in the back garden (again because I wouldn’t listen to my body) and at the time, the one where I had just gathered thousands of little seeds from my garden in the Autumn, was feeling very pleased with myself and getting ready to store them safely in the shed to re-seed this year, well! Thousands of these blasted things, I fell over on the lovely newish garden flooring which looks pretty, but is sort of porous and the darned seeds went with me scattering themselves merrily, all over the flooring. No, not over the garden, over the flooring. So this year I am not enjoying the lovely flooring so much which was supposed to stop the weeds coming through too, I am in a battle with the gazillion seeds which are not sprouting up through the flooring and threatening to prevent it being non-slip and easily manourerable. Oh well, nature eh!

No falling over today folks, if anyone is out, take stick, take stock, think about how you go about. Take care. Oh and as my Mum said when I was little, always wear your best pants just in case you fall over and have to go in the ambulance ha ha. Thanks Mum, who thought it would be useful?

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Yup! I’m another faller. It just randomly happens without any warning. I’m super careful after a fall, but then I forget and soon find myself on the floor again. Fortunately I haven’t done any major damage yet.

great to hear that you have not done any major damage.

I think it is standard human nature to forget the bad stuff and start taking “older normality” for granted. If we continued to be hyper vigilant, we would either be super tired all the time or would never do anything again.

Stay lucky.

Mick

Yes I did this my 1st unexplained fall I was leaving work down a staircase, hand on the wooden rail, my hand slipped between the wooden and metal handrails, I gathered speed and hurtled towards the wall at the bottom of the stairs. I managed to do a perfect faceplant half way down the wall landing in a broken heap having broken my left elbow and right wrist. I was in agony, had to ring upstairs to get them to phone for an ambulance, pretty shaken up. This was 2001, I got diagnosed with ms in 2006, was the fall the cause of the ms or did I already have it and this is what made it worse.

I ‘sort of’ fell onto the loo early this morning. Landed just about on it, but at a strange angle. I had to call and wake my husband up to help me move my legs into such a place that I could use the grab bars to just about shift position. When I woke up, not only was there blood all over the sheets, but another whopper of a bruise.

A glorious start to the day.

Sue

Oh Sue. The risks of a fall are constant aren’t they, regardless of how careful we are?! I too sort of fell on the loo this morning and simply could not push myself to upright position again, just using the handles on the frame. Mr Poppy had taken the opportunity to go fishing in the early morning while I was still asleep in bed. It took me a long time to get sorted but I managed. If he knew he wouldn’t want to leave me alone at all and that’s not good for either of us. Hope the day improved for you x

The funniest thing was that once Mr Sssue had sorted my feet out, helped me to actually get onto the loo in roughly the right place, he’d moved the wheelchair out of the way and didn’t put it back! Just left it halfway across the wetroom, out of my reach and went away. Idiot man. (Sweet, kind man, but an idiot nonetheless!)

Sue, hope you’re ok and trust that any discomfort from the fall soon dissipates. I fell near the bottom of the stairs about two weeks ago and think I cracked a rib. Not one to run to the doc, but eventually went earlier this week. Still pretty sore, but a lot better than it was. Now being super careful, as I really don’t want another fall.

Fell again this morning. Got a bloody relapse and my legs just won’t do anything they’re told. Not that they are well behaved at the best of times, but this week!!!

This time tried to stand up off the bed and transfer to the wheelchair. My legs just collapsed. Bit painful on the knees as they bend more than they had planned to! No real damage done though.

My husband just phoned a friend of his who was round 15 minutes later and just like that, I was off the floor.

Stupid legs, silly me.

And the steroids taste disgusting (as always). Keeping my fingers crossed they work as well as they did last time!

Sue x

Bloody hell Sssue,

you must be spitting feathers (they are less unpleasant than steroids) sorry to hear of your relapse and fall. That must also be tough on Mr Sssue, so send him some foggy support.

Mick

I am nibbling extra strong mints to remove the foul metallic taste left in one’s mouth all day long when taking high dose steroids. God it’s disgusting. Taints everything. No bruises this morning, so not as bad as yesterday.

There was me thinking I was safely Progressive now, and wouldn’t be having pesky relapses, and bang, 3 in a year. So I’m shortly going to start taking Copaxone, my neurologist rang me to tell me he’d secured funding yesterday. I thought I wouldn’t qualify being too disabled, but he assured me that I do. Maybe they’ll work.

Mr Sssue has gone to take his sadly demented mother for a hospital appointment. So is probably right now answering the same questions over and over. The usual routine is to answer sensibly the first couple of times, then start inventing answers. Keeps the family amused.

Sue x

Sorry to hear you’ve had your first fall! Sadly, it’s all too common with MS - all you can do is balance not overly putting yourself in harms way and not wrapping yourself up in cotton wool. It’s a balancing act that takes time to get used to - but after a while, it becomes second nature. It’s likely the falls would continue, but remember, you’re not alone, and there’s help out there. I fell down the stairs in December, and broke two ribs, plus already have a metal plate in my head, metal replacement orbit around my eye, pins in my arms and legs, and much, much more - all from falls. I never let it slow me down!