When I went to see my Ortho Doc he gave me the glad tidings that I had once again fractured my hip. I already knew it because the pain was as bad as the first time I fell and my muscles had tightened up beyond the proverbial “tighter than a jacket on a statue”. He showed me a video clip of how the brain fires out messages to the muscles when a “fall begins”. Like lightening, the brain tries to signal the muscles into “reflexing” in ways to stop or break the fall.
We had talked about the fact that I have fibromyalgia before the first of six joint surgeries (five replacements on different joints and one repair on my shoulder) and he did not feel it would hinder my recovery, based on my personality and will to fight, and he was right. I worked hard and pushed hard, with the help of some awesome physical therapists, and recovery was fairly quick, considering all things.
Now, here’s the glitch that no one seemed to know about at the time, including me. FMS patients have issues with balance. Most of the time, I just walk sideways for a few steps, like a drunk, and then I am fine. Sadly, it can be progressive. Walking sideways, is the beginning. Running into things, because you failed to walk a straight line is the beginning. Eventually, your muscles refuse to accept the messages the brain is firing off to them and when you trip or side-step, you can no longer catch yourself. Your nerve endings are going absolutely crazy with pain already and sending off contradicting messages. So, the muscles say “NO, that will hurt more!” Consequently, mixed messages are a serious problem for the FMS patient who has begun having balance issues.
A recent study followed 18 Balance-Challenged (isn’t that a nice hyphenated word for how it really feels?) folks and in six months, 17 of them fell. Nine of them fell twice in six months. I have fallen three times in nine months. The doctor recommended I no longer free-lance around the house. Instead, use the walker. The very contraption I worked furiously to set aside and walk without, it would appear, will now be my life-long companion.
So! I must wrap my mind around the fact that adding to the list of issues, is the falling down issue, the fractured hip issue. He said I am blessed with very dense bones that have grown in fully around all the joint replacements. Probably spared me a broken hip. Blessed. Hmmmm….
So, if I am so blessed, I need a new term for a future of falls. Falling down? No. Falling over? No. Falling up! Yup. That’s the one. And I am not a stupid, clumsy oaf. The walls, tables and corners get in my way. I am not clumsy. The tile floor hates me. I am not clumsy. The rug heard me say if I had wood floors under there, said rug would be out the door in the trash in a heartbeat. Falling up! I feel so much better now! Thanks, God!
“In EVERY thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thess. 5:18