• Fear of Falling

    Asked by BoiseB on Tuesday, March 5, 2019

    Fear of Falling

    This is not exactly a cancer question but it could be. Ever since this summer's falls, I have developed a fear of falling, I don't walk any distances alone. Last night I fell again I was going to the bathroom. Luckily I fell against the door do I didn't fall completely to the ground but I did hit my head on the door. If my headache is not gone by noon tomorrow, I will go the the Urgent Care. Has anyone had fears, cancer caused or not,paralyze them?

    18 Answers from the Community

    18 answers
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      BoiseB, my husband has a good friend who has been having balancing problems, shuffling his feet, afraid to walk unassisted. Recently he decided to try a walker and is doing much better. My dad fought having to use a walker until he fell in his bedroom one night and hurt his back. I hope your headache subsides but you really should be checked out by a doctor after a fall since we are no longer spring chickens . I see people with wheels on their walkers buzzing by me all the time and those seniors in motorized shopping carts really need their own lanes.lol Think about the possibility of using a walker to assist you at times. No one wants you to fall again. Nect time it could be a broken hip. Take care and wishing you improved mobility ahead.

      12 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Thanks Lynne,
      I do have a walker which I use when I leave the apartment. I use a cane around my very small apartment. I have lost my balance while using the walker. Thank Heaven my son was with me. I really don't like this fear causing me to disrupt my life.

      12 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Do your doctors have any idea why you fall so often, @BoiseB?

      I sure hope your headache goes away from this latest incident ... and I'm very glad that you didn't fall all the way to the ground.

      12 months ago
    • kalindria's Avatar
      kalindria

      I slipped on the ice on Dec. 31 and really hurt my knee. Then I got a knee replacement. I have neuropathy in my feet and don't always trust my balance. I understand and share your fear.

      12 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      My Dr.s were aware of my history of falls since childhood. I was a very sickly child. I had several major illnesses as a child including polio I was lucky I was not paralyzed however it did leave me with neurologolical weaknesses. Then when I was 5 I got Brucellosis that left me with bouts of chronic pain and fatigue after cancer there were no more "bouts" of chronic pain and fatigue it is just chronic pain and fatigue. Needless to say during those bouts of chronic pain and fatigue I fell often. Luckily not all of my falls resulted in blows to my head. Although I did make up for it by a toxic marriage which caused several blows to the head. And there were three automobil accidents that resulted in concussions. Then there was the ceiling that fell on my head. I fell twice and hit my head last summer. I did not finish physical therapy for my brain injuries because I needed to get to Olympia. My Dr. in Boise told me that head injuries are culumative. So that is why I am scared to death of falling.
      Kalindria I agree with you about the ice. I understand that this was the coldest February ever here,

      12 months ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Boise, Carry your cell phone with you in case you fall and can't get up. After head radiation it took a few hours to get my shoes and socks on. I've had ear problems since I was 7 or 8-which caused balance problems. Some meds make those problems worse. Doctors can't understand my absolute fear of Tylenol

      Boise, my legs went out after being held hostage by Whooping Cough for almost a year. I'm scared of being stuck in the bathroom- so I don't lock the door. I spent almost a year having to crawl out of the bath tub like a seal-crawled across the floor to the toilet and pushed myself up on the toilet.

      I feel for you, and I thoroughly understand your fear. sometimes it's just inconvenient to go out. I'm doing OK right now, where I'm not scared-but it affects my life.

      12 months ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      Always carry your cell phone. My hubby's knees got bad, and he fell outside several times and couldn't get up until I realized that he hadn't come back in the house. Turns out, his Vitamin B12 level was low in addition to his bad knees.

      See a neurologist. They are skilled in evaluating balance issues. They can also refer you to a physical therapist for specific exercises that help restore your balance.

      I fell six months after my last chemo. It knocked me unconscious and I had to have six stitches over my right eye. My husband called 911 because he couldn't wake me up.

      12 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Definitely, carry a phone everywhere. I hadn't thought of that, but that's the best advice. I fell a number of times when I was walking my dogs ... usually because I wasn't paying attention and tripped over uneven sidewalks. I ALWAYS banged my head good. Broke glasses, the whole 9 yards. Then, I started falling and breaking my arm (the same one twice) instead...

      So, I am wary when I am walking the dogs (they caused the first broken arm), removed the carpet I tripped over to break it the second time, and often walk in the street instead of on the sidewalk ... or try to keep a closer eye on what I'm doing rather than daydreaming while walking. However, I do not fear walking or going places. That's different.

      I do understand your fear. Falling, especially when you bang your head and end up with a concussion, over and over again, would definitely cause one to be more cautious.

      You ARE fortunate that the polio didn't cripple you. My uncle had it, too. First, he had leg braces, but it ultimately stole his ability to walk at all.

      If a walker doesn't keep you from falling, maybe you would consider a wheelchair. That might be the safest option for you if the neurologist can't help.

      @meyati, I was at a fancy hotel for some conference I went to. I rarely take a bath, but I had time and I thought the big bathtub in the hotel looked really inviting. I don't know if it was a one-time thing or not, but I spent forever trying to get out of that bathtub. I started to get frantic, thinking I would never figure out how to get out and there I was many miles from home and no one to help me.... I FINALLY got out but I've been way too leary of ever take another bath, especially somewhere besides home.

      12 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Donna's Mom developed this fear after she came home from the Rehab facility. They had her up and walking, but when she got home she wouldn't step away from the bed.

      12 months ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Live with- I hear you about the street and walking---Same here---I walk so slow-especially for a young coonhound. I'm taking Jax to group classes now, where he's learning how to act when dogs follow us-they act up-we follow dogs--standing/sitting/staying next to dogs. The biggie for Jax is not freaking out around men.

      Anyway, even with my gimpy knee and old age, I walk faster than the rest of the people. There about 20-30 people walking around an old gym- priceless in this day and age. So the pit bull and human in front of me were squirrelly last week. The pitt kept trying to pull off to the side or sit down and scream. I didn't want to walk up their rear, so I slowed down and still had to stop--I was watching-trying to keep Jax smoothly, and I stepped on a huge floor drain grate. I stepped almost over it, but caught my toe at the edge of the floor. Down I went. on my bad knee. I was able to get right up. You know the good thing about a bad knee? It was so wrapped and padded that the pain was minimum. and my hands helped break the blow to my knee. Anyway-I think that they saw me trying to keep a distance behind those people. I'm more aware of the 2 drains and I give them a big berth. They also gave us permission to pass people, and I power up and pass those people now. There's a problem Husky, 2 german shepherds and that Pit Bull. Jax is so calm that they place problem dogs next to us. That does not bother me or Jax.

      Jax is so funny---he watches the other dogs-and he decides to do what gives them praise. We went for the mani/pedi yesterday- we went in-and Missy climbed on the scale and sat down. Jax watched the techs praise her. So Jax climbed up on the scale and sat down. First time- before it was like throwing a roped calf at a rodeo. So they kissed and hugged Jax. The school says-- Praise your dog but don't baby them. Don't kiss that dog-don't let it get between your legs when it hears a car backfire-etc. Then the different instructors come over and kiss Jax.

      12 months ago
    • HOBO's Avatar
      HOBO

      I am with you. Over the past 5 years I have fallen 8 times. Luckily, I have only gotten injured once, the last time. I was hurrying to an appointment and my tremors were bad. I get this feeling of extreme weakness and I have seconds to park my behind before I just collapse. I have used a cane since I quit using the wheelchair when the neuropathy got so bad. I have now graduated to a walker. I don't like to leave the house. The last fall I was too weak to get up and needed the fire department to get me up out of the street. My primary sent me to the neurologist. Nothing. Just neuropathy. Told me to lose weight. Ugh. I feel hopeless. Some days the tremors and fatigue ate too much
      Even loading the dishwasher is a challenge. I added a chair to the shower. The fear is real.

      12 months ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      I'm glad that somehow the fire department rescued you. That's why I recommend a cell phone. You don't have to be weak, old, or off balance to need that phone.

      One of my son's friends went up on the roof to tinker with the swamp cooler. some kids took the ladder off, and he was stuck on the hot roof over 4 hours in 100 degree heat. No water- no phone--no shade-Everyone that he hollered at-like the mailman- were wearing ear buds-listening to music- and they didn't hear anything. The Post Office in his town forbid mail carriers to use ear buds. One reason is that mail carriers place themselves in danger by not being able to hear.

      By the time he was found by a delivery man, he was too weak to get off of the roof, and the FD had to rescue him. .

      12 months ago
    • Molly72's Avatar
      Molly72

      I fell very hard on the ice last week trying to feed a poor cat that thoughtless neighbors deserted.
      Fell on my tailbone, head & elbow. Luckily did not break anything, but severely bruised
      everything. Missed hitting my head on a tree by a few inches. Luckily husband was close by.

      When did we all get this fear of falling? I can't cross country ski for several reasons-- but one of them is FEAR of falling!
      Northern cold weather & ice area people need to but Yak Tracks-- a rubber & spike device thing that fits on your boots, you will not fall on the ice with these.

      P.S. Believe it or not, some of us do not have cell phones.

      12 months ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      I live in a state that doesn't have coverage everywhere-especially on the Border and the mountains. We're like Sonny Burnett in Miami Vice- borrow a quarter and find a phone booth---but it can take hours of driving to find a phone booth. Even if you find a phone-the deputy or state cop might have to drive about 2 hours to get to your problem. This is greatly improved from the early 2000s and the 1990s.

      Those that don't have a cell phone or cell phone coverage, maybe can share their hints and solutions.

      12 months ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      I forgot- NM has a great air ambulance system- you just need to figure out how to contact the authorities.

      12 months ago
    • andreacha's Avatar
      andreacha

      I've had several falls. One new medication caused syncope twice. It's was so strange. I stood up and had no knowledge of what was happening until I felt the crack on the pavement and I became conscious. I don't know if any of you are on blood thinners. If you are and you fall and hit your head go to the ER directly to get a CT of your brain. Brain bleeds often occur. I removed all the small rugs from the kitchen because I've tripped over then more than once. On two separate occasions, I fell and landed on my back. Each time I fractured my spine and had to have a Kyphoplasty each time.
      What many in the group are saying about telephones is true. you've got to keep one on your person at all times. I even take mine to the bathroom! My girlfriend made me a short apron to wear at all times. It has 3 pockets with velcro. It truly has been a lifesaver. I had fallen in my living room which is tiled and my right side of my face and body took the brunt of it. My legs were a little weak and I could not get up. I had to call my daughter to come from the other side of town to get me up. the whole right side of my face was terribly black and blue so that meant another trip to the hospital for that CT.

      12 months ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      A stupid doctor nagged me into taking a BP med to reduce my BP (my son has low BP, so he's on meds to increase his BP. He's always cold and takes spells of collapsing when he stands up). My BP was high because my thyroid pills were too high, and I had several primary care physicians that couldn't understand that I needed less thyroid. Anyway, I finally got scared and took BP meds-My BP was 220/ 120. I took the BP meds for a few days-and I felt light headed. I finally got where I felt more grounded, and I climbed on a chair to change a light bulb. I slid down onto the floor. I still have a big scar that runs from my ankle to my knee on my right leg. He wrote another script and I took it to the pharmacy, and they refused to fill it.

      He lost his license--he got into a fight with my radiology oncologist at the same time. He didn't tell his head nurse that I was a cancer patient that finished treatment in the last year, and he had her call me about my non-compliance. I referred her to the radiology/ONC--she called me back crying and apologizing (which seemed to cause a 2nd fight between him and my Rad/ONC), and the pharmacy sent in a complaint because of his BP prescriptions.

      Between having my face and nose pores seep blood from sun block-ER wanted to refer me to Oncology, ENT, hematologist, dermatologist, radiologist-which terrifies me about using creams on my face, Tylenol simulating an inner ear infection that causes lots of falls and fainting, mismanaged thyroid, having side effects from OTC cough syrup, BP meds dropping me like I had been shot in the head, I think that I'm very suspicious and fearful about doctors and meds.

      12 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I do have a mobile fall bracelet. The thing is it really doesn't prevent falls. Of course I did cancel the alarm because I didn't want them to call my son at 3am I am going to the Dr. on Monday I am searching for my medical records. I will definately ask her about my fear of falling

      12 months ago

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