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I tripped and fell again today

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Okay, so I was walking up the steps to my linguistics class today, and I tripped and fell on the steps - concrete steps - right on my knees I might add. ;)

Anyway, this is the fifth time I've tripped and fallen in the past year. Once while walking up the stairs, once walking down the stairs, once walking down a hill, and twice on level ground. I've fallen three times in the last six months. Before the last year, I'd never been that clumsy. I mean jeez! This is worrying me. Not to mention. OUCH!!! My poor body really can't take this abuse.

So, should I be concerned? or am I overreacting?

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I can't say if you are overreacting-talk to pdoc and gp

i've tripped over my own feet a number of times-my tdoc told me she thought depressed people are more accident prone.

i would talk to your docs for reasuurence.

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Are your shoes in good condition? Be honest.. not worn. When you set them on the table do they lean or have obvious worn edges... It's important to have comfortable, well fitting shoes in good condition. If you wear the same pair every day, they probably need to be replaced every 6 -12 months.

Do your feet ache and ache? Maybe you need orthotic foot supports. The ligaments and tendons in our feet spread as we age, and the muscles can't make up for this. This can make our feet hurt, alter our gait, affect our knees, hips and even back. THey are all connected. This can make your foot "drop" or droop a bit and cause you to stumble.

You can add some spring to your step with some basic calisthenics: Toe raises, slow squats, leg raises.

What else could cause it?

-Rushing up the stairs, not paying attention to walking.

- Multiple Sclerosis

- Nerve damage in the legs or lower back.

Cheers.

a.m. ;)

p.s. I was having the same problem and thought it was nerve damage in my leg. turned out that I needed orthotics. It took almost 2 years to whip my feet into shape again, but it was a god send.

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Patheral, are you getting any paresthesia (numbness / tingling) in your feet with the Topamax?

I'm clumsy on a good day, but even I noticed a further decline when I was on Topamax. And it's not just that I was forgetting how to walk, as my psyMD (jokingly) (I think) suggested during the titration. I just had altered sensation.

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I'm a known klutz. Part of it is due to tachodarya, my heart rate increases suddenly. For me, walking up the stairs would suddenly cause my heart rate to skyrocket and I would pass out/fall. Could a side effect of your meds be tachocaryda?

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Are your shoes in good condition? Be honest.. not worn. When you set them on the table do they lean or have obvious worn edges... It's important to have comfortable, well fitting shoes in good condition. If you wear the same pair every day, they probably need to be replaced every 6 -12 months.

*snip*

p.s. I was having the same problem and thought it was nerve damage in my leg. turned out that I needed orthotics. It took almost 2 years to whip my feet into shape again, but it was a god send.

I thought it might be my shoes, but the first time I tripped, I was wearing sandals, when I fell down the stairs, I was barefoot, and when I tripped on the stairs the other day, I was wearing a new pair of shoes. I always wear arch supports in my shoes because I have extremely high arches, and if I don't wear them, my feet *will* ache. It's always been like that. I don't wear sandals very often, and I go barefoot a lot. I haven't seen a "foot doctor" about it, because I can't afford one, but maybe I should?

Oh yeah, with my bad knees and back - I never rush anywhere, esp. up the stairs. ;)

Patheral, are you getting any paresthesia (numbness / tingling) in your feet with the Topamax?

Yep, but I've had that since day one - 2004, and this clumsiness is a new thing. Besides, the tingling usually comes when I'm sitting down more than when I'm walking. That's a good connection though.

Could a side effect of your meds be tachocaryda?

I don't *think* so... wouldn't that also increase blood pressure? Mine is way low - always. The nurses often comment on that. So I'm pretty sure if those are connected, that it's not tachocaryda...

I've noticed that my peripheral vision is changing, that I don't see as far as I did to the sides, especially on my right side. I think that could be causing me to trip too. It's coming to the point where I'm developing a phobia of stairs... I'm almost afraid to walk down them because I fear I might fall. I keep thinking I'm going to miss a step and go tumbling down. It's really embarrassing too - not that anyone can read my thoughts, but come on, I've been walking up and down stairs all my life, and suddenly I'm creeping up and down the stairs. Jeez.

Edited by patheral

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i've embarrassed myself many times falling upstairs and falling downstairs. i thought i was just a clumsy idiot. turns out my knees were actually going numb, taking my lower legs out from under me. i never noticed that part until someone asked me which body parts i have that go totally numb/not functional (guessing cataplexy). now i know why i fall down like that randomly (not often). i thought my knees were numb FROM falling, not the other way around.

helpful? prolly not, but it's another idea i suppose...

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Have you had your blood sugar checked recently?

hubby found out he was diabetic after some vision changes, and can't some of that numb tingling be a symptom too?

i don't really know much, but the when leaving the eyedoctor, he was told to have blood sugar checked before getting the glasses prescription filled. turned out he didn't need glasses after all. just goes to show you never know what something *might* be.

get yourself checked out by your reg doc.

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I don't like the thing where you're losing peripheral vision. Do you see an optometrist at all? (I can't remember if you wear glasses.) I am the person here who is officially paranoid about Glaucoma, so you might need to get that checked out. I know ophthalmologists are expensive, but maybe there's a Lions Eye Center in your area with a sliding fee scale?

Good shoes are one answer. With stairs, I hold onto the handrail these days, particularly when I'm going down. I hate getting like an old lady, but it has saved me from some falls.

I also think that balance is a good thing to work on, and yoga is the best way (for me) to improve the sense of balance. There are some simple postures that you could do to develop your balance if you're interested.

I think everyone else is giving good advice, too. (Shoes, diabetes neuropothy, side effect from meds).

Keep us posted, Patheral.

olga

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Tachycardia decreases BP because your heart's pumping efficiency drops as the rate increases so this doesn't sound like that. Also i sweat profusely during an episode and while i've never passed out i get extremely light headed...the docs say that this is almost unheard of. Mine got so bad they installed an internal defibrillator which shocks my heart back into rythmn (and hurts like hell)

Ray

Edited by deth66

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I don't like the thing where you're losing peripheral vision. Do you see an optometrist at all? (I can't remember if you wear glasses.) I am the person here who is officially paranoid about Glaucoma, so you might need to get that checked out. I know ophthalmologists are expensive, but maybe there's a Lions Eye Center in your area with a sliding fee scale?

There are even nastier things which degrade peripheral vision and balance. I think seeing an ophthalmologist for a field test would be reasonable.

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I don't like the thing where you're losing peripheral vision. Do you see an optometrist at all? (I can't remember if you wear glasses.) I am the person here who is officially paranoid about Glaucoma, so you might need to get that checked out. I know ophthalmologists are expensive, but maybe there's a Lions Eye Center in your area with a sliding fee scale?

There are even nastier things which degrade peripheral vision and balance. I think seeing an ophthalmologist for a field test would be reasonable.

When I moved here in December, I saw an eye doctor (at Wal-mart, but still an eye doctor) and had a complete eye exam, including a Glaucoma test and the whole eye dilation, etc..., because I've been having some eye weirdness - vision trails and other strange things. She said that I didn't show any signs of Glaucoma, and that my eyes seemed perfectly healthy - other than the near-sightedness, which I've had since sixth grade. My vision had worsened *slightly*, but not enough to warrant a new pair of glasses.

However, I've noticed the fading of my peripheral since then - like the last few months or so. Or maybe it's always been this bad, and I'm just hyper aware of it right now? But, I remember seeing farther to the sides and down... Arrggghhh! Now I'm second guessing myself.

Olga, I usually hang on to the handrail on the steps too. When I tripped on the steps the last time, I was stupid and had my hands full, but I was walking slowly. I must have misjudged or sumthin'. Anyway, from now on, I'm taking the elevator whenever possible. If only I had one at my uncle's house. ;)

PS... I didn't mean to ignore everyone else's posts...

Have you had your blood sugar checked recently?

Yep, between my gdoc (that's general practitioner) and my pdoc, I believe I've had every blood test in the book these last few months with them trying to figure out what's wrong with my joints (and my pdoc doing the med check thing). Blood sugar is "within normal range". So is everything else except my cholesterol - which is way high.

i've embarrassed myself many times falling upstairs and falling downstairs. i thought i was just a clumsy idiot. turns out my knees were actually going numb, taking my lower legs out from under me.

Interesting... I wonder if the arthritis in my knees is causing at least *some* of this. But a lot of it it me actually tripping and falling. My foot catches, and I just can't catch my balance. It's so weird.

I also think that balance is a good thing to work on, and yoga is the best way (for me) to improve the sense of balance. There are some simple postures that you could do to develop your balance if you're interested.

Yeah, there are yoga classes offered during the fall at the college (free) I'll see if they fit my schedule. I won't do them on my own - I'm awful at exercising for the sake of exercise.

Edited by patheral

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Patheral, the optometrists at my Walmart do a very credible job, and the one I went to discovered my Glaucoma. But mine was advanced, so it would have been hard to miss.

The test they gave you (the puff test) means nothing. It measures your interocular pressure, but it's inaccurate, and some people have Glaucoma with normal levels of IOPs. Also, the dilated eye exam is good, but it doesn't show what's going on with your peripheral vision. The only test for that is a Visual Field test. I don't know if there's a way to get one, but you need to have it.

I know it's not something you want to hear, but you can have good IOPs and your eyes can look great.......but you could still have Glaucoma. You are too young to be having a noticeable loss of peripheral vision.

It could also have something to do with your retinas. I don't know--I'm not an eye doctor.....but I feel like you need to see one. (An ophthalmologist)

olga

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When i had my last eye exam (at Costco) they performed a visual field test as part of the exam so i suggest if you have any access to Costco to try there...

Ray

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