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Friday, January 9, 2015

Parkinson's Disease; Fall in Winter

A few weeks ago, my Wonderful Husband and I were sitting on our back patio when we spotted something large and orange in the desert behind our house. We sat there trying to figure out what it was. We came up with some humorous possibilities, such as a discarded prison jumpsuit, or an inflatable Halloween pumpkin or perhaps a child's swimming pool. Whatever it was, we decided to go get it and put it in the trash. 

I was extra careful climbing over our low back wall and my Wonderful Husband held my hand as we negotiated a steep ditch created by runoff water. All that was left was a very shallow secondary ditch. The next thing I know, I was lying in the sand and my glasses were a few feet away. 

The steep ditch
The shallow ditch 

I was okay; I just had some scrapes on my leg and the palm of my hand, but my glasses weren't damaged. I was achy for a few days, but at least I fell in soft sand and not into rocks or on gravel. But why did I fall?

I've been replaying the fall over and over in my head; there was nothing for me to trip over and I was watching what I was doing, so how did I end up in the sand? The answer I have come up with is ... brake failure. 

Yes, brake failure.

It seems that if I get some forward momentum, I can't stop! Since the fall, I've noticed that if I step off a curb, due to the forward momentum, it takes a few extra steps before my gait returns to normal. The same thing happens if I walk down an incline. I have trouble stopping. No brakes! 

So, that's what happened when I tried to navigate the shallow ditch; my brakes didn't work and I fell forward into the sand. Now that I realize my brakes don't work, I adjust how I handle steep driveways, curbs and ditches. 

The large orange thing out in the desert? Yes, we went ahead and got it. It was a section of temporary construction fencing that probably got swept away in a rainstorm. We untangled it and put it in our trash. Just because I took a tumble, didn't mean we shouldn't pick it up, right?

6 comments:

  1. My husband can relate to this!! Momentum sends him way beyond his target!!! I have broken pictures and lamps to prove it!!! Glad you are okay!!!

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  2. Hahaha, brake failure! How true. You know Bev, I'll run into the wall, door, or even side of the car to stop. But so far at least, when I come to a sudden drop off that my brain has time to calculate, my brake kicks on at the last second

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  3. I know about that brake problem! It's good to have strategies to deal with it.

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  4. Sorry to learn of your fall and glad you are okay. Thanks for the info on the brakes. Best wishes,

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  5. Nice post. "Brake Failure" has been a problem with me too!

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  6. Approximately 1 million people in the United States are affected by Parkinson's disease. Fifty thousand new cases of people with parkinsons are diagnosed annually. It is an age related disorder with higher number of cases in older people.

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