It has now been more than a year since I went off kilter.
I don’t mean I’ve gone wacky. That was already an established fact and I am proud of my wackiness. It keeps me sane, if that makes any sense.
No, I went off kilter physically in that my physical balance has been compromised. In other words, if I am not careful I will faw down and go boom. And I have done that a couple of times.
I am making a bit light of this because there is nothing much else I can do unless I want to sink into a major depressive funk. I have been through every test known to medical science. I have had an MRI, a CT-scan, an hour long session to assess my inner ear, a bit of blood-letting and the only thing I have avoided is leeches. I’ve been to my regular GP as well as specialists. I have had physio, I had a two month, twice a week balance training regimen with wonderful and knowledgeable trainer Jill Nelson. I mean, I can be a lazy bastard but the fact I have done all this stuff indicates how distressing this has been for me.
Ironically, I didn’t really notice anything was amiss at first. It was Wendy who noticed. We had been for a walk with dear Max in the Northeast Woods. As we got back to the car she noted: “Do you realize you are dragging your left foot slightly when we walk, especially on a long walk.” In truth, I hadn’t really noticed. The thing I had noticed, however, is that I didn’t swing my arms when I walked. Weird. When I would think about it, I’d get confused as to which one was meant to swing. And the more I thought about it, the more confusing it became.
Shortly after that I did my face plant. Straight forward and wham onto the kitchen floor. Off to emergency. Nose bloody but not broken, thank God. I do like to stay as pretty as I can. But it was then that I realized I had to concentrate on my balance or I can lose my centre of gravity in a trice. Fortunately, I have gotten pretty good with balance. I just have to concentrate and pay attention.
The root cause of my woes, as far as they can deduce, was the minor stroke I had in 2008. At the time there were no residual aftereffects. But the MRI indicated I had had some minor brain bleeds later and that is what they attribute my balance woes to. According to trainer Jill my job is to map out new pathways in my brain. Something that takes time and calls for much patience. She exhorted me to stay confident that it will happen. I have noticed that I now swing my arms when I walk and it’s quite natural to do once again. Small steps, but steps nevertheless.
I do hope it’s all working and I keep telling myself it could be worse. My problem is I love walking, and even hiking. I want it back and I don’t want to faw down no more.