I tend to think it goes back to the time I lost balance and did a face-plant in a hallway at home. A face-plant that led me to the emergency ward, but other than a bloody nose there was no real harm done.
But, in retrospect I know my ‘affliction’ goes back further than that. It goes back to 2014 when we were on the Island of Hawaii. Just little signs then, including not wanting to walk great distances – unlike me because I love a good walk – and not wanting to drive long distances and hence turning the rental car over to Wendy.
I have been loath heretofore to mention my ‘affliction’ in this space in case anybody construed it as a plea for sympathy. Not so. But, I am a highly private person despite the twaddle I post in blogs and on FB. But, I thought it was time to come clean. Trusted friends know about this shit, so why shouldn’t others?
Anyway, since 2014 I have been suffering from compromised balance and it fucking sucks, I must confess. It encroaches on my joy of walking, as I suggested, and it renders me fearful of falling. It also leaves me deeply fatigued and moderately depressed, mainly out of anxiety about the whole damn thing.
I have been for clinical tests, MRIs, CT-scans and damn near anything you can think of. I am slated for a neurologist appointment, but knowing how compromised specialist access is in this dumb province I have given up holding my breath about that access. Frustrating. Meanwhile I have had physio sessions, have had my inner ear perused by a specialist and continue to take twice weekly sessions directed at sufferers of Parkinson’s, which I don’t have but symptomatically my case is similar. Help? I’m not sure yet, but have met some very nice people there and we have a brilliant session coach in Jill Nelson.
So, what do I have? It’s not yet entirely clear. It is believed I have a vestibular disorder stemming from a small stroke I had in 2008 and subsequent brain bleeds. Fun, eh?
But at the end of the day, it seems that nobody really knows and for a guy who hates dealing with the medical fraternity, it is galling.
I arise in the morning feeling relatively OK, but as I used my limbs me strength diminishes as the day goes on and my gait becomes more plodding and my lower back gets compromised. I must consciously swing my arms as I walk as that no longer happens spontaneously – you know, like it has all my life up to this point. The sad part of that is I heretofore loved walking and could walk great distances.
And I must constantly be vigilant about my footing so I don’t trip. And I must be careful about how far I lean forward because if I pass a certain point I will just keep going forward until my head touches the ground, and then it’s a beast to get back on my feet without help.
I want my old life back. It could be worse, but this does not resemble a picnic.
As Joni Mitchell said, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.