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Fell and got injured
Canada111
Posted: Saturday, June 1, 2019 5:01 PM
Joined: 8/22/2016
Posts: 263


Friends took me to Neue Museum on East 86th Street Manhattan. I fell on the marble stairs and may have fractured ankle. Hard to stand or walk on it. Scraped arm and was bleeding. Should have made a report there but did not. It happened because a guard insisted to check my jacket. I was going to put it on because Museum is air conditioned. I turned on the stairs and slipped and fell down the marble stairs.

Is this the beginning of lapsing out and falling? Scared about how the Alzheimer’s is progressing physically. 


jfkoc
Posted: Saturday, June 1, 2019 5:18 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17831


Horrible for you. It was probably a momentary lapse of balance. Please let us know how you and your ankle are.
Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, June 1, 2019 7:08 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16275


Oh, no!  Have you gotten treatment yet?  You should be splinted and have ice on the area until you reach the ER.  Don't delay! 


Afterwards, know this.  Marble is slippery.  Nevertheless, your balance is impaired.  You should take all precautions when you walk.  Wear supportive shoes, not flip-flops or similar sandals.  Hold the handrail(s).  Take one step at a time, don't rush.  Think about taking the elevator instead of stairs.


You might also think about carrying a cane to steady yourself.  A cane will also make others more aware and they can give you more latitude. 

Read about "fall prevention for seniors" on the internet; there are several sites with helpful tips.  You might also sign up for a Balance Evaluation program at your local physical therapy office or at a rehabilitation hospital.

 

I sincerely hope you did not fracture your ankle, Canada.    Do what you need to do to take care of this injury.  Hopefully, it is a sprain and will heal soon.

 

Iris


jfkoc
Posted: Saturday, June 1, 2019 9:31 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17831


I especially like the cane idea. People will take note as well as giving you a little extra balance should you need it. I always hold onto the rail.
Jo C.
Posted: Sunday, June 2, 2019 10:24 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10405


I am so sorry for what has happened.   Iris is right; this needs to be checked out asap at the ER.  You can still file a report with the museum if you wish; you can call and they can send the forms.

For both now and after you are healed, it is best to have a Physical Therapy assessment. They will know what to recommend for your particular issues and balance.  You may need a different walking assistance device while you are healing than what you may need after fully healed; PT is the best option.

Best for stability is a walker of course; some people are able and safe to do with one cane, but one would need the right cane as there are different options; once again, PT can help.  Others will use two canes and cross-country ski, but the walker would lend far more stability than two canes; however, some people are walker-adverse for some reason; I guess false pride is an issue.

One can also use the electric carts in stores that have them and they can be quite a wonderful bit of assistance.

Whatever you need is what is important; I so hope that you get to care and x-ray soon and that you will begin to heal fast and have a lot less discomfort.

 
Let us know how you are, we will be thinking of you.

J.


Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, June 2, 2019 4:24 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16275


Canada, I hope you are recuperating now after receiving treatment.  You will be in pain for a while.  Don't let false concern about the addiction potential of opiates keep you from relief.   Keep in mind that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds, such as Ibuprophen, also give good pain relief.  My point is that you have options for you and your family to discuss with the attending physician.


Physical measures also relieve pain, such as cold applications in the beginning, then heated applications.  Of course, staying off the leg helps; this means no weight-bearing at all for a while; then slowly attempt some pressure.  This will depend upon the rate of healing. 


Be aware that this injury may not be related to progression, but to other factors.  I said that marble is slippery; a better word would be slick.  Many people of all ages and conditions fall every day.  We just have to check things out and try to eliminate or ameliorate known risk factors.  


Heal soon, Canada!  We want you back on your feet again!


Iris


Canada111
Posted: Sunday, June 2, 2019 7:08 PM
Joined: 8/22/2016
Posts: 263


Iris, Jo C, Judith, You are each so sweet to write me with advise and wishes for healing. My husband applied ice packs and bought me a pretty blue cane. Ibuprofen helped with pain. I’ve been hobbling along in my house a little. I do think the fall has to do with progression. There was no slippery surface to the marble. Just discoordination when I turned abruptly on the winding marble stairs at a busy museum, when a guard told me I had to go and check my jacket. I turned and forgot to hold the bannister, started walking down the stairs and lost my footing and fell hard and slid down many stairs scraping my arm badly and twisting my right foot ankle. In the two years before my diagnosis I remember sustaining some falls. Once when getting out of a taxi and wham, I went down on the sidewalk. Another time returning from teaching classes, and plop, tripped and fell for no apparent reason. As I look back I was being cautious two years before the diagnosis because I was becoming physically less stable and unbalanced despite doing yoga and weight training and bike riding  before the diagnosis. In my case my motor ability and moods are what was affected first (as I look back for at least a decade). I think that’s when I was in the early stages, so this is definitely younger onset. Now almost  3 years from the diagnosis (Spect scan and FDG Pet CT), there are many symptoms of progression -memory decline, spatial disorientation, apraxia, aphasia, difficulty swallowing. I know that the “stages” are not an orderly thing. One thing I do not have now is agnosia, though I may have had it in the earlier stages when I knew nothing about Alzheimer’s. I’m very aware of the changes. Thanks so much for showing you care. I really appreciate this.
Jo C.
Posted: Sunday, June 2, 2019 7:10 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10405


Iris is right about marble.   I was at the mall; I had just left the department store with my arms full of bags.  I was wearing flats with leather soles.   The mall had marble floors and had just had them polished.

 I was walking along and suddenlty, with no warning . . . . I went flying . . .. bags and handbag flew too.  Beacause my arms had been full, I could not break my fall.

 I'd swear I was airborne!

 I landed flat on my front; and it hurt . . . . many people passed me by as I lay there with my packages strewn about.  Not one single person even paused to see if I was okay or even to help gather the packages . . . . they just walked on. Really weird.  I got up, got my packages and though startled, got out to my car.

 So . . . slips and falls happen for a whole number of causes and not all are related to dementia.

Dratted marble floors!

J.


Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, June 2, 2019 7:39 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16275


I'm glad you are doing better, Canada.  I'm glad you have the cane now; it can help.

 

Jo C, what a terrible story!  It's bad enough to have a great fall in public, but to have no one help you!  That's awful! I hope you weren't hurt too much.

 

A few years ago I began to have falls, always in my home, on the carpet.  I tripped over my own feet a few times; other times I tripped over one of my cats.  This is why I try to discourage PWDs from getting a new pet, if they don't already have one,  due to the trip hazard.  Cats love to be underfoot!  


I went online and read the recommendations, such as improving lighting and removing clutter in the walkways.  I always am cautious on stairs.  Now, I still have occasional trips, but no complete falls ( knock wood).  All seniors are at risk for falls, but those of us with a neurodegenerative illness are at greater risk. 


Iris


alz+
Posted: Monday, June 3, 2019 9:06 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3551


Really sorry this happened to you! (and to others)

It is true a cane signals to other people that you may need to move slower or more cautiously. These surprise events can shake you up in more ways than pain.

It sounds like the guard saying you had to remove your jacket was a surprise and overwhelmed your natural caution, made you move quickly and it is possible you can avoid future tumbles by being more aware of need to go slower. 

There are 8 steps up to front porch where I am living and I noticed how I have to situate myself on bottom stair and use handrail to go up slowly because of my fear of falling. I thought my first falls were connected to my vision changes, my eyes move slower and I had double vision for years (this was part of how I was diagnosed but with cbd use the double vision and fruit fly visuals have disappeared).

Not sure how one checks for visual changes outside clinical setting, have you ever noticed your eyes seem to trail behind your head movements? From what you described I think the slippery marble and the surprise conspired against you. I know you love the museums and hope this does not discourage you from visiting them.

I hope it is not broken. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Jo C - no one stopped to help, to ask if you were ok? that ticks me off.


Canada111
Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2019 2:36 PM
Joined: 8/22/2016
Posts: 263


Checking in to let you all know that I am walking a little bit better. Walked outside to the park. This has had a bad effect on my confidence, but I will not let it stop me from walking completely.
Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2019 1:10 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16275


Good for you, Canada!  I'm glad your ankle isn't broken.

Iris


Jo C.
Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2019 9:36 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10405


Wonderful to hear that things are improving and also wonderful to hear that you are literally taking steps to continue that improvement. 

 J.


Fischie7
Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2019 8:49 AM
Joined: 7/27/2016
Posts: 178


Dear Canada, So sorry you had a fall and hope you are better.  I went to your blog and read your stunning reflections of your life and the world around you...Thank you so much for sharing all of this...Thank you too for your sharing of Passover. It was touching...
llee08032
Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 3:27 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


Canada, 

So glad you are on the mend. Marble is beautiful but a hard and very dangerous surface! I love the hard tiles but refuse to put them in my house and have added soft vinyl planks in bathrooms and kitchen. My vision and coordination were some of the first changes I experienced. We really need to practice mindfulness when walking and moving and cannot afford any distractions such as you had with the guard. Be well!


alz+
Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 8:59 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3551


Canada - good news on no broken bones.

Yes, her blog is very deep and beautifully written. Her art is also astounding. We are lucky (?) to have her insights and friendship!

much love