Taking a tumble

Ok, so CMT causes me to fall over, this is a regular occurrence. I couldn’t tell you how often I fall as this varies so much. Sometimes I can go through periods when falling over is so frequent I could have 3 falls in a day. But then other times I can go a week or more with none at all.

The reason I fall is down to a couple of factors. The first being the instability and over mobility of the joints in my right ankle. This is the most painful of my falls and often leads to a sprained ankle and mega bruising. The doctors refer to this as inversion of the ankle. Having the structure of my foot transformed is going to improve this and hopefully reduce the amount of inversion injuries.

Another way I tend to fall is by tripping over my own feet. Sounds daft doesn’t it? But seriously, because of the foot drop I often catch my foot on the ground and fly!! This is where I obtain more visible injuries such as cuts and grazes to my knees and hands. Even though these injuries fade given a few days, my poor knees are battered with scars.

So walking for me is problematic and tiring. It takes so much concentration to navigate footpaths that have lumps and bumps. I find I’m watching the floor all the time and concentrating on where to put my feet so my ankle don’t twist and send me into a big ungracious heap on the floor. I also have to lift my legs higher off the ground from my knee, just to give me enough clearance of the floor, not to catch my feet. Often when I’m tired my walking suffers and I’m at greater risk of falling.

The majority of falls I am able to prevent, and they become stumbles rather than actually falling to the ground , stumbling into furniture or frantically trying to regain my balance as I wobble about trying to keep both feet to the floor. So when I say I can go through a period of time without falling over, that doesn’t mean I haven’t had a number of stumbles and near misses every single day.

This time last year was rather challenging. I had two quite significant falls within a 24 hour period. The pain was immense! Despite falling as often as I do, I have always got away with bad sprains, never a broken bone. Now those of you that has ever sprained an ankle will know just how bad that is. It’s murder! Last year I thought I had just badly sprained my ankle, yet went along to have it X-rayed. The hospital sent me home confirming it was nothing but a sprain. So I returned to my usual duties. Walking through the pain, I still went to work and continued on my 12 hour shifts. A week later I had a letter land on the doorstep asking me to go back as the X-ray had been reviewed and they had found a fracture in my ankle!

I was put into a cast boot, Given crutches and an appointment for fracture clinic the next day and sent on my way. Immediately I felt the pressure. I couldn’t drive, so my wonderful mother in law came to my rescue and brought me home.

The next day I returned to the fracture clinic and the lovely consultant explained I had chipped part of the bone off on my ankle. It was a stable break and I could manage without the boot if I wished. That came as a huge relief! At least I could go back to normal life after 24 hours of immobility. I guess in a way it gave me a 24 hour insight into what life would be like if I did have to go into plaster. Except when I have my op I won’t be able to weight bear at all! It’s going to be a long long few months!

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