Assistance for walking

In a previous thread I wrote about how difficult it is for me to navigate around a doctor’s office. It’s actually hard for me to walk anywhere. I am at the point of literally holding on to walls. I was just wondering if anyone uses any assistance, like a walker. I mentioned it to my husband, and he brought up the viewpoint of not wanting me to be dependent on a walker. But, I think that my safety is paramount. I also believe that my using a walker is scary for my husband, as it makes this awful illness more real and present. Of course, that assistance wouldn’t help the heavy, dizzy feeling in my head, but would help a bit. I can’t believe my life has gotten to this point. blahhhhhh…
just another side note. Do other’s suffer from horrible seasonal allergies. For the past 2 weeks, I have horrible allergies. Claritin is not helping at all. I used to take Nasonex, which isn’t allowed in pregnancy. I actually took benadryl last night, and since I am so sensitive I was sedated until about 11am today, and I am always so tired so it just wasn’t a good idea for me. anyway, sorry for the ramble.

Hi Lisa,
I think at this point you should do what makes you comfortable. I think the “easy” thing with this illness for our loved ones is that they cannot actually see it and the idea of a walker would really hit home with your husband. There were so many times I would say that I should just walk around with a cane so others would see how much I am suffering. I bet I would get a very different response from the outside world. In any event, do what you need to make you comfortable and safe. All is temporary.
I’m so sorry you are feeling so ill.

Thanks, Lisa. If you don’t mind me asking, what prevents you from getting a walker to help you around. something has definitely prevented me, but I can’t put my finger on it.

Hi Lisa,
I have no problem walking or with balance. It’s how horrible it feels in my head. When I stand still the ground rocks, it is super uncomfortable but my balance is never compromised. I don’t like moving about but I can do it without concern of falling or needing to hold onto walls.

Lisa (MAVLisa, that is) – while I doubt this constitutes a practical solution to your problem, I had a thought about something that you might try as an experiment next time you’re at a doctor’s office or in a hospital building. Try borrowing a wheelchair and rolling around the surrounding area for a few minutes.

Curiously, I tried this myself a few days ago (when visiting a relative in a physical-rehab center), and for the duration of the chair’s movement, I was dizziness-free, quite like what happens when I am riding in a car. Easier than walking, I’ll tell you that.

(Naturally, I wanted to take the wheelchair with me…)

George and Lisa,
I too feel dizzy free in a car and did ride in a wheelchair once and was also dizzy free… while I was moving that is:-)
George may have an idea, just to get you through your pregnancy to help you around your house if it is wheelchair friendly.

That was going to be my suggestion as the wheelchair would be very stable especially while you are pregnant that does not mean you need it all the time or forever but it would make sense to me to be safe…

Lisa I would imagine the use of a walker or wheelchair make the illness more visible to your husband which I am sure is hard especially being in the line of work he does.

I would think if it made you more safe and comfortable right now he will understand.

Thanks for the feedback.

Lisa - I also never have lost my balance and never fall, but it sure is uncomfortable walking when the floor is rocking.

I don’t think I would need a wheelchair, as a walker would work just as well, and I wouldn’t need someone to push me around. Even with that, though, the heaviness is my head (dizziness in my head) wouldn’t subside. will think about that option. I haven’t fallen yet. My balance is fine. But, the rocking is just so violent when I walk.

I was just thinking after I wrote my last post, and I realize that I quickly rejected everyone’s idea of the wheelchair. I guess, like my husband, I don’t want this illness to become that real. of course, it is real to me as I think about it and live it 24/7. I also always speak about HATING the invisible nature of this illness, but maybe there are some bonuses to it too. I also keep on thinking that regardless of how I get around, I still feel miserable when sitting. So, I wouldn’t exactly be using my wheelchair to get to any fun activities. I have gotten to the point where the rocking is also present when sitting (not as bad though), and the dizziness in my head is unrelenting.

Also completely dizzy free in the car. Im’ told it has to do with broad horizons which seems supported by the fact that as driver or passenger, I have trouble going through the downtown area.

I’m actually starting to consider a cane for these bad days.

I too am dizzy free in the car. Put me in a hallway though and there is BIG trouble. Lisa, please be careful! I too had never fallen until this week. I was coming down the stairs at school while other kids were going up. The steps were moving I was unbalanced and that was all it took. Thank goodness I wasn’t badly injured. I only fell down the last 4 steps of the stair case, but have nasty bruises. If the walker or wheelchair options do not appeal to you, which I really can’t blame you, please be slow and steady. Take your time and use the wall for support if that is what you need. Safety first my friend!

Sarah - I am so sorry that you fell. I am glad you’re ok. Yes, I’m very cautious when I walk. How is your week with the students going, otherwise?

Don’t know if this happens with you guys - but I’m really surprised that most of the time, all it takes to restore my walking balance is to drag my fingers along the railing. On the other hand, when hubby offers his elbow for me to hold on to, unless he’s keeping exact pace with me, he throws me off more than he helps. A firm arm around my shoulder and him holding MY elbow works better. But then, I feel like I should be joining the McDonald’s septuagenarians for breakfast, you know? I know…I’ll get a hat that says, ‘I look darned good for 70, don’t I?’ LOL

It used to help me to hold my husband’s arm/hand, but with time my symptoms progressed even more and now it also throws me off more. It would probably also help me if he held me firmly. Just walking next to another throws me off completely.

Let me explain what I mean by my subject title. As you probably all gathered from now, I have awful disequilibrium. However, I am EVEN WORSE if someone walks next to me. I can NEVER walk next to my husband. Is he just another stimuli that throws me off? As my symptoms progress in time, I even notice that if I’m sitting and someone walks past me, the floor kind of jumps. I can only walk (although terribly uncomfortably) if there is NOTHING or NO ONE around me. Unfortunately, I cannot design such a perfect environment when I leave the home. Do others experience the same thing?

I don’t have that same type of dysequilibrium Lisa, I just have terrible balance. I am a physical therapist by profession, so at first when I had good and bad days, or even good and bad parts of days, I would grab a department cane as I needed one. But when I needed one everyday, I gave in and bought my own. That was a bit hard because it made me feel old, even though I was in my 30s. As my balance deteriorated the really hard part was going to a walker. Then I really felt old. But it gave me a lot more stability. I would certainly recommend a rolling walker with wheels on the front rather than a pick-up walker without wheels.

For more than 2 years, I have not had the stability to use a walker so I use a wheelchair 90% of the time. I am very ataxic when I try to walk with a walker (think of a how a child walks with cerebral palsy). I am lucky that my sister’s house is wheelchair accessible. But I get very dizzy if the wheelchair moves quickly. I have to be very careful about how fast I move.

I have fallen a LOT. Thankfully, I have strong bones and have never broken anything. The worst fall was in Mayo Clinic after all the Vestibular testing. I was trying to move from the wheelchair to a couch with the help of my husband. First I fell, then the wheelchair fell on me, the he fell on the w/c and me! I must have lost consciousness for a few seconds because when I opened my eyes I could tell that someone called a code. I counted at least 30 people in labcoats! All I could think of was “Boy, this looks expensive!”



PS: NEVER use a walker on stairs!

Claudia - I appreciate the feedback. If you don’t mind me asking, is the ataxia, poor balance, all due to migraine. It is crazy what a migraine can do.

I have major vestibular issues also. I had sevral surgeries/proceduresin 2007, culminating in a Labyrinthectomomy (complete removal of the inner ear mechanism) and theorectically my brain should have compensated 1 1/2 years ago. Headaches have always been a part of my vestibular problems. So I guess the answer is yes, it’s all a part of one big issue for me. Maybe that’s why Dr Hain (getting some bad press here lately :frowning: ) calls me “over the top complicated”!

On the bright side, I have some interesting stories to tell from the summer of 2007. I had several misadventures as I tried to wheel home the 4 blocks from “town” to our house with my service dog. I think one time I may have been visited by an “angel”! Perhaps I should put the stories in the Front Porch section!


Yes, would love to hear your stories if you’d like to share. It is nice to see that you’re able to keep a sense of humor with all this. It is such a good thing to have - wish I had more of a sense of humor these days. Can’t believe that I used to be a humorous person - I miss her :frowning:

Lisa, our situations are so similar right now except I’m a guy and can’t get pregnant. :lol: