What’s up with my walking?

A closer look at the way I walk, which is kind of weird.Image result for ataxia images

I rarely walk straight for more than a few feet.  Even with my walker, I still walk pretty “drunkenly!”

This is based on two, or three things.  Let’s examine.

If the surface is flat and uncluttered, I walk pretty straight-ish.

But, if there is something on the floor, and I don’t see it, and I step on it, I lose some balance!  Next, if I do see the object on the floor and attempt to step over it, whether it is a sleeping dog, an empty bottle of wine, backpacks, pumpkins all in a row, my balance is off and I usually do fall.  Its called overstepping, many people can do it with ease.  I cannot.

Stoppages: When I am walking and suddenly stop, I either forgot something in the other room, or someone tapped me on my shoulder.  If this happens, and it does, I usually walk into something.  Because I am unable to quickly stop at the drop of the hat.

Beach Walking: When the surface is not flat, such as sand, rocks, gravel, etc, I can still walk yet not as smoothly as others.  The pressure of my feet makes the sand move, and so there goes the balance.  I try to avoid those.  Have you tried to walk between sunbathers at a popular beach?  With towels and pails and kids building sand castles and holes, the non-ataxian could do it smoothly.  Yet, I am not so nimble!

Now we come to the point of this article…

Eye Gaze: It is my habit to walk with my head down, focusing on the pavement.  I’ve walked that way since my teens, I remember complenting on styles of pavement way back in in the mid 80s.  I remember talking to an O&M specialist from CNIB about this, as I was getting some support back then.  And I mentioned that I wanted to make sure I saw what I was walking on.  Back then, in then and in the community  I lived in, most of the roads did not have sidewalks… and there were ditches… I fell into some with big spiders … and there was a dead cat… and … oh sorry!  I ran off topic…

I do walk straighter when my eyes are downcast, I am not distracted.  Yet, when I do look up, while walking, and something my eye: a fancy car, a store, a child, or just anything, I would actually swerve in that direction!

Picture this: it is a nice afternoon, the sun is out, the air is warm.  I am walking to the bus stop, I am studying the pavement, as I usually do, and then I look up and see a gaggle of girls walking towards me on my left.  I’d probably swerve into them.  Oops!  Pardon me!  I probably scared the crap out of them!  Luckily I have my white can with me! Or I’d be in the slammer a lot more often that I have been.  Which is never!

Dropped Hat: When I do drop something and pick it up, I used to do it with flair and finesse.  Now I do it with falls and flops!  Yikes! I need to have a device to pick things up with!  But first I need to pick this thing up!

Okay, this article was started in mid November, I am finishing it now!

Like, share, follow and support!

Craig MacLean

 

 

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