Early balance issues

Good day everyone!

I’ve been working on this blog for a long time now… why why?

I want to explore early episodes of balance loss; in other wards spectacular falls that happened at one point in my 55 years of walking this earth. Or should I say; stumbling?

Skiing: I attended, for no better word, a special school during the late 70s. Among its many programs, it had skiing classes. I believe, now, the reason for this once-a-week adventure to the snowy junior slope of Mount Seymour in North Vancouver was to increase gross motor skills. My teachers taught me how to turn, slow down, stop, and climb the hill. How to use the poles, how important it was to keep my knees together.

I tried and tried to ski, to zigzag, to turn, to stay standing with two long narrow pieces of plywood strapped to my feet! Also, I spent more time ON the slope, as in horizontal in the snow, or under trees, than actually vertical and skiing! Either way, I failed.

This is important because, looking back, I could not coordinate the various neurological impulses needed to ski. And there are many, of which I won’t bore you with. Skiing was an early example of ataxia that I didn’t know I had.

Before moving on, I want to quickly share a funny experience while skiing: I was told not to ski straight down the slope. It is dangerous, to both myself and others. Yet, to my sheer and utter astonishment, I did accomplish this feat, once! Was it an accident, or were the stars aligned at that specific moment? Who knows, I’m just thankful for the trees that stopped me!

Camping fall: While camping with a bunch of Deaf kids during my mid teens, I tripped over a root, and fell badly. This by itself happens all the time right, however, I soon discovered that I was “rooted” to the spot where I landed! I had to be uprooted and transported to the ER. Can you guess what transpired?


Alright, I’ll cut the suspense and get to the root of the problem! I was impaled to a root sticking out of the ground! It was probably the size of my (adult) index finger!

How is this connected to ataxia? Well, I figure because I fell, but also because my reactions and reflexes where somewhat questionable.

I still have a crater in my leg, a scar, of this incident!

Falling out of a train: Yes, I actually did this! I was getting off a train at Toronto’s Union Station (in 1999, well before it was improved, modernized), when I MIS stepped and snapped my ankle in the wrong way, and gracefully, pfft, crumpled on the platform!

Oh the pain! I couldn’t walk far, and I couldn’t put weight on left foot! My friend took me to her place, then we spent many hours in the ER… nothing was broken!

Another trip to Toronto, also in 1999, I was staying with the same friend. When suddenly, for no apparent reason but to check if gravity was working, I fell off her couch and whacked my head on her floor! I had an enormous egg on my head for the rest of the weekend!

This sudden falling happens quite often now, I would be stationary, when I would either sway, jerk to the left, or teeter to the right. However, I’d catch myself before any real damage is done!

Okay, I’ve been working on this article for over a month now… time to get it on its way to your mailboxes!

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Cerebellar ataxia


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