Well, I finally took a big fall. It happened so fast! Suddenly I was on the kitchen floor. I just missed whacking my head on the front of the dishwasher..I always thought I was moving carefully, but this time I think I turned around too quickly, changing my direction and down I went. It was a shock .Other than some lingering soreness, I guess I am ok. So, I'm thinking, NEVER move quickly unless you need to get out of the way of a truck! Watch what you have on your feet too. I also think my shoe stubbed on the floor thus throwing off my little balance.

Hard not to feel down about falling,and the spasms that have become more frequent, but today I have been going around saying, "I CAN take my own shower. I CAN make the bed. I CAN drive to the store. I CAN cook supper and do some baking.

Friends have been so kind. Assisting me in safely walking over the ice and snow to get to the car. Carrying my packages to the car.Bringing the laundry basket downstairs for me. One choir member even fashioned a cane holder so I had a place to put my cane next to me in a verticle position instead of hooking it on something, and putting it in others' way.

No one wants to have to pick me up off the floor. So, I am grateful for their assistance.

Hi Umigal,

I also fell going to the front door. I was coughing trying to clear my clear my throat when I lost by balance and fell against the front door with my fore head leaving a bump and a sore neck. I had pain when I turned my head left for months. BTW what nationality are you?

I am more diligent on using my walker now. Here is the walker I use. http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/medical-lab/wheelchairs-1/medical...

Sorry to hear of your fall Umigal.. it really knocks your confidence.

I always try to remember what happened and just how I fell but it's difficult to define. I usually find I am either thinking of jobs [maybe multi tasking!!] or just daydreaming.

I think what happens is my mind makes the move but my foot doesnt and then panic sets in.

Stay safe :)

I have not fallen yet and am very careful.
My balance issues are my body wants to fall backwards or sideways. I am not sure how a cane would help with this issue.
Sorry to hear that you fell.

I think falling is one of the unfortunate but unavoidable things that come with ataxia. I think Id be more surprised to hear someone hasn't fallen. Ive fallen more times than I can remember and I am lucky thaqt Ive never had a more serious injury other than a few broken bones. I wish being careful was enough but none of the times I broke something was I doing something I hadn't done hundreds of times before. I know that saying falls will happen isn't that comforting but at least if you accept that it will happen its less of a shock when it does. The worst part of falling to me is when it happens in a spot without things around to get back up.. And keep your phone with you, when I broke my ankle I had to drag myself across the house to get my phone...not ideal!

So far so good the floor or the ground are always around to catch me. I fall with grace and style, it's my landings that need help but I don't like to practice!

byrdsofparadise, Any fall that you can walk away from with no broken bones is a good fall. No judge is there to score your fall how grace

and style the fall is.

Dear Umigal, Glad you weren't seriously hurt with your recent fall! I was diagnosed with cerebellar ataxia eleven years ago, and use a cane when I leave my home (since I fell four years ago while out and about, severely injuring my back. I'm able to walk, carefully, in my home without it, although I've taken some pretty bad falls. Most recently, I too lost my balance, falling straight backward, hitting the back of my head on the seam of the lower cabinets. I had an immediate severe headache, and a two inch cut (deep) on the back of my head. Fortunately, my husband was home and took me to emergency at a local hospital. I sported quite a lump and nine staples for several days. A couple years ago I also fell in my kitchen, hairline fracturing my pelvis. I used to bounce when I fell, not so much anymore. I've ordered a quad cane to keep in the kitchen and my husband is going to install grip bars in the shower and various other needed places. My neuro wrote a prescripton for a rollator too. Falling is not my idea of a good time, and knocks my confidence down a peg each time! ;o)

Hi Umigal!

It does knock your confidence having a fall doesn’t it? Most of mine came about due to
lack of concentration, I got a bit slapdash.

Most have been in private but 2 were embarrassing as well as painful!

  1. Supermarket trolley bay, my leg gave way and I tipped a trolley completely on it’s side.

2). On the Metro (underground train), it moved off before I got seated and I fell backwards
in the aisle.

With the best will in the world you can’t always prevent falls. xB

Hi Umigal, When I fall, it's usually because I turn to quickly also. I also have trouble bending over to pick something up. I did this just yesterday and thought I was going to go down. Luckily, I was able to regain enough balance and strength so I didn't. I also have trouble maintaining my balance when I have to close my eyes for something or just putting on a shirt going over my head. I can't see the floor when my shirt is going over my head and tend to lose my balance.

Steve said:

Hi Umigal,

I also fell going to the front door. I was coughing trying to clear my clear my throat when I lost by balance and fell against the front door with my fore head leaving a bump and a sore neck. I had pain when I turned my head left for months. BTW what nationality are you?

I am more diligent on using my walker now. Here is the walker I use. http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/medical-lab/wheelchairs-1/medical...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your comment on falling. You asked about my nationality. Well, I am American, of Norwegian and English heritage. Is that significant in someway?

Dear All,

Thanks for all your supportive messages regarding the Art of Falling.. Through your anecdotes, I don't feel alone in any of this. Thanks, and be safe!

Don't feel alone--we all fall. What is scariest for me is the fall that "just happens" and you can't say why or what caused it--as recently I was holding on to rollator and fell backward hitting head on bare floor. Other times I turned with cane in wrong hand, the rollator wasn't locked and rolled away, I tried to do something I shouldn't have,etc. Someone recently mentioned that we should always stoop over with bent knees to get something from floor, not bend over--this is good advice and I also use the grabber a lot these days. Trying to figure out to keep cell phone with me all the time--it can be your help when you fall, ataxia or not!


Yes if you were Japanese decent there would be a reason for your ataxia. In 1800s Japan had a epidemic up to 30% of the population died later in 1926 found to be thiamine deficiency in their diet. My dad had ataxia and he was born in Japan in 1888 right at the height of the epidemic. If you grow up with no thiamine it mutates your thiamine transporter gene and you pass it along to your off springs. Here is a article by PubMed a US government medical Library on the importance of thiamine in your diet. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16527765

I'm very careful not to fall! I really have to pay attention to my surroundings and the people around me. Any sudden movement or anything I step on that's on the floor or ground and I go down. Just be careful and don't make any sudden movements or turn around suddenly. Last year I was in a store and stepped back slightly and there was an older lady right behind me. I also turned around quickly and was so off balance that we both fell into some book shelves. I somehow managed to not fall ontop of her. I felt terrible! She got a deep cut on her arm and had to go to the hospital. Because of that I'm so, so careful!

You're so lucky to have wonderful friends that can help you with anything that you need or assist you in walking. Thank God for my husband! He's always holding onto me and making sure I'm safe!

Hi, so sorry to hear about your fall! My daughter falls like this several times a day and it's awful for her and for you! I hope you don't fall again and hurt yourself too badly. Take care


I use a cane to walk and recently I put my pride aside and now use a walker inside my home, if I didn’t I would be supporting myself on walls and fall often. Every couple steps or any sharp turns I get thrown off balance. I have had a few bad falls and being an ex skateborder my advice on falling is to rather go with the fall rather than try to stop yourself, tuck in your arms and head and follow through with your shoulder. It’s much better to have a bruised shoulder than a broken arm or wrist. Ofcourse if the fall occurs in a situation that may be extremley dangerous to fall in, than it would be better to brace yourself from the fall ( stairs for example). Unfortunately for us who suffer from Ataxia it takes much more brain energy to maintain any degree of balance.

I think you're really smart to use a walker in your home, Adam! I've also taken some pretty nasty falls, hurting myself. I use a regular cane and recently ordered a quad cane on the net. It's black with songbirds on it, very stylish...,ha! My thought is, it'll give me more stability with four "feet" rather than just one. It will also stand up on it's own, which will be a welcome change! I saw my neuro recently and he wrote a prescription for a rollator, which will come in handy for pleasure walks outside when the weather gets warmer. I live in the State of Michigan, where it's bitter cold with tons of snow...,definitely Winter here! Also, thanks for your advice on how to fall properly!...,;o)