My Story: Neuropathy and Stairs

Updated: Mar 7, 2021




If you are looking to hear a story about how I, a 34 year old mother, who suffers from peripheral neuropathy, fell down the stairs and hurt myself... well do I have a story for you! Read on.


I fell down my stairs today.


Hard.


Believe it or not I actually cried. Not an easy task for someone with Sjögren’s.

I was making my way downstairs to relax after a busy morning of COVID-19 homeschooling.


I tire more easily these days with the added workload of teaching my child through this turbulent time.

My household has done its best (as many people have) to deal with the coronavirus cards while still maintaining some semblance of normalcy.


In our house we built a schedule, while it’s very fluid, it still gives us the structure we need to pass the time together in a healthy way.

Prior to the pandemic shut down, my husband (Marc) worked full time, my child attended half day kindergarten and half day after school program.


I was (and still am) on disability trying to manage my Sjögren’s and Lupus.


Because of self isolation they are both home with me.

We manage to get by with a little more work on both our parts. Marc wakes up early and starts working before my son and I wake up, ensuring he is off work by noon.


I take care of our son in the mornings, typically homeschool, walks, and crafts.


At noon, Marc comes down for lunch, takes over childcare and I get to go rest.

Today was a typical day, the clock struck noon and I was ready to retire to my bed in the basement.


As I walked down the first stair my right foot slipped forward, and I crashed.


First my right lower back struck the top stair, next my left forearm struck the next stair, lastly my head snapped and I managed to evade the floor.


I waited and then I cried.

Marc and my son came running.


Marc checked for make sure my arm wasn’t broken, and he hugged my shoulders carefully as I cried.


It took me a moment to process the whole event. To figure out how I fell.


In this instance I was wearing socks and my floors are laminate. When I placed my left foot on the staircase I must have had my weight already on that foot before feeling proper contact.


Unfortunately this is a common thing among people with Neuropathy. A lesson I am learning the hard way.

I am still getting used to having Neuropathy. I was only just recently diagnosed with it in April 2020. My neurologist confirmed this diagnosis by conducting an EMG and doing a pin needle test against my feet and legs.


He held a safety pin sharp against the bottom of my toes, I couldn’t feel it.


Next he moved to my ankles, I wasn’t quite sure I could feel it.


Next he moved further up my leg, I could feel the pressure now, just barely.


He continued up my leg until I could feel the expected prick of the pin.

Upon receiving this diagnosis, he explained that individuals with peripheral neuropathy loose sensation in their feet. They often cannot feel hot or cold and cannot feel pain.


He proceeded to tell me it was important to check my toes for knicks and cuts every night, to incorporate it into my teeth brushing routine.


Why?


It’s important because you could get a cut, and if not treated properly, it could get infected, he added.


As an individual with a lowered immune system, it can be harder to fight off an infection.


The neurologist didn't mention anything about falling being a risk.


I hadn’t thought about it until just now. How the risk for falling must be greater for individuals who can't feel their feet.


It makes sense though, doesn't it?


I supposed I learned my lesson the hard way. I hope I don't take another topple down the stairs, for the next time might not be so forgiving.


Luckily this time I managed to escape with a few sore muscles and a gruesome bruise.


But don't worry, my five year old gave me plenty of hugs and kisses to help me feel better. 💜



Here's a copy of my big bad bruise. I hit my lower back and this took 3 weeks to heal.


Wishing everyone health and happiness,


Heather


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