Tag Archives: falling down the stairs

Looking Upward

Over the weekend, I finally accomplished putting into chronological order and placing my college to present pictures in photo albums. It brought back many great memories. As I sorted, I found these pictures that made me laugh at the memory of the evening:




During my years living in the Denver area, I lived in a neighborhood called Bel Mar. On the corner of Wadsworth and Alameda, this was the rising place for living and shopping. The Target I was employed at was about fifteen minutes from Bel Mar…connected to a flat mall that had an indoor mile track that ran its course around the stores. I enjoyed a mile walk on my lunch breaks. I think every mall should be modeled after that one.

Even though there were a few Target stores in the area, Bel Mar also built one a few months before I moved. It was one of the “new city” model styles where the parking garage was underneath on the “first floor,” making the actual retail store on the second floor, all of course equipped with escalators, a stairway, and an elevator. I opted for the escalators.

Mom came to Denver every other week to help me on my chemo weekends. After the grand opening of Target (we had watched it being built over time), I wanted to show her the inside of the new Target. Up until this point, I had only been in a few times, because it was more convenient for me just to get my needs and groceries from my Super Target rather than stop at another one on the way home. But with Mom, we had grabbed a few groceries and as we left, I made a discovery: they even had an escalator for your carts!!! I was laughing so hard, Mom was afraid I would fall down our own escalator. 🙂

Currently, I have recently developed a phobia of walking down the stairs. Going up the stairs is not a problem; just coming down. Too many falls in the past few months has triggered this phobia, but I can’t say that I had really classified it as a fear up until a few weeks ago when I mentioned it to a friend. Now I am not even sure if it is just the stairs I fear falling–I think it is falling in general.

With my balance continuing to worsen, I have now restarted Physical Therapy, but it takes place here at my house. Due to the decline of function in my hands (especially the right hand), I will also be starting soon some sessions of Occupational Therapy. The reason for having the sessions here at home is to help me with my everyday living. For example, because I started my first PT session last week, we did a huge overview of my current conditions and discussed the areas in which I need assistance. Most of my current frustrations deal in the realm of OT, but balance was a major issue for me in PT. She gave me a suggestion for going down the stairs sideways, but to be honest, it doesn’t make me feel any better about the decline. As for right now we are mainly focusing on extra balancing exercises to accompany the PT strengthening exercises I have been doing already.

To access my current conditions, my therapist had me perform some “strength and mobility” tests. I can only stand on one foot for a mere one or two seconds…and standing with one foot in front of the other depends on which foot is placed first. Considering I have had two blood clots in my left leg, don’t be surprised to hear that it is my stronger leg. I think it always has been to be honest. When we lived in Colorado, I did get the chance to learn how to snowboard before my balance would no longer permit the activity. My Dad insisted that my sister and I take a half day of lessons before we just went out on our own. At the rental shop, when deciphering which foot you will put forward on the board, the rental personal did a little test. He had me turn around and gave me a slight nudge. I put my left foot forward first. He said, “You’re a regular foot.” (A right foot is called a goofy foot.) I think if anyone gave me a little nudge today, I would just fall over.

I am seeing the reality that my balance and falling will worsen. I have no control over it. There are days when I am to the point of tears at my balance. Other days, I find humor in it. I think it parallels the balance of life: days when strength is strong and days when strength is weak…in both I need to keep looking upwards, knowing when I fall, He still stands.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121: 1-2 ESV


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Funny Stories, Muffy, Random

“A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down…in the most delightful way!”

Sorry to disappoint you if you thought that I was going to discuss Mary Poppins. But that movie makes me laugh. Which leads me to my question of the day: HAVE YOU LAUGHED TODAY??

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” ~Proverbs 17:22

I just had a good laugh. I reread an email that my friend sent me a few days ago. She was telling me about her new puppy and his cute but funny habits. I did not find it as funny when I read it the first time. Maybe I find it funny now, because I am drained of energy from lack of a good night’s sleep, but regardless: I laughed. After last week’s tears, I laughed a lot this past weekend…got to love Shaun the Sheep!

I am not very good at telling jokes. The only time I have funny stories is when something happens to me: reenactment of a fall (which believe me, most often are funny afterwards!), mispronunciation of words, or stories of things we did growing up. Of course, these stories are better in person, because I can’t show my arm or facial expressions. 🙂 I could make quite a post of funny things. Here are a few:

The best story of falling is when I was on the steroid pills in college (If you are wondering why I was on these, read my “What is NF2?’ page for clarification). It was already after 11pm and I was SO HUNGRY!!! My roommate and I set out for Arby’s to get me something to eat. It had just snowed a few days before, so now things were a bit icy. Good thing my roommate was holding the food, because when we parked and I got out of the car, my feet found the ice! It happened so fast! My roommate saw my head, then didn’t. HAHA. It would have been a great movie stunt! Best part was that I landed sitting with my legs crossed like I just wanted to sit on the ice casually. 😀 I did not realize until we got to the stairwell that my ankle had a huge gash in it…my dad told me later that I should have probably had stitches. So now I just have this cool huge scar on the top of my right ankle.

I also just thought of another one that was pretty funny but not at the time it happened. In college, we lived in a stairwell unit–at least freshman year. They had cool names and you had brother dorms, etc. My stairwell only had five rooms, instead of the typical six–two rooms with three floors–because the bottom right room was a computer lab. I sometimes just wanted to get out of my room to study or write a paper so I would go downstairs to the lab. Worked great, because if I had to use the restroom or was hungry…I could just run up to my room. Genius! One night, I made mac and cheese. Now on a college diet, this is a big deal! I was headed down to the lab with my bowl of mac and cheese (still warm I might add), when I tripped on the stairs and out flew the bowl of mac and cheese from my hands. I made such a noise falling, most people probably only saw the mac and cheese in the air, because I had already hit the ground. It was so embarrassing! Like I said, I could pull amazing movie stunts. 😀 The girls of my dorm never let me forget that one!! Or the time that I baked banana bread but forgot the sugar. It was like termite hills. My roommates laughed so hard that one had to hold onto the counter top for support to keep from falling over.

We sure did some fun and funny things growing up! If we were not out throwing rocks in fresh cow patties (sort of like our own version of a “shot put” competition), then we were listening to Adventures in Odyssey while coloring, stamping or making creatures out of milkweed seed pockets. We also liked to ride in a tube down the irrigation ditch or take the row-boat in the pond out back. Pictures of me rowing that thing is hilarious enough! Those were also the days of “tape recorders.” Oh yeah! Just saying that makes me feel really old (my apologies to my elder readers for the phrase). No serious, the days of cassette tapes and Walkman! I sort of miss those! Once, my sisters and I recorded this whole cassette tape for our friends; we sang songs and did funny little “skits”. Pure joy and imagination.

The days of imagination! I think as I grow older, I imagine less. At least imagining on my own–of course painting stimulates the brain, but I consider that more “crafty” than imagination. Reading also creates imagination in a way I suppose. You have to imagine the character as the author describes–but like C.S. Lewis’ Narnia…when I read the books now, I see the movie characters–that is why it is best to read the books first! Though I admit, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy was super hard for me to read, so I just enjoyed the movies. 🙂 (We did reenactments of the movies, but you know–story for a later blog post! Still not quite ready for the world to see those pictures. But what can I say…we were pretty much obsessed!)

Have you laughed yet? I hope so! I just wanted to post something on a day like today where I just needed a laugh. I got my laugh and thought that I would share a laugh. 😀

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Filed under Family Times, Funny Stories