I've written posts about the way I walk with Cerebral Palsy. I mostly describe it as I weeble, wobble but don't fall down, most of the time. I thought I'd give you more detail. It is comical so you can laugh because you will be laughing WITH me.
I walk with an ataxic and spastic gait. It is similar to walking when you are drunk, clumsy and staggering with stiffly irregular steps.
The characteristics of an ataxic gait are:
Difficulty with turning.
Difficulty walking a straight line.
Broad based posture
Spastic gait is characterized by moving in a stiff manner with the toes dragging.
I have them all pretty much.
I definitely don't walk a straight line. When I was a young adult, I was driving, speeding a little because I was upset with my then-boyfriend. A cop stopped me and wanted to do a sobriety test which was walking toe to heel in a straight line. I had to repeatedly tell him that I had Cerebral Palsy and it was impossible. After a few minutes I convinced him and he let me go. WHEW!
Some people say I walk bowlegged like a cowboy. Some people say I walk like a duck or penguin. Others say I walk with a limp. I guess they all could be accurate in a way. My legs are bent, bowlegged and stiff and I have a slouch posture
My feet drag but mainly my left. How do I know this? Because my shoes wear out on that foot more. I sometimes literally walk on my own feet causing my shoelaces to unlace. However, my wonderful Husband ties them for me in a way it doesn't happen as often. Before having him in my life, BabyGirl would retie them. It is embarrassing for a grown woman to have her child tie her shoes but its better than tripping and falling. I am just saying!
I don't like being in a line that stops and goes. Like when I walk to receive Communion in church. I attempt to inconspicuously grab hold of a pew to keep me balanced sometimes. All I usually have to do is place my hand on a pew as I pass to get my bearings. I know it is stupid to be embarrassed grabbing onto a pew but my pride gets in the way. I also have to concentrate to stay on my side because of my wide gait. It's frustrating for me sometimes but it is all worthwhile to receive Communion.
MyHubby is usually behind me in the Communion line. I feel he is no use until I am literally on the floor. I don't blame him. When we first got together, as everyone who first gets to know me, tried to rescue me. When I tripped or lost my balance flailing my arms in the air, he used to try to grab me. I told him if I needed his help I would tell him and told him to stop. When you live with someone like me, you get used to it. At times when I land on the ground or floor I ask him why he didn't catch me. He shakes his head and says he can't win. He is right. I'm so lucky he loves me!
I hate crowds and avoid them at all costs. People stop and go or in a hurry and push around me. It is so annoying when people stop in the middle of a crowded area to chat. Lately I take MyHubby's hand, if we are not already holding hands and pretty much barrel through saying, "EXCUSE ME!" I get the 'Who in the hell are you?' look until they look at my legs and they usually move quickly like I have the plague.
One little tap or even a breeze can knock me off balance.
When I feel or hear people behind me, a lot of times I try to step aside so they can pass because there is nothing worse than having people at your heels. I'm sure most of us with some kind of walking deformity can relate. I am happy to say on occasion some people are reluctant to seem rude and refuse until I convince them it is okay. I don't walk fast. I never did and I never will. I think I walk fast sometimes but there is always someone faster than me. Hubby walks really fast. However, from day one we've always held hands. I think it helps both of us. It helps me with the support and it helps Hubby to walk my pace.
Here is one friendly suggestion for all of you. When you come across someone slower than you, stay at distance behind them. Say EXCUSE me and allow them to move out of your way. If they don't, find a way to go around them far enough not to brush against them. Because REALLY, most of us would like to walk fast just as you but it just ain't gonna happen!
Standing up for a while causes me to go off balance and sway. Yes, I know. Weird. I usually try to find a place to sit if I can. Standing then stepping can bring me to tripping with those arms in the air!
For whatever reason I have not figured out why it happens but I have what I call wobbly days and good days. Getting out of a bed or chair is hilarious sometimes! I push myself up and fall back down a few times until I get on my two feet. Once I am on my feet I okay. My Hubby will help me stay on my feet by placing his hand on my back for support. On wobbly days, its the same getting up but my balance is off a lot more. I am all over the place on those days. The other day I was getting up on a bad day and I had to hurry to go to the bathroom. I finally got on my feet. When I made the first step, my balance threw me towards the wall headfirst. Luckily I caught myself.
Hubby and I laugh. I always laugh at myself. Hubby laughs with me but sometimes he says it just looks funny.
Walking in between something tight is difficult, especially moving objects or people. When I move into a new home, I always look at the kitchen's layout. I do most of the cooking. It's a catch 22. I like all the appliances especially the sink and stove close so I don't have to walk with a heavy pot far. Because of the way I walk, water sloshes all over and I need to be careful. Also I figure out how many turns I have to take to get from point A to B. I eventually adapt and there is no second thought of what I am doing.
I always think if I'm in the kitchen and I lose my balance I have something to grab on if everything is close by. But on the other hand, if I lose my balance and don't catch myself I could fall and hit my head. Hubby is always concerned about that when I am alone. MyBabyGirl has always been concerned about that too, not only in the kitchen.
I always have a rule for myself, if I am walking with a dish or pot or anything and I lose my balance. It is not going to be me falling down which results in broken dishes or supper on the floor. Broken dishes happened so many times I cannot count. I think supper landed on the floor maybe once or twice.
Do not ever ask me to walk backward or sideways. I mean really! I can't walk straight and balanced moving forward, what do you expect? Just the other day, Hubby and I were trying to move a big object and at first he had me pulling. He ran over my foot by the way and that hurt! But anyway I told him to switch. It was so much better.
I hope I was able to paint a picture of how I walk and stand. You may think wow she has a challenge every day. But don't! Yes, I am aware of the way I walk and trip etc but don't think about it. I just do what I have to do.
Until next time…