AVM Survivors Network

Clumsy? Or what?

Hi, I’m TJ and I’m clumsy.

No, I’m not trying to make light of the battle against alcoholism that so many face, not in the least. But…

Friday afternoon, we went for a “hike” (aka stroll in the woods) at the youth camp my brother runs. I stepped in the only hole on the entire 1.4-mile loop around the lake. Oh, yeah, the hole was covered by leaves but down I go - twisted ankle, sore knee and a minorly sore tailbone. We’re a half-mile from the lodge, so I tried to walk it out and it went well most of the way. Let’s put it this way - compared to my headaches, my ankle was a “walk in the park.”

By Saturday, my tailbone was becoming more and more of a pain. Sunday and Monday even more so. It seems to be slowly getting better today.

Episode #2 About 2 weeks ago, I was getting out of the car and I succeeded in dropping my ipad and cracking the screen. First, you have to understand, that thing is like a baby blanket for me. Waiting to pick up the kids, taking notes after doctor’s appts, the all important Facebook and e-mail and messaging and all of that. I don’t need a really new, really fancy, really big one, but I consider it a portion of my brain. I’ve had an iPad before (an original ipad Mini) and I’ve never had that problem.

So, swallow my pride, go back on ebay and buy another used ipad. I had an ipad 3, they are currently selling 8th generation. I upgraded to an iPad 4th generation. Reminds me of my brother. In 1986, he bought a 1970 VW Beetle. In 2004, he sold that Beetle and upgraded to a 1973 model.

Well, guess what happened while watching a football game. Ipad was on my lap, and I went to get up and it slid off my lap. Crack goes another iPad screen.

Two ipad screens in 2 weeks? In addition, I’ve knocked over my beverage of choice (ice tea) in cups with lids and straws at least a half dozen times.


  1. Am I alone in this? crickets

  2. I have nerve and muscle issues in my left hand, arm and shoulder, so I’m not really surprised. But what do I do to prevent it?

  3. Anyone know of a case for ipads that would protect them better? Like I told my family after I fell, I’ve known that with my balance issues, frankly it was only a matter of time. Just leave it to me to find the only hole on the trail and the only rock to land on my tailbone on. sigh

And on that note, I’m off to go spend some time on New Years Eve at my brother’s house. Wife is a little under the weather, teenagers are at kind of a turbulent peace, so she’s here and I’ll probably knock off early. But rather than wishing you a Happy New Year, I want to wish you all a year full of family peace, quiet understanding, listening medical people and small mountains to step over.



And peace be with you, TJ.


And also with you…

Hey TJ,
I too have ‘clumsy’ issues, sometimes I think I forget what I’m doing or I’m just tired and in all honesty it could well be a combination of all 3, clumsy, not thinking and tiredness.
Now as for your ipad. I had a former client who had similar issues with screens breaking. We got her a case similar to this:
And then a screen protector made of a tempered glass. Something like this:
My client was VERY unstable physically, walking independently for her takes every effort. She was less shaky when sitting. So we set the ipad up on a adjustable table. We weren’t sure if she got angry with it and threw it, or it slipped and broke, either way, they broke This is why we ‘tried’ to protect both sides. It did help, but it wasn’t bulletproof as we found out a few times.

Hope it helps and thanks for the wishes
Merl from the Moderator Support Team

@TJ127 Happy New Year. I think we all have our clumsy times. I seem to fall at least once a month just trying to put on pants. I had to stop playin pickle ball with the senior citizens at my community center cause they are super competitive and seem to forget that I had a stroke and I ended up with a pretty bad black eye. I used to have a hard case for my Ipad and I dropped it so many times it eventually chipped one of the corners. I now have something like this from Amazon and I rarely use the keyboard but sometimes it is nice to use- https://smile.amazon.com/keyboard-Compatiable-Keyboard-Pencil-Protective/dp/B0829J9XVF/ref=sr_1_46?crid=ZQR25XP2CPPA&keywords=ipad+air+2+case+with+keyboard&qid=1577965191&sprefix=ipad+air+2+case%2Caps%2C209&sr=8-46

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My daughter has a steep driveway. I have fallen twice there in December.
I bump into walls, hit doorknobs, you name it. And to make things worse, my arms get these huge red blotches on them if I barely touch anything. We are slowly replacing the flooring in our house to a commercial slip proof vinyl. That will help at home, anyway. I used to be a lot more graceful, not anymore.
Happy New Year one and all. Stay in touch.


I also have problems with my left hand and balance issues.
My husband came home a few months after my craniotomy with a new iPad cover that he said he bought for himself. Seemed kind of weird to me; given that it was a full hardcover that clipped in place when shut. Much more substantial than the old one. Plus it was pink! So I say “ that’s interesting, especially the color, doesn’t seem like your type of thing”. He then says, yeah maybe you should just use it?
Turns out to be a very nice way of letting someone know they are a clutz. Really very nice of him.
I have dropped my iPad multiple times and this new cover has definitely made a difference.
Not sure if it would have helped in your situation TJ, but I now use hiking poles when I’m out on uneven surfaces. I feel a bid odd, but I’m much steadier with them and have not fallen so far
Happy new year


Angela, Thanks for the smile. I have visions of my mom and my in-laws (all right around 80 years old) trying to play pickle ball. It doesn’t compute.

I have also gotten in the habit of sitting on the bed to put pants on - just makes it so much easier. I guess I can’t complain seeing how it’s only been three full blown land on my southside falls.

Speaking of black eyes, I fell out of bed the day before my hearing with social security. Knocked my watch off my night stand, reached down to pick it up and somehow did a bit of a barrel roll - ended up with a black eye. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a big enough black eye for the judge to inquire about it the next day. Fortunately it didn’t matter - they approved things anyway.


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Carol - your hubby sounds like a good guy. My wife has a lot of practice with saying the tough things in ways that don’t beat on you too much. Being a Neonatal ICU nurse, she talks to parents with bad news about their kids quite often.

I have told my family, my extended family, my pastor, and a few others that the only way we’re going to make it through relationally is by gut level honesty. So I will be honest with them and if they see things that I don’t, they will be honest with me. There have been times when it has hurt, but I’ll take some hurt in a healthy marriage compared to a frosting coated pail of mud.

I’m not quite to the spot of needing hiking poles yet - but if I do, I know where I’m going to go - there’s a guy by a campground near us who carves them, finishes them and sells them - all absolutely gorgeous. I’ll spend an hour on the road to get one of his rather than buy a standard one…

And a happy New Year to you as well…


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He is a great guy and has really been there for me.
I get what you are saying about the hiking poles. We were away at a convention and they had a hike schedules for the companions. There must have been forty women there and I was the only one with hiking poles. So embarrassing, but it meant that I could go. I feel very stable with them and I did manage a four mile hike in the Colorado mountains, which were beautiful

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Damn! Sending calming, healing waves to you. I’m not really glad but your story assuages my frustration a bit knowing that there is someone else out there who’s predisposed to accidents just like me and my father!


Hey TJ…Happy New Year to you. 38 year old, 17 year survivor and loose my balance and bump into things a lot. As time goes on I get better. Defiantly a side effect I have, an unsteady gate and vertigo you are not alone! If I have a couple glasses of wine I walk like a drunken sailor (that doesn’t stop me)!


Hey, TJ. I’m a barista and I have the worst trouble with my hands and my coordination. I have been asked if I’m drunk at work. I’m not! My hands just don’t belong to me! I really hope you learn to live with your silly nerves. You’re not in this alone!

I asked a friend of mine, dead serious question, (her husband is high up in the local big city police department), "What do I do if I get pulled over and the police ask me to the “walk the straight line” to prove that I’m not drunk. I would not be able to do it.

She asked him and he said that he would recommend that I inform the officer that I have a medical condition that will prevent me from passing that and they should be able to check it another way. Either that, or a trip to the Big House and a call to your doctor and you’d be fine.

I hope I never have to try.


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Yes same as me , unsteady gait , dizzy every time I move my head so cant walk straight , I always feel drunk haha :wine_glass:

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@TJ127 You are correct I asked my cousin a San Francisco police officer the same question as I worry about it and know I would probably fall if asked to stand on one foot esp if its my bad stroke leg. She told me they have to ask us to perform another test that we can do. I guess I would just ask for the blow test not sure under pressure I would be able todo the alphabet backwards etc?