So my balance has been effected by my AVM. It happened 8 months ago. June 2017. Does this take a super long time to regain as it makes my walking impossible at the moment.
My balance is a little off, particularly if I close my eyes. I’m 22 months post bleed and 16 post gamma knife. I’m not sure if it has changed much lately. I really noticed at Christmas decorating the tree, almost wiped the whole thing out which I’m sure would have been a big hit!
Actually, I think my balance has been off for years. If I close my eyes, I go. So I must be using sight to compensate. We did a team away day thing some years ago, with a blindfold exercise, where others had to guide you through using sounds. I couldn’t do it the same way as everyone else and ended up on all fours, walking like a gecko on hot sand with three “feet” down and one foot off, moving one limb at a time. As it turned out, it was a very successful mode of competition and I think we won (because falling over meant you had to start again and none of us fell) but it was driven by the fact I couldn’t balance with a blindfold on.
Something my PT said is that everyone’s balance can be impacted when their eyes are closed. This is why he has me close my eyes when working on my balance.
I asked my wife to stand on one foot, which is not a problem for her. But as soon as I asked her to close her eyes she immediately felt off balance.
I share this as perspective that while we may be challenged with balance issues at the moment due to spinal or brain AVMs , closing your eyes and feeling off balance is not necessarily a symptom or side effect of the AVM.
Ask your doctors and or therapists for the best way to assess and improve your balance when they think you are ready.
My balance was off for sure, but I was walking pretty well again
by about 4 months post bleed. Every story is a little different.
They sent me home with a wheel chair, but my house was small
and contained so much furniture, that I could only use it mostly in
the living room. So I got about mostly by clinging to furniture,
and walls. This encouraged me to get back sooner
to walking again!
I had a similar experience to John_P. It took a few months to get balance back to good. It never came back 100%, but that is likely due to recurring spinal fluid problems.
Thank you all for replying. I’m hoping mine will come when my eyes correct themselves. Knock on affect and all. It is driving me insane though, I just want to wake up in the morning and it’s that much better. Here’s to hoping
It is almost 5 years later and my balance is still off. It has not quite returned to where it used to be, but I do specific exercises to hopefully build it up and I practice holding onto a wall with my eyes open, and then closing my eyes and slowly letting the wall go. I also do the same thing with my eyes open and one leg raised at the knee.
I still walk in an ever-moving straight line, but now I am standing more upright and have stopped holding onto to random trees and gates as I walked-by.
And all this time, I thought it was just ME! I have been to P.T. so many times that they may start charging me rent! They insist they can make me walk what I call, “the drunk line”, or placing one foot in front of the other without falling off the white line. It’s been over 3 years and I still can’t do it. I cannot walk into a dark room because I feel like I’m going to fall on my face. I don’t know if I’m actually falling or if I just have the sensation of falling. You should see the hand prints on my newly painted walls! I can never-ever be blind folded again!!
Our situations are all different. I had my AVM burst on my cerebellum 7 years ago, and my balance was profoundly affected. It took some time to recover my balance, perhaps 2-3 years was the point where I was back as far as I would get, and where I am now. I used a walker for a while and had PT for my balance. It was not so much the balance, as being sick and vomiting all the time. Right now, the only permanent concessions are: I should not climb a tall ladder and I should not ride a bicycle or motorcycle. I stumble a bit more–not falling, but just need to make an extra step to regain footing. Nothing serious. It will get better for you with time. My advice is to keep up with the PT, walk a lot, and selectively challenge your balance issues. By this I mean to do things discussed here, such as try standing on one foot or closing your eyes while trying to keep your balance. Just be sure you have something to hold on to!
I struggled with balance too… some of the causes though included the other symptoms. I had double-vision looking down and weakness, but physio corrected my balance, and my double vision and strength both healed on their own with time.