Author Topic: Walking down a busy road.... and hearing and balance  (Read 7784 times)


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Walking down a busy road.... and hearing and balance
« on: April 15, 2007, 04:58:03 pm »

Since my car is at the dealers being fixed, and i decided i needed a prescription waiting at this pharmacy, i went off with my cane (used post ankle /leg issues from a break) and walk what amounts to um, let's see, 10-12 football field lengths, only it was along a busy suburban road with six lanes divided......before i got to that road, however, i had to walk a block through this park which was fine and then a longer block along a 4 lane road.... Now has anyone else found the noise of traffic going by a rather difficult undertaking?? I thought oh, i should have worn some ear plugs. Then i reached the intersection where the six lanes crossed the four, and in that moment waiting for lights to change and when six lanes are roaring by and four are coming down and braking to a stop, my equilbrium and sense of disorientation soared. I found looking ahead to the other side as I crossed wasn't helpful, so i stared at my feet. Does this make a difference? As i headed up the nice slope of a road which stretched forever it now seemed to me, I entertained thoughts of sticking my thumb out and hitchhiking but i realized no one would stop due to their speed lol... then i counted the number of times i lurched ( i had looped the cane on my arm as part of my personal research here lol) and  I guessed at how many cars passing thought oh look at that drunken lady in the middle of the day rofl.....i never know when i might lurch.... now why don't cities place nice benches to sit down on , along routes ? This outing left me not only fatigued big time but the hearing was worse at the same time the traffic noise seemed deafening. Anyone else experienced this?

Don't ask me how i got back. I know i should have taken a cab.



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Re: Walking down a busy road.... and hearing and balance
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2007, 05:11:47 pm »

That sounds like quite an adventure you had.  Way too much traffic for me.  I live in the country.  Yesterday I went for a walk with my 16 year old son and my husband.  We went off for a cross country walk trying to find a creek my son saw on the aerial photos online.  I was doing fine until I got to the creek with a log across it that I had to cross.  A real test of my balance.  Luckily it was only about 3 feet across.  The log was slippery too.  My husband held his hand out to me about half way across so I made it.  On the way back I had to balance even a bit more.  I was doing fine until the very end.  My foot slipped down on a rotten part of the log and my foot went in momentarily.  I got out right away so I didn't get too wet.  All in all, it was kind of fun.  At least we didn't see any cars.  Just non-moving trees.

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Drs. Friedland and Meyer
Milwaukee, WI
left-side facial paralysis and numbness
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Re: Walking down a busy road.... and hearing and balance
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2007, 05:36:38 pm »
Jean:  I always had trouble walking on logs prior to AN, I couldn't imagine even attempting it now !    Way to go !!!!!

Hey Windsong:  You're not alone - walking around traffic is more difficult now then before.   I work at a hospital, & the noise from sirens going by, geez louise, I stick my finger in my ear when they come close...  gotta protect the one ear left hearing !!!!    Glad to see you made it !!!   It's amazing when you realize what you CAN do, even IF you regretted it once you got home !!
« Last Edit: April 15, 2007, 05:41:18 pm by nancyann »
2.2cm length x 1.7cm width x 1.3cm  depth
retrosigmoid 6/19/06
Gold weight 7/19/06, removed 3/07
lateral tarsel strip X3
T3 procedure 11/20/07
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lateral canthal sling 11/14/08
Jones tube insert right inner eye 2/27/09
right facial paralysis
good to go.


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Re: Walking down a busy road.... and hearing and balance
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2007, 06:00:34 pm »

Your outing sounds lovely (minus the wet foot lol)!..... would you believe my place faces a conservation area? I love the country bit. But the gate to the path along our creek is at the far end and walking alone makes me a bit nervous as it's a bit isolated. Maybe in the summer I will try it lol... So i took the other side along the busy route.

Sirens? aieeeee... an ambulance went screeching by me today too but I didn't hear it until it was beside me lol... i'd like to think it turned it on at that precise moment... thanks for reminding me about my one hearing ear sigh....

( I regret the walk and don't regret it lol.... and i came home with wet gloves and it was cold... don't ask... only an Aner could go for a walk and come back with soaked gloves sigh or only me lol)



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Re: Walking down a busy road.... and hearing and balance
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2007, 12:24:42 am »
I have a difficult time finding my car and getting across the parking lanes while searching and watching here and there for folks backing up on me.  The whole thing is spooky.  How many of you have a handicap parking tag so you can park closer to the door of a store? 

Our neighborhood group decided to take a 6 hour van trip across the border for a day of shopping in Mexico.  This is a popular thing to do in some parts of Texas.  But I declined to join the group because my hearing won't hold up in the noise for 6 hours, I am frightened by the idea of a twisting an ankle or worse, falling down and looking vulnerable to a purse snatcher.  My whole life style has changed since my surgery.  I no longer feel confident to make the 2½ hour drive alone on the four lane highway to see my daughter.  It is sad to have to give up freedom too soon.

On the other hand, I walk much better on the landscape timbers and big stones in the garden since my operation.  For several years I noticed walking on the timbers was like walking a tight rope, arms waving and tipping all of the time.  I guess I've improved ankle strength since the operation, too!
« Last Edit: April 17, 2007, 12:29:40 am by Boppie »


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Re: Walking down a busy road.... and hearing and balance
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2007, 07:11:13 am »
My first outing was to walk from my subdivision to the storage lot about 1/2 mile away on the feeder road.  I had to cross the bridge over the bayou.  I took my cane.  I fell.  Fortunately the cane stopped my roll into the bayou!!
We are building a new home, so mud everywhere and lots of interesting highs and lows getting into the house.  I've had muddy knees and backside and elbows, but at least the mud is soft. 
Like Boppie, I don't do well in parking lots, I have a handicap license plate.  I made a tee shirt that says, "I'm not drunk....Just lopsided."  In small print underneath it says, "I survived brain surgery."
Brenda Oberholtzer
AN surgery 7/28/05
Peyman Pakzaban, NS
Chester Strunk, ENT


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Re: Walking down a busy road.... and hearing and balance
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2007, 12:45:53 am »
I have yet to try a busy road, although Mom has hauled me to a couple malls.  The noise assault is unreal!!!  I will be looking for earplugs.  She rolled up a cookie pkg. the other day and I thought she was trying to kill me.  What is the old saying regarding walking--"I used to be good to look at, now I'm just fun to watch"  I use a cane just to orient myself to the ground, I kinda look like a pinwheel otherwise.  I know what is meant by feeling more vulnerable though. it is like you are advertising you are the weaker of the breed...   
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translab by the awesome Dr.Tomaras 4/12/07
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2007--the year of the head "what a long, strange trip it's been"


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Re: Walking down a busy road.... and hearing and balance
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2007, 07:31:39 am »
Hi everyone

This is perhaps a bit beside the point but I find trying to be a pedestrian in USA is an absolute nightmare ! Of course my An does not help . We have for the last 4 years kept a sailboat in Florida and having to get supplies etc the only way has been on foot or on a folding bike . As you all know most of your stores are out of town only accessed by a 6 lane highway which makes life difficult on foot or on a bike . Also on the pedestrian crossings it seems that you could not get across before the lights change to red even if you were an olympic runner ! The fact that I have lost most of my directional hearing does not help either and my husband has to accompany me and tell me where the traffic is coming from especially when cycling . It is a pity that you have lost all the usual services from the traditional Main St where now you can buy art or antiques but for milk or a loaf of bread you have to go out of town on a busy highway.

Regards Kat

2.2 cm AN diagnosed July 2004 . GK at  the Royal Hallamshire
Sheffield UK in April 2005 2nd MRI in December 06 showed signs of the AN shrinking and MRI in FEB 08 showed no change . SO FAR SO GOOD .


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Re: Walking down a busy road.... and hearing and balance
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2007, 07:37:48 am »
Hi Windsong,

I too had difficulty with walking alongside traffic. The reason you became disoriented/unbalanced I believe, due to over stimulation.  Cars moving fast, noise, visual field is large and expansive so there is much to take in through our senses.  I find wind in my hearing ear difficult too.  Tends to make me "swoon".  Ear plug is essential tool and truly helps.  I have many hidden in different places, car, bathroom (for hairdryer), by my keys, in my purse for use every time.  I no longer chance going without.  If I can block one of my senses it seems to help me last longer on walks outside, in mall, grocery story, etc.  I also found my shoulder are no longer stuck to my earlobes.  

I have handicap tag that I use if I am out in the evening.  I am not fully confident walking from my car to the entrance, but it helps knowing I don't have far to go.  I am considering buying a cane just for the evening walking.  Never considered a cane before, don't know why?

LOL.  I have similar reactions to my husband crunching up plastic chip or pretzel bags during a movie.  It's as if the bag is against my ear!  And I loved the "old saying...."  I'm going to start using that one!  And your description of a pinwheel made me laugh out loud as I had the pinwheel arms this morning while teaching my yoga class.  We were in a balancing posture on one leg and before you know it, my arms were extended out and wheeling about!  Love it when that happens, makes me humble.  I smile inwardly knowing what a sight I am to my students.  I think it helps them to know even us teachers are off balance from time to time.  

Can I have one of your T-shirts?  I'm size small.  Love that one too!

Thanks everyone for your posts.  They put a smile on my face and in my heart!
1/05 Retrosigmoid 1.5cm AN left ear, SSD
2/08 Labyrinthectomy left ear 
Dr. Patrick Antonelli Shands at University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
12/09 diagnosis of semicircular canal dehiscence right ear


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Re: Walking down a busy road.... and hearing and balance
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2007, 08:41:46 pm »
Whoopee!  Daughter and I went to an Opera last night.  We sat up in the Grand Tier 5th floor.  Getting into our row of seats was a new post op experience.  Actually I didn't get that old pre op feeling that I was going to leap or fall over the row in front and below me.  Things went well until we had to go back to the parking building through the tunnel.  I felt a little strange shuttling along and bobbling on my feet.  I found walking slowly in the crowd much harder than just charging forward. 

But I was greatful to be able to hear everything.  We saw Aida.  The costuming, sets, and music were wonderful.  Thank goodness they had an English subtitle screen above the stage for the dialogues.  I mean, hearing aid or not I wouldn't have had a clue for Italian!   ;D


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Re: Walking down a busy road.... and hearing and balance
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2007, 09:39:35 pm »
So often when i read here i find little things that are similar to my own experiences.... earlier today i found msyelf thinking about how i've altered what i do or how i do things?

Lora, malls have been so awful.... I used to shop till i dropped when i did shop. Now malls are where i go and park outside the store I want, I go in and shop, come out and drive to the other end often or the middle and avoid stores which mean walking through the whole place.... the noise is very bothersome to me and the stores that recently are making LOUD annoucements in store are a menace. (i shop often late in the day when everyone else is home eating dinner lol so it's better then).

Boppie good for you! You got to enjoy the opera! It must have been quite a spectacle. I love opera but haven't heard it for ages. I used to play nabucco often wayy back because some of the music is very quiet and lilting (thats the word that comes to mind)... 5th tier? is a big climb i can imagine.... our theatre here for mamma mia a few yrs back was a time when we had seats high up and i could not do it or manage the lobby noise so i ended up in the managers offcie on some ancient red velvet couch and was given a box seat down front while the rest of the extended family sat up in the balcony.... that place had tons of stairs too and boy was it crowded....

Kat, i lost the lock numbers on my bike which was locked up in '97 or thereabouts, so i don't know if i can cycle now lol.... true, we've lost "main street" to the big box malls in the suburbs in so many cities....

Brendalu, it seems ages before the mud goes in a new house construction zone.... hope they get the grass down soon and you have a soft landing but dry if you tumble.. take care, eh?

Thanks for sharing your own experiences...



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Re: Walking down a busy road.... and hearing and balance
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2007, 05:09:38 pm »
Hi, Windsong-  I SOOOO identify with your experience!  My neurosurgeon and PT told me that walking was the best exercise.  The first month or so I only walked in public with someone else to accompany me.   My first solo venture was a walk along a very busy road that I'd made hundreds of times before surgery.  The road is 6 lanes, VERY busy and noisy and part of it is a bridge overpass.  What an experience!  I found myself really hugging the side of the bridge because I was afraid of losing my balance and ending up in traffic.   I made it home successfully but was really exhausted.

It's amazing what muscles ache just trying to keep yourself upright!  My PT has offered some good suggestions to me to help with safety issues.  I was finding myself really off balance when trying to cross streets or parking lots.  My "bad" side is the right, so I'd look left- no problem, look right and feel like tipping over.  Instead, my PT suggested that I turn my body left, look, turn my body right, then look then go back to center.  it sounds so easy but is something I never thought of on my own but does really help.  \

Nine weeks out, things are much less strange than they used to be.  I enjoy shopping again but always know when enough's enough because the world looks strange and I probably do too(the balance really decays quickly).  When I'm with my boyfriend, it's great to be able to grab his arm.  Monday is my day to head back to work and I'm a little bit scared of how I'll deal with things without being able to take a nap or grab my honey's arm! 

2.3 cm right sided AN,  removed by retro sigmoid apporach by Kevin Walter and John Wayman at URMC(Strong Hospital) on 2/21/07.  8th cranial nerve lost, Right single sided deafness.