Falls Story – MA

MA (Age 74)

16 years ago, M was diagnosed with a rare condition known as Tullio’s Phenomenon which causes dizziness and hearing problems, the symptoms of which effect balance resulting in regular falls. M was diagnosed with this condition after becoming unwell whilst on an evening out with friends. She became violently sick and was unable to stand or walk unaided. The next day, M called the doctor who suspected Labyrinthitis which would go away once treated with the right medication.

Unfortunately, her symptoms persisted and M was diagnosed with Tullio’s Phenomenon for which there is no cure. M had to learn to walk again and to adapt to life with this condition. She began the process of retraining her brain and finding her feet once again, learning to walk using a stick. She took short walks, linking in with family in order to build up her confidence. M decided to get a rescue dog which helped her to stay active, to maintain her balance and to keep her company on her daily walks.

For M the risk of falling is an accepted part of life, these falls can be unpredictable and can range in severity. She has experienced falls in the street and at the local supermarket. M describes how other people’s lack of insight into the condition can be challenging, she urges others who have experienced a fall not to immediately jump to their feet out of fear of embarrassment, but to take time to recover, to access any injuries and to accept help from others saying “don’t be embarrassed, stay put, accept help.”

Prior to developing Tullio’s Phenomenon, M was a self-described ‘fitness fanatic’ who had worked full-time all her life. As a result of her condition, M was no longer able to work and she took early retirement. Although M has had to adapt to life with the condition, she doesn’t let this hold her back. She enjoys hillwalking, visiting her caravan and gardening with her daughter as part of a rich and varied lifestyle.

With a little bit of help you can take those all important first steps to leaving your home again, whether its starting off around your living room or to the end of your street and back. Everyone’s journey towards recovery is unique but there is life after a fall. 

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