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Anyone Seriously Hurt Themselves When Falling Because Of Cataplexy?


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#1 Guest_tabster1_*

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:16 PM

Hey guys, I was just wondering if anyone has seriously injuried themselves when falling during a cataplexy attack. Like broken bones etc. Not that this has happened to me - I usually get enough warning to direct my fall - though it does seem like my knees are perpetually bruised.

Just a random question that popped into my head.

#2 Hank

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:34 AM

Hey guys, I was just wondering if anyone has seriously injuried themselves when falling during a cataplexy attack. Like broken bones etc. Not that this has happened to me - I usually get enough warning to direct my fall - though it does seem like my knees are perpetually bruised.

Just a random question that popped into my head.



I lived with Cataplexy for most of my life and never knew what it was. Now that I know what it is, I know what caused several injuries. Each injury was sports related. Last year I broke my elbow when my knees buckled on skates and I fell backward. I have had a few ski accidents when my knees buckled. I injured my shoulder when I was descending a snowfield after climbing a mountain in the Northwest. My whole body went limp and I just tumbled until I stopped. My climbing partners thought I was already dead because I never tried to stop myself. Amazing I survived. If I had known then what I know now, I would never have done those things- and they were a blast. If ignorance is bliss, I am thankful that I survived my ignorance.

#3 SleepyDays

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:08 AM

Like you, most of my cataplexy starts slowly so I have a chance to find a place to sit down. But that's not always the case.

I had cataplexy and sleep attacks but didn't know what they were ....for more than 20 years. I remember one time, when I was younger, my father was trying to teach me to drive. I was learning stick shift and stalled my car at a 3-way intersection. The car behind me started honking and my stress went through the roof. Next thing I know, my car is nose first in the ditch across the road! My dad kept asking me...why did you do that? Why didn't you turn onto the road and you went into the ditch instead? I couldn't explain it myself. I didn't black out. All I knew was that I panicked and next thing I know, we're in the ditch! Luckily the car wasn't damaged and neither were we (it was a really deep ditch, but I had been driving slowly). I tore up my learner's permit on the spot and told my dad I would never drive again. And I never did. When i look back at that situation....it is exactly the sort of thing that would trigger my cataplexy.

There are many more stories of these sorts of things happening to me. Luckily, I never hurt myself or anyone else. Like you, lots of knee and arm and wrist bruises...nothing serious. But it's something that I think about a lot more now that I have a diagnosis.

What actually started my exploration into what was going on with me.... was leg muscle weakness at the top of a set of concrete steps that go down into the subway. Luckily, that attack came on slowly enough for me to stop and wait before I continued down the stairs...or I would have fallen down for sure. It scared me enough to go to my doctor and say "something is wrong...and I can't figure it out....can we look into this". When I eventually found out I had N...it sure explained a lot of things!

I'm curious to know if people are modifying what they do.... now that they know what their diagnosis is? I know I'm really careful around stairs. But I generally haven't changed my life around a fear of having a fall. I DO make a point to let people know about my N if I hang out with them a lot....because one of my triggers is being startled by something...and that is super hard to predict. I'm also deaf in one ear...so I have more potential to be startled by sudden loud noises because I can't locate where the sound came from.

I work in a busy area of downtown and often have to cross the street to get to other sites of my workplace. I'm a lot more cautious when crossing the street now and I look around a lot, trying to be aware of what's going on.

#4 Guest_tabster1_*

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:23 PM

Like you, most of my cataplexy starts slowly so I have a chance to find a place to sit down. But that's not always the case.

I had cataplexy and sleep attacks but didn't know what they were ....for more than 20 years. I remember one time, when I was younger, my father was trying to teach me to drive. I was learning stick shift and stalled my car at a 3-way intersection. The car behind me started honking and my stress went through the roof. Next thing I know, my car is nose first in the ditch across the road! My dad kept asking me...why did you do that? Why didn't you turn onto the road and you went into the ditch instead? I couldn't explain it myself. I didn't black out. All I knew was that I panicked and next thing I know, we're in the ditch! Luckily the car wasn't damaged and neither were we (it was a really deep ditch, but I had been driving slowly). I tore up my learner's permit on the spot and told my dad I would never drive again. And I never did. When i look back at that situation....it is exactly the sort of thing that would trigger my cataplexy.

There are many more stories of these sorts of things happening to me. Luckily, I never hurt myself or anyone else. Like you, lots of knee and arm and wrist bruises...nothing serious. But it's something that I think about a lot more now that I have a diagnosis.

What actually started my exploration into what was going on with me.... was leg muscle weakness at the top of a set of concrete steps that go down into the subway. Luckily, that attack came on slowly enough for me to stop and wait before I continued down the stairs...or I would have fallen down for sure. It scared me enough to go to my doctor and say "something is wrong...and I can't figure it out....can we look into this". When I eventually found out I had N...it sure explained a lot of things!

I'm curious to know if people are modifying what they do.... now that they know what their diagnosis is? I know I'm really careful around stairs. But I generally haven't changed my life around a fear of having a fall. I DO make a point to let people know about my N if I hang out with them a lot....because one of my triggers is being startled by something...and that is super hard to predict. I'm also deaf in one ear...so I have more potential to be startled by sudden loud noises because I can't locate where the sound came from.

I work in a busy area of downtown and often have to cross the street to get to other sites of my workplace. I'm a lot more cautious when crossing the street now and I look around a lot, trying to be aware of what's going on.


I don't drive either but its mostly because I have slow visual processing speeds and my family thinks I wouldn't be able to react quick enough if something unexpected were to happen. I also used to get really stressed out when I was learning to drive. I would forget which side was the gas and which was the brake. My dad wants to teach me again but I think it's something that will always cause me a lot of anxiety and it might be safer if I didn't.

Mine is triggered mostly by laughter. So naturally all my friends spend their time trying to make me laugh so they can see me fall over :) But I don't mind at all they are usually pretty good at catching me (or at least slowing me down). Anger & stress also triggers it. I haven't started avoid places or anything, but I have gotten pretty good at talking myself down when I get really angry or upset.

#5 DeathRabbit

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:00 PM

I don't drive either but its mostly because I have slow visual processing speeds and my family thinks I wouldn't be able to react quick enough if something unexpected were to happen. I also used to get really stressed out when I was learning to drive. I would forget which side was the gas and which was the brake. My dad wants to teach me again but I think it's something that will always cause me a lot of anxiety and it might be safer if I didn't.

Mine is triggered mostly by laughter. So naturally all my friends spend their time trying to make me laugh so they can see me fall over :) But I don't mind at all they are usually pretty good at catching me (or at least slowing me down). Anger & stress also triggers it. I haven't started avoid places or anything, but I have gotten pretty good at talking myself down when I get really angry or upset.


I would recommend attempting to still learn occasionally. Only because I find it helps my mood to try push the boundaries that my illness confines me too. The times of my life when I've let it dictate me are the ones that I've felt the worst. That may not work for everyone, but it seems to help me so thought I'd mention it.

#6 Guest_tabster1_*

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:08 AM

I think I jinxed myself starting this thread. Today my friends made me laugh and BAM I went down so fast! Usually it's kind of slow and I can direct it a bit but not this time and I hit my face on the FLOOR! I was able to stand up again but immediately started to go back down luckily someone grabbed me and they had to literally drag me to their room where I faceplanted again. I hit my forehead I think it might bruise. . .

#7 SleepyRaffie

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:26 AM

I think I jinxed myself starting this thread. Today my friends made me laugh and BAM I went down so fast! Usually it's kind of slow and I can direct it a bit but not this time and I hit my face on the FLOOR! I was able to stand up again but immediately started to go back down luckily someone grabbed me and they had to literally drag me to their room where I faceplanted again. I hit my forehead I think it might bruise. . .


Sorry to hear this. Glad you were not hurt too badly. Sometimes when my weight is back when I am standing/walking I go backwards. It is really slow, but I can't step back. I do not even flail my arms around and now that I am paying attention I think they are also involved. My husband has caught me every time so far, but the potential for injury is there.

#8 ecila523

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 04:41 PM

In addition--swimming in lake or pool has become impossible for me without a "buddy" at all times.  The excitement of being in the water in addition to laughing equals instant lead brick in the water (me).  Thank God I have always been rescued.  I haven't found a lifevest configuration that will work.  Swimming in the ocean--one of my favorite things in the world--results in my body being washed up on the shore with the seaweed & the shells.  This has proven much safer than swimming in a lake or pool.