[nagdu] Going Downhill

Julie J julielj at neb.rr.com
Thu Apr 21 18:30:09 UTC 2011

If the grade is really steep it might help to lean back a bit.  No other 
real helpfulness though. *smile*

I do experience some serious vertigo on stairs though.  I can empathize. 
the thing that helped me the most was not to look.  My vertigo is triggered 
by the visual effect of standing at the edge of a cliff, or so it looks to 
me! *smile* If I don't look, no vertigo.  After a few years of not looking 
going down stairs I seem to be mostly past my dizzy issues.  Every now and 
then it will cause me problems, but usually it's only when I look over the 
railing or the stairs are the open sort.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tamara Smith-Kinney" <tamara.8024 at comcast.net>
To: "'NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users'" 
<nagdu at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2011 10:43 AM
Subject: [nagdu] Going Downhill

> Hey!  How do all of you go down hills with your dogs without getting, you
> know, seasick?  Or is that just me?  /lol/
> Now that I don't have rain as much for an excuse not to get my lazy 
> backside
> out with my dog, I'm looking for a route to walk on this side of the Road 
> of
> Certain Doom.  The best and safest route to get some decent walking 
> exercise
> -- with sidewalks part of the way! -- is up a fairly steep hill.  Good
> exercise for the dog, too, since she has to drag me up the thing once I 
> wear
> out.  There's even a little spot where I can let her have some run play
> before we turn around to come back down...  Supposing I don't break my 
> neck
> falling on my nose.  /lol/  How I didn't literally fall on my nose the 
> first
> time -- when the effect was a real surprise -- is beyond me.  I  had to 
> sit
> down right where I was while the whirling sensation just kept building and
> building...  So I couldn't get up.  I've experienced the minor version of
> that on gentle downslopes, but never like that!  The only reason I didn't
> end up calling DD to come pick me up because I was too seasick to get home
> is because I am just too dang stubborn and have way, way too much pride.
> So.  By this spring, it seems I can think about taking the hill on again
> with getting seasick in advance, and I think this time I'll have a 
> strategy.
> /grin/
> So here's my plan, in general:
> 1.  Take dog on leash, use cane going up and coming down for added 
> reference
> point for balance to learn to maintain balance and proprioception on steep
> grades.
> 2.  When ready, use guide dog to go up the hill.  Take cane out before
> turning around, to use as reference point to judge grade.  Use cane to 
> come
> down.
> 3.  Repeat as necessary, removing cane tip from ground periodically to 
> build
> up number of steps to walk without reference point before falling on nose.
> 4.  Gradually build up until the cane on the ground is no longer 
> necessary.
> 5.  Start using guide dog to come down and see what happens.  /smile/
> Any comments, helpful hints, strong advice, smart remarks about what a 
> dolt
> I am?  /lol/
> Thanks!
> Tami Smith-Kinney
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