I went to a great concert with a friend. The old auditorium was beautiful. However, we had to walk four blocks to the car in the dark. The street lighting was so poor in certain sections that I could barely see the sidewalk. The darkness was intensified by the low light of a new moon. Decreased light is a fall hazard for me because my stroke damaged the bridge to the cerebellum (pons) that controls balance. I learned I stay vertical by using my vision when I toured a huge Christmas light display with my brother three years ago. This experience gave me the foresight to prevent a fall by asking my friend if I could put my sound hand on her shoulder as we walked. When I maintain physical contact with an object that is vertical I know I am vertical.
The four block walk to the car was a wake-up call. I have let my walking endurance decline so my hemiplegic (paralyzed) leg tired quickly. I started scuffing my toe because I did not lift my leg high enough. My walking improved when I handed my cane to my friend. My hemiplegic hand can usually hold onto my cane while I drag the rubber tip on the ground - but not tonight.
Bottom Line: Once again I learned that mobility in the community = motor control + problem solving.