Did you ever fall down as a kid?
I did. The one that made the most impact on me occurred at my aunt and uncle’s house. All the kids were outside riding skateboards down their long, curved driveway. I was the only girl in the group. I couldn’t let the boys have all the fun. I grabbed one of the skateboards and took off down the hill. One of the wheels hit a rock, I went flying off the board and landed on the concrete. I ended up with scraped knees and elbows. Thank goodness that was all. It could have been so much worse. Fortunately, I had no broken bones or head injury. (I wasn’t wearing a helmet. YIKES!) That was the last time I rode a skateboard.
As kids, we’re growing, we’re awkward, we’re clumsy. We’re kind of expected to have falls.
Once we’re adults, that’s the furthest thing from our mind. When we have a debilitating chronic illness, avoiding falls is a top priority.
Unfortunately, I’ve had several falls since my MS diagnosis.
The first one was embarrassing as it happened in front of other people! I was stepping up onto the curb at my local CVS. I didn’t get my leg raised quite high enough and caught my foot on the curb. DOWN I WENT! I pulled myself together, got up, and went about my business.
While most falls are scary, there are some that can actually be quite funny. Like the one I had while visiting Skip in when he was working in Connecticut.
It was early in my diagnosis. I really hadn’t grasped the idea I couldn’t do things the way I always did. We went to meet some of his work mates at a restaurant. The parking lot had been plowed after a snowstorm. The snow was piled in front of the parking spaces. I attempted to step onto and over the snow pile. I lost my balance and proceeded to slide down the small incline backward on my back landing in a hole. It happened so fast! I was laughing hysterically. <Picture a turtle on its back with legs flailing in the air. That was me!> Laughing made it even more difficult to get up. It was a sight for sure! (Skip loves telling this story! LOL)
Sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. On our first day in California, Skip had to go to the office and I was on my own with the puppies. Well, they weren’t puppies … they were 80 pound pitties! They got excited and knocked me over when I was using my rollator while we were outside. I couldn’t get up. I had to call 911. The fire department came to help me. I was so embarrassed! On the plus side, I got to see some cute firefighters!
My fear in falling is getting seriously hurt. I came pretty close when we were in Louisiana. While there I sustained two of the most frightening falls.
- The MS has blessed (sarcasm) me with foot drop. As a result my feet constantly get “stuck” when I’m walking. This particular time, my left foot got stuck on the carpet in the bathroom. I tripped and fell against the corner door casing with my back. I ended up with large bruise on my back.
- We were packing to make another move. My foot got stuck on the carpet again. I fell forward onto the handle of my scooter then I lost my balance and fell back against the TV stand. The TV almost tipped over on me, fortunately Skip caught it.
(BACK) (ELBOW) (ABDOMEN)
Three weeks ago, I had a true 𝐼’𝑣𝑒 𝑓𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐼 𝑐𝑎𝑛’𝑡 𝑔𝑒𝑡 𝑢𝑝 moment.
My legs collapsed while I was getting off the toilet at 1 in the morning. I didn’t have my phone with me. I had to “crawl” to my nightstand to get my phone so I could call my daughter. Let me tell you, I can’t crawl. My stupid MS legs don’t move. It took me over 20 minutes. My knees were raw!!! Mind you, my PJs were down at my ankles. I was completely exposed! Not a pretty sight! Once I got ahold of my daughter and knew she & her husband were on their way, I worked diligently to pull my PJs up so they wouldn’t have to see my bare behind. They arrived and helped get me up and back onto my scooter.
Scared. Hurt. Humbled. Humiliated. Embarrassed. Disappointed. Angry!
I can honestly say I hate this! The vulnerability. I’m 57. I have MS.
I DON’T WANT TO HAVE MS! (I want my old life back!!!!)
I don’t want to think about falling. After all, what you think about you bring about it. Yet I have to think about it.
PS: I now keep my phone with me no matter what!
March is MS Awareness Month