Falling With Grace

Falling With Grace



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It’s hard to avoid….the floor that is.

With multiple sclerosis, your balance gets as twisted up as underwear after a full day at the amusement park.


So you may take a fall or two….or three hundred.


We do our best to avoid them.  But sometimes, shit happens.



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While falling in private is aggravating, falling in public is downright demoralizing.


That’s the lesson I learned (yet once again) at a recent banquet.




My wife and I took our seats and began to chat with the others at the table.

When it was our turn to go through the food line, we have a system where she gets my plate.  This avoids me standing in line.  (Using two canes, I am unable to carry a plate anyway, so our system is a win-win.)


After dinner and the program, the banquet comes to an end.

Everyone rises to say goodbye, gather their coats and leave.

Yours truly decides to stand and stretch his spasticity-filled body after the two-hour sit down.

Waves of spasms go up & down from my feet to my armpits like a percussionist playing a xylophone.


I take a small, zombie-like lurch to my left to shake a hand when I feel myself falling backwards.

Because my feet can’t move fast enough to restore my shifting load, I end up falling like a tree in the woods.

A lady screams.  Others gasp.


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Lying flat on the floor, I’m surrounded by feet as I go through an abbreviated, post-fall body checklist…..

Head?

Fine.

Arms & Hands?

Good, sir.


Ass?

Sore, but OK.

Not actual photograph.  Event re-created.
Not actual photograph. Event re-created.

Legs?

Okey-dokey.

All systems responding.  Prepare to stand.


As I pull myself up, a voice asks “Are you hurt?”

“Only my pride,” I reply.



Yes, dinner and a show, I’ll be here all week.

Falling sucks.  But falling in front of a hundred people double-sucks.

Do you have a similar experience you would like to share?  The floor is yours…(so to speak).


Otherwise, if you take a spill (let’s hope you don’t), please do it with grace as the rest of us with MS have a reputation to uphold.

We don’t need any help looking bad!

Stay upright & fly straight.

sock



3 Replies to “Falling With Grace”

  1. One of the first things I had to learn was ‘how’ to fall so I wouldn’t get hurt. Just let yourself stay loose. I know what you mean about falling in public, though. I, too, try to be funny, saying things such as, “…and for my next trick…” or “Not to worry — I trip on air all the time.” I guess the humor makes us feel less embarrassed. Knock wood, I haven’t fallen in 8 months!!

  2. My first fall was in a crowded church parking lot. It was so unexpected that some poorly wired MS part of my brain yelled “F******!” at the top of my lungs. Luckily Mass had started and hopefully the opening hymn drowned me out. But just in case, I waited until another late comer went in. Hopefully if I was heard, the congregation thought the expletive came from the nun that walked in in front of me!

Making it official.