I wrote this three years ago but it’s still relevant today, especially after a five hour wait on the living room carpet last Friday night.
I think we can all agree that falling is one of the biggest slaps in the face we have to endure. The tripping demon has a pertinent sense of timing, choosing the exact moment for maximum effect (and usually before an assemblage of spectators). This is one of the genuine stealth symptoms of a number of conditions but particularly of MS, as we have been conditioned to be wary of such spectacular mishaps. I try to stress to whomever is present when I dare take the challenge to cross a room by ambulant means, that making me laugh whilst trying to walk will have a disastrous outcome. One is also aware of intense staring eyes, scrutinising every bumbling step:
“Are they willing me to fall?! I ask myself. “Are they waiting for that moment when I meet the ground and release an explosion of drama, when they can all leap into action and rescue my poor crumpled heap, thus partly relieving their strained feelings of sympathy and guilt?”
It’s a big thing. From the first time, when my poor head met the bottom of a lamp post on a busy street in Leicester, I’ve had to face up (or down) to falling as a daily hazard. As a sporting youth I would brandish my scars as some form of medal, showcasing endeavour and bravery, but now? I’m just happy to get up again. Few people mention the bumps and bruises these days-I just get the looks and the heads cocked to one side. What use is dignity, when it just keeps kicking you back?