I have fallen twice today. Both the same way, in the same room, and injuring the same body parts. The side of my right foot is bruised, swollen and sore. My left knee, still raw and skinned after falling off of my bicycle yesterday (yep, that innocent looking adult trike at the bottom of the page), is now bleeding anew and my elbows are throbbing. I am very, very weary of falling.
And I do not just fall, daintily to the ground. When I fall I get my money's worth. One minute I am standing just fine, with not a worry in the world...and in the next second I am propelled through space and am on my knees, my butt, my face, my back...wherever gravitational force takes me. It's as if there is some invisible magnet that draws me to the earth, sometimes in slow motion; often with the speed of sound. It is unpredictable, unnerving, humiliating, and frightening. I never know when it will happen or what my personal response will be.
Already NOT looking forward to returning to my teacher job this semster, my falling habit is another strike against my enthusiasm. I am not one of those teachers who hides behind her desk, ticking off busy work assignments to keep the students occupied while I do seat work. I have to move around and visit individual desks, demonstrate my points with dramatic arm movements, keep my students' eyes roaming the room instead of allowing their eyelids to snap shut in boredom. It is just not my style to be sedate.
And so...I am terrified of falling in front of them. I use my cane, but that doesn't always stop my fall. I have even been known to fall off of my chair, for no reason at all. I am paranoid about doing my hall duty between classes for fear of being trampled. Sometimes my feet just do not keep me stable.
I do NOT like to cry, especially in public or with my teenage son as a witness. He should not have to live with this vision of the quivering mass I become in these moments. But he is always the first to respond to the unexpected thud in the kitchen, on the stairs, or in the living room. He is attuned to his mother's physical weakness, and I know it scares him as much, if not more, than it does me. But, as I do I, he takes it in stride. Of course, he's the guy whose favorite childhood video was my instructional films concerningn self-injection. Go figure!
These are just a few of the frustrations that MS has forced upon me. I used to be such an adventurous soul. At one time I had great visions of sky diving, swimming with sharks, travelling the world solo, learning how to walk a tightrope...
Now I am just happy to make it home in one piece.
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