Falls are a fact of life for people with multiple sclerosis or other disability that includes mobility and balance problems. But, those of us who take the tumbles know they are not all the same.
We divide them into bad falls and good falls. So, what is a “good” fall? How can any fall be good?
Well, from personal experience, I know that some falls can be thought of as good. I will try and explain.
First of all, there is the matter of injury. Any fall that incurs no more than bruises and scratches has got to be thought of as nothing to worry about. I have learned to relax and roll
Injuries, though, are not the only factor. Here I can only speak with my knowledge as a person with MS. I know that people without disabilities fall sometimes, and MS is not behind all my unscheduled meetings with the floor. After all, anyone can slip or trip.
Those of us who have MS know full well what can be blamed on the disease. In my own case, muscle weakness in my left leg can lead to my left knee giving way without warning. At other times, I cannot maintain my balance or am just too tired to move or stand up any longer.
These falls are all attributed to MS as it affects me. You may have other symptoms and effects. We all know, however, that every fall is bad if it is connected to MS.
However, other unplanned descents can be totally unconnected with the disability and so are “good” falls. These can include slips, trips, misjudging distances and so on.
Not all falls can be blamed on MS
Some recent mishaps in my life have included misjudging the distance to an ottoman and only half sitting on it, ending on the floor. Another time, I turned over in bed but was too close to the edge and so found the floor again. Both of these left me completely unhurt and helpless with laughter. Neither were linked to MS.
Another risk you have to look out for is moving obstacles, namely pets. In my case, we have three cats and two are good at keeping out of my way but the eldest (19½ years) doesn’t. Indeed, she manages to get right in the way and then stop – as though daring me to get past. So far, no accidents there but I have to stay alert.
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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a Clinical Writer with Healthline, the fastest growing health information site. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.