Friday, September 08, 2006

Off Balance

Some Examples
  • My friend Sue and I were walking out of the office at the end of a workday when I fell, tripping Sue on the way down
  • One day I got out of the car and fell on the parking lot asphalt. I walked into the meeting late and with a giant run in my hose and drying blood from the scrape on my leg
  • Once I was walking in a mall and suddenly collapsed -- didn't fall forward or sideways, just collapsed straight down
My doctor did not know why I was falling. I was not tripping, just falling. He suggested a cane.

I bought a cane, but it took awhile before it became a habit. Sometimes I would get out of the car and walk ten paces or more before I realized I had left my cane in the car. Dilemma: How to get the cane without falling down on my way back to the car

I walked with a cane for a long time before I knew why. Months later when I was diagnosed with MS, I learned the cane is a common tool for MSers. The cane was for balance for those of us with sudden falls. Others used a cane because they walked with the gait of a person who had too much alcohol.

A common MS symptom is a problem with balance or dizziness. I did not know that, but I certainly know it now. Even though I no longer walk, I still experience balance problems. A cane is no longer my tool of choice. Instead I keep one hand on the steering handle of my Amigo.

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