The Art of Falling Gracefully with a smile, laugh, and maybe an Ouch
I know you cannot even imagine why someone with MS would fall. It is just hard to believe with such bad balance, dragging numb feet, weak legs, vision issues, dizziness, fatigue, gezzz I get it now. Falling is a real issue we all deal with every day.
Walking around your house, let alone outside, presents challenges. Navigating around furniture, tables and walking on a carpet can be dangerous for me. I have had just a few falls over the years, a few cuts, bruises, and luckily no broken bones yet.
How to be Graceful you ask?
Believe it or not, falling is truly an art and I am getting good at it. I found so many articles on this topic providing what to and what not to do while falling. Wish I had researched this versus learning from fall one, then fall two, then fall three, and many more. They say there is no substitute for experience although after reading these articles I’ll argue about that!
A lot of excellent advice out there regarding walking devices, leg braces, canes, and upright devices to help with avoiding falls. Also provides ways to adjust your body as you're falling to avoid injuries, broken bones, and tips regarding your shoes. Yep, I had not given that any thought and the bottom can be slippery or stick to floor material.
OK let’s twist and turn!
Let’s take a look at how to protect yourself while falling according to a number of resources. Neither I nor MultipleSclerosis.net indicate by using these techniques you’ll avoid an injury. However, I’ll say it has worked for me.
First, you need to try and protect your head by tucking your chin and lowering your head. Falling forward turn your head and utilize your arms to soften the impact.
Second, try to turn towards your side to avoid spine, back injury.
Third, bend your legs and arms. Falling with arms and legs extended straight out could potentially cause a fracture.
Fourth, stay loose and don’t tighten up. Relaxing reduces the impact.
Fifth, if you can roll after hitting the ground this also spreads the impact.
As mentioned, and you know all too well, MSers are good at falling as if we are a trained Ballet Dancer. Our falls are graceful, smooth, and filled with artistic break dancing moves to entertain those around us.
With all the risk of falling, we still need a sense of humor. Yes, it’s not really funny, can be painful and bruising at times. However, it can and will get people to notice you. You’re wondering about me now and let me share some fun.
A little fun in the sun
I was working on a front planter last year. With my great balance I leaned over to trim a plant and before I knew away, I went. Using my skills I rolled to my side, relaxed, bent my legs and arms before crashing on the cement driveway. After falling I rolled on my back and began to laugh.
Just so happened to be trash pick-up day and a truck was coming down the street as I crashed. The driver stopped, got out, and rushed to help. Looking surprised I was laughing he asked if I was OK. While laughing I told him I was just fine and practicing my break dancing to entertain the neighborhood.
Oh, the look on his face was priceless! I thanked him for caring enough to stop and told him it happens all the time. He smiled and went on his way to finish his day. We all need to look for laughter and humor in everything we face each day.
Again, thank you for taking the time to read my craziness. Remember, you and only you can make life, no matter what we are facing, fun in the sun or darkness in the brightness of the day. Be happy, know life is good and spread kindness to everyone you meet. Until next time be safe my friends and smile to brighten your day and everyone you meet.
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to multiple sclerosis?