Posted by: sistermom1 | July 2, 2010

I Keep on Falling….

… but unlike Alicia Keys, I am not “falling in and out of love”, but falling out of my electric scooter.   I fell again the other day at my daughter’s Girl Scout end-of-the-year bridging activity. It was the second time I have fallen like this in the past year.  (I have also fallen as I attempted to walk with a walker, but that is another story).  We were at a garden location, and the ground was a bit unlevel.  I lost my traction and the entire scooter tipped over. 

So what happened? First, the Moms who were physically closest to me were phenomenally helpful. They were absolutely wonderful — helping me and allowing me to still be in charge of what was happening, while making sure that I was safe and protected the whole time. My kids seemed slightly embarassed by the whole thing, but they were OK.  I was so happy that my husband was there to help me as only he could (lifting me off of the ground and putting me back on my scooter and helping me get it back on solid ground).

In the past, when  something like this has happened to me, I did not know exactly how to respond.  I have gone through a range of responses — anger; embarassment; clinical restraint; measured composure; extreme gratitude and appreciation for those who helped me; relief when it’s all over — all within the first few minutes following a fall.  The range of emotions often surprises me, and I admit that there are some positives (learning how to fall safely without injuring yourself is a good skill for someone with MS to have!).  Afterwards, I am always left with a deep sadness — the story starts to develop (Why has this happened to me again?  Is the MS progressing?  Are the meds that I am taking working at all?)  and the tears begin to surface and eventually do flow.  Sometimes I wait until I get home in my personal space, but they do always flow.

Sometimes, the tears are helpful.  They do free me up and allow me to make space for my other feelings.  Sometimes, I do just sit and cry – the changes this illness has brought to our family’s life together are significant. 

Among the range of challenges we face, MS has brought us a gift — it has forced us to discuss or consider many aspects of our marriage that we probably would not ever have discussed on our own.  We would just walk around an issue gingerly until a particular crisis has calmed down on its own.  This illness has forced me to be honest about my feelings, and not hold them in simply to keep the peace.  My husband may say that he would prefer if I held my tongue a bit more often (smile).  I have also been forced to hear whatever issues my husband may have with an open heart and without my judgmental tendencies at the ready.

I have often encountered encouragement about the real purpose of the challenges we face, and the real value of addressing directly the things we consider problems.  I continue to be inspired by the writings of Daisaku Ikeda (www.ikedaquotes.com), as well as others with courage and wisdom like Louise Hay (www.louisehay.com), and Byron Katie (www.thework.com).  It does not matter how many times we fall, as long as we get up one more time.  I am determined to get up again and again, being a positive example to myself, and my family, friends, and colleagues who are on this pathway through MS with me. 

The detour continues, and I send you yet another postcard from my journey.  Wishing you all the best as we move along this pathway together…

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