It never used to be like this, at least I do not remember it being as bad. I was never an athletic person, avoided physical exertion when possible, but I remember the holidays with the kids in the Bernese Overlnd when I would conquer slopes, cross streams and walk through unknown paths, covered with stones and often rocks.This was no problem. Of course I was not the quickest, and everyone had to wait for mum, but I did it and arrived home safely, glad to be there in one pieces. I do not even remember the strained muscles on the next day, somehow the body got used to it.
I should have notice the decrease in my abilities over the past years, but it is all judged as not getting enough exercise and I should get out more and not just sit at the computer. I made an effort and would take a walk at least once a week, but I could no longer keep up and a few falls on the way did not help. I lagged behind, got slower in my steps. I did not notice anything wrong, but you do not notice anything yourself. It is all part of getting old, although old with 50-60 is not really old. I originated from a London Town family and growing up in a large City is not the place to encourage strenuous walks. The main danger is crossing the road.
The big accident was at the beginning of this year. Mr. Swiss and I took a walk to see the horses which are kept in a stable just across the road. As usual I was taking photos everywhere, lost my balance and grabbed the separating fence wire on my way down. The wire was electric, weak current, but this did not help. Since I have noticed there are large posters in the area warning that the electric current is now strong. I was now sitting on a muddy border on the ground, thinking luckily my camera was safe as it was still hanging aoound my neck. I did not even notice if I was safe. The idea was to stand up, but this was not possible. I could not stand up, the strength had left my legs although they were still attached to my feet. It was then that people passing began to ask if they could help. We had no money with us, we were just a couple taking a walk near where we lived. Through two friendly landies, we called a taxi driver. He arrived after 5 minutes and was a trained first aid driver and got me up from the ground onto his taxi seat. As we lived near, he first of all drove to our place where Mr. Swiss picked up our car and some money, but the taxi driver drove on with me to the ER at the hospital. Luckily no bones broken, but I was not in a good condition. Eventually Mr. Swiss arrived and we could pay the taxi driver and he left. We returned home, where I spend the remainder of the day taking it easy.
After a visit to my doc the following week, I had to go to the hospital again for an x-ray and an appointment was made to see a neurologist which lead to the diagnosis of MS. This was not sudden, but had been building up over the past 30-35 years most probably.
In the meanwhile my 100 year old father had a fall, was amitted to hospital in London where he lived. He was later transferred to an extra care home and passed away end of June, meaning in the midst of all my own health problems, I had to make a journey to London by plane. In the meanwhile I was having various examinations and scans, the final one being a lumber puncture. I knew which direction this was all going, but the specialist could only tell me when he was certain, and yes, it was MS.In a way it was a relief, that I now knew what was wrong, and why I had joined the Ministry for Funny Walks in the meanwhile. A lot of people I know now say to me when I tell them my problem “We noticed you had been walking strangely”. People are kind and thoughtful and do not say “what’s wrong with the way you are walking”
MS comes in impulses and you do not know when the next impulse will arrive and the effect it has. Some days are OK, others not so good. There is no cure. All you can do is take a medicine, usually by injecting, to slow it all down. I am in good care and take it as it comes, we all have our problems to bear. I use a cane for help when walking, but only outdoors. I can manage OK at home – no poblem, but I want to manage OK at home. One day I might need more support. I now know that I must be careful when walking and why. The Autumn leaves are now falling, but I have never tripped on a leaf – yet.