Daily Prompt: Careful

Autumn Leaves

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.

Autumn Leaves

Daily Prompt: Careful has become my new occupation

15 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Careful

    • True, it did not begin very well, so hope it can only get better. I have good days and not so good, but still manage to get out and about now and again. I supose there are worse things that can happen.

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      • Still, when physical struggle is added to the day already sufficient in its troubles, it really stinks! One more thing to have to factor in and not let it beat you. I admire your daily response to it all.

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  1. I remember clambering down the cliffs at Lands’ End when I was in 30s. I was never a natural athlete, but I didn’t worry about falling over. My balance was fine and my reflexes were good.

    I have such a bundle of conditions that no one can treat half of them without interfering with the other half. Since having the Pacemaker implanted, my heart takes precedence over everything else. That includes the MS, which lucky for me is advancing very slowly … and the RA, which is most of the time dormant. The osteo arthritis is untreatable anyhow. There’s nothing they can do for it other than help with the pain. Mostly, I have to keep moving. If I stop moving, I’ll calcify. It’s only really bad first thing in the morning. Once I can propel myself out of bed and start limping around the house, I start feeling almost human. I have a few good hours in the morning, usually. Some days more than others. But now, Garry has bad days too and I always hope we don’t have them at the same time.

    As many people have noted: Getting old is not for the faint of heart!

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      • Funny thing is I do not have pain as such. Just a tiredness in the limbs and not being very good at moving. And of course the balance. It is the giddiness that bothers me most of all. Gripping on to stuff as you move along to make sure yoiu do not fall. As you saying early morning needs an effort to get moving, but afterwards it seems to work if you keep moving. If it was just one thing, but a combination of everything else and you don’t know what the actual problem is at the moment. Mr. Swiss is also no longer as fit as he used to be, but he seems to be fitter than me. He is very good at taking long walks, but if I go with him, he slows down for me.

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          • MS is not so much pain. There are good days and not so good. Yesterday I spent more time sleeping and could even sleep well through the night, but I had walking problems. My legs decided not to carry me so well. Today I am fine. There is no cure for MS, but I know a lot of progress has been made. The drug I take is known for about 20 years and it slows down the progress of the disease. Not everyone takes it, but my doc finds it necessary for me. The father of my friend’s boyfriend had MS and they could do nothing for him. I know other cases that take no medicine, have physio and are OK. It is so different from person to person and that is perhaps a problem that you cannot generalise.I realise now I was getting symptoms and did not know it.

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          • Yep. I think MS can be very exhausting. My dad also had good days and bad, and spent most weekends sleeping, I’m sure recovering from the week of going to work every day. When he was tired, everything was much harder for him. But, that was a long time ago, 50 years or so, and the idea of “auto-immune” diseases might not even have existed then. Back then they were not even able to make a positive diagnosis until after a person died and they did an autopsy. As horrible as HIV is, I’m grateful for what it has given medical research in its understanding of auto-immune diseases. I’m also excited by the fact that there is stem cell therapy that seems very near a cure for people with MS.

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