Glasgow Fireman diagnosed with Ataxia

Just discovered this story from last week. There's a bit in the story about him staggering and falling while in uniform. He was ignored by onlookers and it reminded me of a similar incident I had on a bus. Just like the fireman I was ignored because people seemed to think I was drunk! I fell while trying to get off the bus and everyone onboard completely ignored me. Incidents like this can be so degrading and embarrassing.

15 Replies

  • I get this all the the time a few months ago I was trying to walk down a street in town an some teenage boys behind me were taking the p saying that I ***t my pants was not amused.


  • Hi Iain

    Martin is doing a skydive for Ataxia UK and he and I are hoping to be on BBC Radio Scotland on the morning of Friday 10th July (the day before the Scottish conference.)


  • Hi Harriet😊

    I really admire Martin for the work he does and wish him luck with the skydive😊 I can't imagine doing that at all!

    Enjoy your chat on Radio Scotland, and also the Conference😊xB

  • What time are you both hoping to be on the radio Harriet? I'll have to listen in.

  • We will be on BBC Radio Scotland tomorrow morning (Friday) at about 10.30am.

  • Will there be a repeat Harriet? Got your message an hour too late! Ta

  • Not sure if there will be a repeat Iain but I have asked for a recording.

  • I fell recently whilst in Euston station one did anything to help me. However I live in a small market town and I know that if the same had happened people would definitely help me. Personally if I saw someone fall or on the floor I would always go and help even if they were drunk I would make sure they were never know when you are going to need help yourself.....

  • A neighbour once held children back from me when I was wobbling and slurring.

    After I acquired a walking stick, I sensed a change in people's attitude if I wobbled or slurred. It was a big move psycologically for me, in accepting I needed to use a walking aid and also the fact that I felt more confident around other people.

    Personally, I feel that if someone has an obvious outward sign, like a walking stick, to

    show that they may be slow moving etc. generally other people show a bit more consideration and tolerance.

    Now that I've graduated to a rollator people seem to be even more helpful. The downside is I have to queue up with buggies to use a lift😏 but on the whole it's been a big step forward 😉xB

  • I was actually using a walking stick at the time wobblybee. It was also before I was diagnosed with Ataxia.

  • I would second wobbly bee's comment about a walking stick (although I know it didn't help you Iain). I saw a major change in people's attitude to my walking problems when I got the stick, I was no longer reported to the police and then breathalysed (it happened twice). I recently fell near work and some one stopped the traffic and helped me up. I bought the stick just to help my balance, but the attitude change was tremendous, and I feel less self-conscious (though still amazingly self-conscious if someone is coming up behind me, or walking towards me).

  • I do agree with you violasrbest that its best to have some sort of walking aid. I guess I was just a bit unlucky that day. I now use a rollator/walker or elbow crutches as I find them much easier and safer than a stick.

  • So sorry this happened to you, Iain! I can't imagine ignoring someone if they had fallen!

    I use a quad-cane for more stability, as I would surely fall if I didn't have it. Even so, I'm very careful when walking in a crowd, as I don't think people see I have a cane and move more slowly! I find most people are very kind, holding doors open for me, etc., which I really appreciate! ;o)

  • I use a walker now but some years ago started to use a walking stick before I really needed it so that other people would notice it and be more understanding. I noticed a big change in people's attitudes. I've heard that the same sort of thing happens when people use a powerchair as opposed to a mobility scooter. Apparently other people are not always sympathetic to mobility scooter-users as they assume that they are just lazy.

  • Hi Ian... my dad was recently diagnosed with SCA2 and thinking about it now he does always appear 'drunk' but I thought this was due to an accident he had a couple of years ago. its terrible the way people look at people who appear different and I hope this starts to change the more people become aware of Ataxia.

    Thanks for sharing the Link about Martin and his family... its the first story I have read in the news bout Ataxia. Look forward to trying to catch them on the radio :)

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