A falling story

I know befriending the floor isn't an aberration for us MS-ers and before I was diagnosed I took some horrible spills while running --always blamed pot holes that weren't there. Since being diagnosed, I've been a weeble. I wobble, look drunk but have been able to find a wall or piece of furniture to stay up right.

A few days ago while awaiting my brothers arrival at the busy airport, I lost my balance (I think the dizzying flow of people caused) and there were no available walls. I fell backwards, knocked over the signs that said no one beyond this point, bounced off the floor and lay there shocked for a minute. Others, to include security rushed to my rescue. Fortunately, just a lot of bruises, especially my pride.

I don't know why, but I told all the would be rescuers as if to explain, "it's ok, I have MS"

After brushing myself off and standing up, I became teary eyed. I do so well most of the time and falling felt so out of control and such a harsh reminder that I do indeed have MS.

Now I know, 1 fall in the scheme of things is nothing and I am so grateful for the mobility I do still have. But I wanted to tell my little episode to those I knew would understand.

If you've read this far. Thanks! For listening πŸ’•

70 Replies

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  • erash l can understand. You have had alot of changes these past few months. So having a small melt down? I would to.😒. I'm glad your OK. Are you back home now?

    You really should think about a cane Missy! They have some really pretty and cheap ones on Amazon, and l got a quad foot attachment for it. I love it, when l need it.

    The thing about us MS'res, is we're a fighting group!



  • Jesmcd2

    U r right and I have a cane somewhere in the house that I used when I had foot drop (turned out to be due to my back and fixed with surgery).

  • The Ms Society will provide some assistance devices free with a letter from your doc saying you have MS.

  • CalfeeChick so MSSA provides any assistive device? Just curious. I know volunteering for NMSS I heard they recently stopped providing due to space (storage) and money...at least the local NMSS where I volunteer...

  • erash MYMSAA.ORG can help with walking devices and such. As long as funds are available. There is an application on there web site.



  • Their website says they offer the aids. Sure hope that hasn't changed.


  • Thanks for that resource CalfeeChick

    How's the weather? πŸŒ§πŸ’¨

  • Not just any device. They have a selection at their website.

  • So sorry about your Fall but glad you were not hurt worse. Maybe a cane or walker next time?

    Take care erash , I do not think I would like to come on hear and not see you hear.

  • Thanks! Morllyn


  • I can relate to that, erash. So glad nothing was hurt but your pride! While I was still working, I was stooping down to do some filing in the bottom drawer and lost my balance and ended up on my back. Sorry to say I had a dress on and was immensely embarrassed. Same thing happened at Walmart while I was stooping down to the bottom shelf! But you know what - I am so grateful to be mobile!

  • SueAB i am visualizing your Walmart episode and very thankful I didn't have a dress on! 😳 Then again, I haven't figured out yet how to look good in a dress and sneakers (trainers for my Brit friends) πŸ‘Ÿ

  • erash tennie's from us Alaskans.β˜ΊπŸ˜…

  • Oh no, I frequently wear dresses as I stay so much cooler in them.

  • Hi Erash, welcome to the club. The falling down club. My trick is backwards, I do use a cane but still get a bit wobbly if I stop and talk to someone. With a 3 wheeled Walker I don't do it, which I have now in the house. I have a 4 wheeled Walker for outside when I am able to walk Razor. I empathise about falling in public, ms becomes more of a reality, but hang in there it does get easier, not the falling but the acceptance of it. Glad that you weren't hurt. Blessings Jimeka

  • Thanks! jimeka

    How do u manage a walker and walking your dog? Razor must be very well behaved 🐢

  • erash l have Kaijue trained to walk with me and my cane. I think it would be an easy transition for him to go to the walker.

  • My kids have called me a Weeble for years...lol! Long before we knew I had MS. I have been "tripping on lint" πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

  • Fee09

    LOL I'm gonna borrow that tripping on lint if u don't mind πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  • Lol...go right ahead. We have to have a great sense humor

  • I feel for you and relieved the only your pride was hurt at the airport. Hope you heal up. Lynn

  • Thanks! CalfeeChick

  • Oh my gosh. I am so sorry and know how embarrassing this must have been for you. So glad that you didn't get hurt. It's a good thing that you told people that you have MS. Sure wouldn't have wanted the TSA to give you a sobriety test. Ha!

    I wobble every morning when I get up.

  • Iona60 was actually concerned TSA might arrest me 😬

  • Someplace used to give out little wallet cards stating that the holder has MS and it listed possible symptoms: loss of balance, can't walk a straight line, word slurring, etc.

    Is is MSAA Jesmcd2 ?

  • Good idea...or I can purchase a dozen t-shirts with that slogan, I'm not drunk. I have MS


  • Get enough for all of us. Also get some for me that say "Help, I'm squatting and can't get up."

  • Iona, are you able to push against the floor with one hand and use a cane in the other to drag up on ? I find this mostly works for me : ) x

  • I can usually get up by shifting my weight to my toes and pushing the floor.

  • I don't know? I looked all over the place on both nmsa and MSAA Iona60 . johnMSAA Do you know anything about wallet cards stating we have MS?

    Or would we have to go with the medical ID bracelets and necklaces?


  • Jesmcd2, you bring up a good question! Should we have an ID bracelet alerting others that we have MS? I never thought about it, but should we fall in public, and have a hard time relating our condition, would it matter to have that info on us somewhere?

  • I think it's a very good idea greaterexp

    I certainly don't want a law enforcement officer to ask me to walk a straight line.

    Also, EMS needs to know what meds u r on in case of drug interactions (so med list in your wallet is also a consideration).

  • Really good question erash and greaterexp , bring it up in a post... ☺🌠 Because l have no clue.

  • That just like what I posted in new thread but different source

    Rocky mt MS center

    Please don't boo me but cant we print and laminate our own? Will a police officer think I carry a card like that just in case I get pulled over for a dui and want a rapid excuse? πŸ€”

  • You may get arrested for impersonating a person that has MS.

  • Wish I were just doing an impersonation πŸ˜‰

  • That's what you can tell the cop.

  • Oh erash, I am so sorry. I'm relieved nothing but your pride was injured. What a huge wake-up call. It sounds like you may need a little assistance at times. I tend to fall forward or sidewards. Walls and furniture are my friends too. But outside my forearm crutches (one or both) are a must. My motto is: NO MORE FALLS! I HATE the attention the crutches bring, but the alternative is worse. 😬

    Like you, I've recently mentioned I have MS to strangers. Maybe it takes some of us longer to accept it, and saying it out loud helps us do so. ??

    Enjoy your brother's visit. 😊 I hope you aren't too sore or bruised. πŸ’•

  • Thanks! Tutu

    Agree! Would rather use a cane, crutch or Walker than be laid up with a broken hip!

  • erash, I never knew there were so many stylish canes now! I just saw one with LED lights, for goodness sake! I've been using my husband's grandfather's cane we kept after he passed away, but it's pretty rough looking. I think I'll put a pretty one on my Amazon wishlist!

  • I, too, feel for you, Erash. I have had similar experiences and it is very embarrassing. I'm replying to Tutu also, because of the mention of forearm crutches. I am getting them, by delivery, tomorrow! I've never used them before.

    I have had significant increases in leg weakness, numbness and balance problems since last August. I have had MRIs but there are no "new" lesions. Apparently it is just further degrading of tissue and axon loss around old lesions both on spine and brain. The symptoms are much worse when I first get out of bed in the mornings and then for the first couple hours. I have to be so careful getting up and hang on to furniture, etc.

    I'm going to give the forearm crutches a try. I've tried a cane, but it just doesn't work for me. I won't have to use full weight on the arms, crutch, but I hope they will give me the extra balance and support I need.

    My question to Tutu is ...do you only have to use them at certain times? Any advice for me with them? Also, as with any assistive device, I worry about what non-ms people may think or judge. Are people going to understand why I am using them one day (or in a.m.) , but not needing them later the same day?

    Is there anyone out there with ms that has worse disabilities for the first couple hours of day that improves with time each day? My legs & balance don't get completely recovered or normal, but do improve.

  • Hi Roxy444, I hope the forearm crutches work for you. Make sure you adjust them to where they feel comfortable. If you feel shoulder or neck discomfort, they may be too high. Move them down a notch. Too low, and you will walk hunched over. Ideally, you should be able to walk (back) straight with them and not feel any pain because of them. It may take a while to get the hang of them, so be patient with yourself.

    I use one in the house and when walking a short distance (like from the car to the grocery store where I will grab a cart). I use two when I walk further distances, or my balance is really bad.

    I pray they give you the support and confidence you need! πŸ’•

  • Thanks! I definitely don't want to be hunched over! They will be here tomorrow so it may be a few days to get it right. Wondering, do you just put them in the cart at the grocery store? There's a lot I haven't thought through yet.

  • Yes, Roxy444, some carts are better than others (they fit in the bigger ones), but you'll find a way to lay them in there so they don't fall out.

    Another thing: I have a hard time keeping my shoulder bag/purse up on my shoulder when I use both crutches. It falls off my shoulder and onto my forearm. I use an across the body strapped bag or a purse backpack when needed. The backpack is a pain to get to, so I prefer the other bag. But those are some options.

    Anxious to hear how they work for you!πŸ’•

  • Thanks! I am using a cross body bag lately, so that will work. They haven't come in yet today, but are on the way. I can't wait to see if they help in the mornings especially! I will post again in a day or two with an update. Thanks for the advice!

  • The forearm crutches came in late yesterday. I felt like a child at Christmas! They are by Ergobaum and are much fancier than I needed, but it helped my morale to go all out. They have shock absorbers and are fully adjustable, pink, and more. My family helped fit them to me - the ms assistive devices videos on UTube really helped.

    I kept them by my bed last night and this morning, as usual, when my eyes opened, I immediately began assessing the degree of numbness I felt in my legs. For months, I've been terrified of falling when I get up because my first "morning" fall was bad. It was like I had no legs or feet when I stood and I went down the side of the bed, scraped up and bruised pretty bad from the bed's side rail & lamp stand. At the time, my bed was very high. Since then, I got a much lower profile mattress. It's amazing how small tweaks can make a huge difference.

    So, back to the forearm crutches, it was incredible how using them this morning eased my fears and helped so much with balance too. It will take some time getting use to using them, but I'm so glad I got them!

    As I start using them a little more I'm sure I will have new questions to come up.

    I hope everyone had a nice Valentines Day!

  • Oh, what great news, Roxy444! Sometimes a little self-confidence goes a long way.

    Your fall sounded nasty and painful. I can understand your hesitation to step out of bed each morning. I feel that way about 'up' escalators. I've fallen a few times going up the stairs, but when I did so going up the escalator-- in the mall--and in front of everyone... Let's just say I hesitate each time I step onto an escalator today.

    Anxious to hear how your new pink legs work for you!! πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰

  • Thanks! It's a very rare thing for me to try to go to a mall anymore. It is overwhelming and it seems like it's just too much info to process. But I occasionally go to a department store here that has an escalator ( been a while since I've been there too). Oh my gosh! It is horrifying to think of falling on one. i will remember this and think of it when I'm there again! I hope you didn't break anything or have to go to the ER! I can't imagine a worse scenario than that!

  • Don't worry about the escalator, @roxy444. Don't let my experience keep you from getting out and on one. My eyes play tricks on me and my depth perception (or lack thereof) contributes to me not knowing where I am placing my feet. But yesterday I managed a handful of them while at the airport. And not a single embarrassing incident! (I don't count the times I stood there watching one step roll up after another before 'jumping' on. 😁 I was a good 5-6 steps behind my husband. I can only imagine what the people lined up behind me were thinking. 😳 But my past injuries were minor scrapes and bruises. My ego hurt worst of all.

    I hope you get more practice time in today.

  • Roxy444

    I do hope the forearm crutches work for you.

    I wonder if perhaps you take an evening medication that lingers thru the morning causing your increased am balance issues?

  • I've not added anything new at night. I have a lesion at T8 that appeared larger on MRI, but it wasn't enhancing with contrast. It's all weird. I'm a little afraid that I'll get up one morning and it won't improve....

  • So glad that you landed safely, erash. Take care. -- c

  • Oh Erash, it's Fancy1959 I'm so sorry about your horrible fall. Going over backwards has got to be the worst. I bet you in the past 2 years that I've had close to 12 to 15 big falls, maybe a few more. I don't know about you but most time when I fall it seems like fall in slow motion. There's nothing like your face meeting the pavement, concrete, carpeting, linoleum, or plain old dirt! I have actually had three concussions this past year due to hitting my head during falls.

    Erash, I don't know about you but I guess it's due to the adrenaline rush from the fall, but once I fall I am totally, physically wiped out. I can sometimes bounce up pretty quick and then hold it together until I can get by myself and then I lose it. I get so upset. It makes me feel like a 12 month old toddler to not be able to walk across a room without falling not a woman in my fifties. Occasionally when I fall and land funny I will cry because I hurt something pretty bad. And of course like you I always feel extremely embarrassed about it. And I usually tell them it's a normal everyday occurrence for me because I have MS or that its Ms related.

    I'm so glad you weren't hurt. You are very lucky falling backwards like that. It could have been bad. Please take care of yourself. I know it's tough because I do have problems with putting my pride aside but do so and protect yourself. Use mechanical devices to aid with your balance such as a walker. When you get tired, if you get the type with the built-in seat which I highly recommend, you have a place to safely sit down until you regain your energy. Also, make sure you know where everything helpful such as walls, handrails, and furniture is located or anything else you can use if you are desperate and need help with your balance. Of all the MS conditions/symptoms I have to deal with I think my balance and my incontinence are definitely the two i hate the worse.😬 I'm thinking of you and hoping you have no long-term side effects from this last over backwards fall. Please be careful and take care.

  • You know it Fancy1959 ! It felt like it was in slow motion and I was shaky and emotional afterwards.

  • I like this in support. I too have had several falls and this is exactly how I felt. Since all the falls were before the dx, I'm having a bit of an 'aha' moment here. Thank you for sharing your experience...helps me to wend my way through all this.


  • I was just told by my physical therapist that falling throws my whole system off. Guess I can attest to that. I am a backward faller as well. The falling and incontinence are the worst for me as well. But a few hours ago I began to have heaviness, slowed response and tingling in my right arm that is scaring the hell out of me. enough, already.

  • Hi erash!

    I'm sorry about your fall but glad you weren't badly injured. I don't like having close encounters with flooring and pavement either! It's one of the most frustrating parts of MS for me...especially when I fall in front of people I know.

    A year ago I feel in a parking garage on my way in to work. Luckily I carpooled with a friend that day and she drove me back to where I left my car...stopping on the way to buy me a bag of frozen peas to put on my eye that was swelling and bruising like crazy. I have a lovely scar as a souvenir from that one. I'very been fortunate not to break anything but do have a few scars and a knee that I wear a compression bandage on all from falls.

  • Thanks for your submission I can totally relate and I think a whole lot of other people can as well I'm so glad you're okay keep on fighting

  • Hi Erash, I'm relieved that you were not hurt badly but concerned that you describe how you use furniture/walls to steady yourself - if you need these to help your balance then I feel it might be time for a cane outdoors. I used to have a lightweight folder with small ferrule ( the rubber thingy on the base ! ) but since latest relapse I use a sturdier one with a larger ferrule. The theory is that the greater the balance defect, the greater the surface contact area required by a walking aid. I can attest to this as I often use my garden brush as a cane - nice wide foot area. When I have finished and go back to my cane I can feel the difference and have to readjust : ) My loyal lightweight cane that I used for years now feels like a reed and wobbles about when I put pressure on it in comparison to the sturdier one: it no longer feels as safe and supportive as it used to. Without the cane I go off to the right every few paces and my legs are prone to semi collapse with the latest weakness issue - in essence it looks a shambles and is not safe outside ! The other bonus of the cane, besides safety is that it 'normalises' my gait somewhat in public ! : ))

    You can get all kinds of cool colours/patterns on canes these days - they don't need to look like they are straight from a hospital anymore : ) I'll be honest, I resented having to go back to using a cane after getting cane free for 2 1/2 years but after realising that it gives me support, safety, a better gait, more longevity on foot and confidence it is now my best outdoor friend : ) I lift it off the ground for short periods when out dogwalking to practice my gait, after checking that no one is around to watch the 'show' lol !

    Take care, dig out that cane or go shoppin' for a new one ! Angela x

  • Thanks! angelite

    I have no qualms about using assistive devices when I need them...the problem for me is I'm very active and 90% of the time my balance problems are controlled if I'm mindful, not too fatigued and conscious of my body mechanics. Granted, it only takes one bad fall to change all that.

    A fancy cane sounds like fun 😊

  • erash, oh, dear! I'm so sorry about your fall and am so grateful you weren't injured too badly.

    I am so grateful that you and others share about falls and other things. Being relatively new to MS, I had no idea of the huge number of symptoms and problems it can cause. (We barely touched on MS in nursing school years ago!) I think that because you are willing to share openly, it has saved me and many others from a lot of problems.

    Please take care. You are so important to us and to so many others.

  • greaterexp nor in my undergrad nursing

    It's covered briefly in grad nursing, nurse practitioner programs and likely just as briefly in med schools given the lack of awareness of many health care providers.

    Frankly, I had very limited understanding of MS until my own diagnosis.

    You are so right about being able to share and learn here among our fellow MS -ers.

  • erash

    I'm so glad you're okay! Some times hurting your pride is enough of an injury to keep you safe in the future.

    KEEP SAFE no matter how/what you do! We'd be such a lot of weird Weebles without you!

    Now that I'm using my cane all the time I don't fall (nearly as much) and seems I've become quite a know-it-all when it comes to telling my dad to use his. Between his using his cane (or the recommended walker), he moves around a lot better. He doesn't have MS, but is nearly 90 years old and has had many falls.

    Before my DX I always fell up the stairs at home. Fortunately I didn't have any falls in front of people, but I did have a run-in with a wall coming out of my office in front of a co-worker. That was embarrassing and did quite a number on my pride.

    I found a lavender cane on sale at Walmart a couple years ago and couldn't resist buying it. Now that I see all the canes with pretty patterns available wish I had one of those.

    Have fun with your cane! I look at mine as an extension of me...why not? : )


  • jennie62

    LOL or maybe not so funny...I've walked into many walls. Not made any dents in the walls so far πŸ˜…

    I'm always the queen of denial so I asked my hubby if he thought I needed a cane. He said it might be a good idea in crowds. He would know as that's when I usually put a vice grip on his arm to steady myself. Besides, I bet a cane or other device is akin to Moses parting the Red Sea and people might move out of my way πŸ‘

    Lavender sounds nice. Purples my favorite color.

  • erash they have a HUGH selection on Amazon smile. I also got what's called the quadpod, it goes on the bottom of your can so it stands on its own. I love it!


  • So glad you are ok and still mobile. At my last Dr. visit, I was told, I can not have anymore. falls.

  • lexsarset not to laugh at something that's serious but "can't... fall" sounds as if we have control over falling.

  • So sorry to hear of your fall. Glad you are ok. MS society willprovide some assistance devices as long as you have a letter from your doctor saying that you have MS. Another thing we all need to think of with leading less active lives is our bone density. I Didn't even give it a thought until I had a test recently. I've increased my calcium to 1500 mg a day and vitamin D3 to 5000iu a day. Hope you are healing from your bruises.

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