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Tuesday

 

Tripping and Falling: My New Normal With MS



























By Trevis Gleason

I’m more than a month on from my latest multiple sclerosis setback and trying to settle into yet another new normal. A recent meeting with my MS specialist confirmed that my disease has, indeed, progressed since my appointment last spring.

Along with increased spasticity in my left arm and hand, expanded vision issues, and more pronounced speech issues, my left leg has become weaker.

The latter has evidenced itself in a fair number of falls over the past months.

Now, some of my falls are not related to tripping: Often, I’m doing little more than standing when my left leg gives out and the right side is too surprised to hold me upright. Other falls, however, are directly related to even the smallest transitions on a level surface.

I was reminded of the importance of flooring while visiting my MS center in Seattle. In the design phase for the center, an advisory group of people living with multiple sclerosis met with architects and designers to review the plans from a patient perspective. There are several changes in flooring at the center, but thanks to input from those of us with MS, all of these changes are seamless and level.

In the past weeks, I’ve tripped over curbs, uneven seams in footpaths, pebbles, and tufts of grass in pavement cracks. I’ve stumbled on doorway thresholds, carpet-seam strips, and throw-rug fringes. I’ve even floundered over my own crutches and canes.

As I come around on this new course, it looks like a visit with a physical therapist may be required to strengthen my leg and hip muscles in order to compensate for MS’s latest raid on my abilities.

As ever, Caryn is helping me get used to where this latest setback has left me, and I am fortunate for her patience. Her ability to cope with the ever-changing face of MS often far outstretches mine, and her “it’s what we do” answer to my “thanks” is comforting beyond words.

I thank all of you who sent well wishes as I tried to make sense of things over the past weeks. I’m not back to where I was, and I don’t know if I will be. Wherever this thing leaves me, I know that many of you will understand.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by EVERYDAYHEALTH
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

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