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Timothy L. Vollmer, MD
Department of Neurology
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Timothy L. Vollmer M.D.
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center
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After the Fall: Another MS Learning Experience

By Trevis Gleason

I had a near-death experience the other day.

Well, that’s what Caryn and I are calling it. Truth be known, had I landed four inches to the left of where I did, Caryn, my wife, would have discovered a blood-soaked rug with my lifeless body upon it when she got out of the shower.

How I actually fell is unknown to me. All I know is I was upright one moment, and the next I was not. These things must be assessed after the fact and from a position rather ungracefully attained. I took a survey of the parts I could feel, and nothing seemed to be broken. I employed techniques from a previous blog about how to get up from a fall, and I was greatly comforted by love and kisses from our Wheaten Terriers.

Ultimately, I was fine, although I decided that wall/furniture walking was not going to be enough to support me for the remainder of the day.

Determining What Actually Happened in My Fall

As I rose from the floor, I supported myself on the corner of a very solid wooden trunk; that same corner would have received scrutiny in a coroner’s inquest had my trajectory altered southerly by the smallest of margins. I collected my shoes, which I’d been carrying, and noted the scuff marks on the wall where they’d been flung. (It’s all right; that wall needed painting anyway.)

Taking into consideration my last known standing position at the top of the two small steps that separate our dining room from the lounge, along with my ending situation, about two feet down and four feet over, I must have done a fair few acrobatics to land how and where I did. Adding in the angle my shoes coursed through the air to hit where they did (you can see that I’ve got rather CSI about this thing), my left arm must have flapped above shoulder level when I released them.

My legs — both the good one and “the bad” — must have been a sight as the strong one crumpled beneath me. I can only laugh at what my left limb — the one more affected by multiple sclerosis — must have looked like.

Aches in Places I Haven’t Felt in Years

The long and the short of it is that I was damned lucky not to have been badly injured (or worse) by this fall.

And although I am, truly, fine, the following couple of days have made me aware that even an injury-free fall can leave one in discomfort and disability.

I am paying for my luck with aches in places that have been without much feeling for a good few years. While it’s not wholly unpleasant to feel something in parts of the body long senseless, I think that the feelings might be amplified by their long absence.

Taking Preventive Actions

It’s just another MS learning experience. I’ll have to be more careful and more attentive to my level of strength on any given day. Caryn and I will reassess the placement of some furnishings and fixtures. I think I’ll skip the safety helmet I self-suggested as a lark, but on some days, I have to wonder if full-body padding might not be a bad idea.

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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