Warning: This entry may not be suitable for anyone with MS who doesn’t want to learn about symptoms that may never affect them~ Proceed Accordingly!
Stay on target.
The last part if this entry was inadvertently deleted on my palm pilot during the commute. This had served as the subtle hand on my shoulder to get back to the point.
To Walking Stick or not To Walking Stick
So with this recent episode the steroid results were slow to come. During that time, I had more time to think than I’m accustomed to. Dealing with the past month of falling, stumbling and feeling at odds with gravity, I started looking at my place in the world on a physical level. I need better stability. This was not easy for me to recognize, or acknowledge. I always felt that my doctor would recommend it if it was necessary. Apparently that is not always true, although it was a good defense mechanism if anyone from my family questioned me about it.
I have found as the primary member of my treatment team, that the physician waits for the expressed need. This of course is only true for the more subtle symptoms of this disease.
Sometimes it’s difficult for me to have perspective to assess when I’m living it. When one is dealing with the emotions of new symptoms and just getting through everyday it is hard to see the big picture. So when Keith mentioned it – the consideration was brought to the top of my to do list. Because he always provides the stabilizing arm wherever we go it made sense to take his observation seriously. It was a nice affectionate metaphor that was as natural in our marriage as how we prepare each others hot beverages. (tea for him, no caffeine lots of agave- coffee for me skim milk 1 tsp agave.)
The problem was more evident when I commute in to NYC without him. I easily blend into the sea of people leaving Penn Station like a scene from Exodus. I would walk as quickly as possible hoping to get a cardio workout on the fly. Slowing when I hit the stairs to the grumble of those behind me. In the last year or two I would really push myself to move as quickly as possible. I avoided this for years, not wanting to be in touch with the line of limitation. Unfortunately this extra push backfired when I began to lose my balance and experience foot-drop. So when I fell, I did so with much greater force. My hands may break the fall, but my face ran a close second. Quite a spectacle at Penn Station!
Cut to the Chase
So the need for vertical accompaniment is established. Now I need to get the mindset. For this, my husband is a genius. He suggested that I treat the whole change as a social experiment. Not unlike Gloria Steinem, feminist writer as a playboy bunny or fictionally as Gregory Peck in A Gentleman’s Agreement a reporter pretending to be Jewish- I could take on the real life experience of anonymous commuter who has a cane. How would this change my commute? How would it affect my reality with this supportive item?
Tune in next time to find out. (Thanks for reading!)