A sense of balance
Many MSers who have SPMS do not have very good sense of balance.
Now imagine this, you are momentarily distracted, you lose your sense of balance and fall over. As you fall over you put out a hand to protect yourself and you dislocate a shoulder. I’m guilty as charged.
Do you see what I mean
I dislocated my shoulder again a couple of weeks ago. It was the left shoulder as well. The doctor at outpatients who kindly relocated my shoulder put my left arm into a sling so I could not use it. Now my sense of balance was even worse. Until I could dispense with the sling my wife had to dress me, do up my shoe laces and do the jobs around the house that I normally do. Try one hand typing and use the hand you do not use for writing, see what I mean.
Something hurts, is it serious?
I use a rollator around the house, own masses of walking sticks, and I’m pretty good at furniture walking. In fact I’ve got strategies to cope with almost everything but nothing to help me with a momentary loss of concentration. That is all it takes. Something totally unexpected happens, I lose my concentration, no strategy to cope with this scenario and then its smash, bang, wallop and I’m a heap on the floor. Something hurts, is it serious? Can you put weight on the arm?
Accidents will happen
Talking to friends and relatives I recount the story of how I dislocated my shoulder, they express sympathy, say that I must be more careful and not be in such a rush. They do not understand how easy it is for an accident to happen. MS has made my sense of balance go AWOL; balance is something we all take for granted. I now need to learn a whole new way of life and accidents will happen.
A diminished sense of balance
I’m unable to lift my left leg more than a few millimetres off the ground. If I shut my eyes I fall over. I must sit down to take off a pull-over. I cannot walk and talk. When I change direction or turn a corner I must stop, check my balance and then continue on my way.
Developing a strategy sounds easy The Occupational Therapists from the council have put in rails to help me. I do take my time. Its sounds easy bit it isn’t. To make the problem even more complicated my coping strategies are always changing, very slightly from month to month as the disease progresses and my sense of balance deteriorates.