Poor balance and mobility makes walking difficult
I have poor balance and mobility so I use a mobility scooter. I remember in 2012 when medical retirement arrived I could easily lift my mobility scooter onto a train and I did not need a walking stick either. Those were carefree days, now long gone. Nobody told me how my life would change in the next eleven years. So far I have managed to dodge a wheel chair, long may it last.
Simple mechanics of walking
The gist of mobility is keeping your balance on one leg while moving the other leg forwards. Picking up a leg and moving it forwards is one part Swapping weight from one leg to the other and keeping your balance is the other part. Its all controlled by the brain. I know full well that walking is a whole lot more complicated.
A basic problem
Advanced multiple sclerosis means the transmission of an impulse along a damaged nerve from the brain or spinal cord takes longer and maybe even stops completely. Equally important are proprioceptors. They send signals from the joints, skin and muscle to the brain so that it knows the relative position of the body. The transmission of these signals is affected by MS.
Poor balance and mobility
MS affects the ability to control my left leg and thigh Now my walking is dreadfully slow and I must use a walker. This seriously affects my life in ways that are both visible and invisible. At least my right leg is sort of OK.
Look at me
Anyone and everyone can see that I have poor balance and mobility. I look fine when I sit at a desk or table but as soon as I try to stand up there is definitely something amiss. These days I can’t just stand up from a chair, now I must hold onto something then grab my walker or else I fall over. Getting up from a sofa is impossible, it is too low.
Finally I’m standing up
Both my hands are firmly holding onto my rollator but there is a small problem. How do I carry anything? Don’t be daft, I have a tray with a non-slip mat that is a part of my walker. I can put a plate of food or cup of coffee onto the tray but it has to be light. Something I can lift with one hand while holding onto my rollator.
I am a frequent faller
Suppose I close my eyes or look down at the ground when standing on my feet, unsupported, then I will fall over. This is not an idle threat, it is a fact of life. This creates a host of problems. Just getting dressed or picking up something I have dropped onto the ground is tricky. Putting on a coat and then doing up the zip will often take a few minutes.
Everyone takes activities like walking for granted, there is no problem until something goes awry. Nowadays moving around is not like a well oiled machine. I stumble, stutter and even fall over but at least the wheelchair is still gathering dust.