Monday, September 5, 2011

Falling Into a Bad Mood

I fell the other day.

Not that unusual of a statement for an MS patient, perhaps. And at a certain point in my MS story, this statement would fit right in. After all, it was a fall that finally got me to go in to the doctor. (Because one entire leg being very numb for a few months and assorted other symptoms probably were nothing to worry about, right?) And there were a few more falls in the year to come, and far more than a few almost-falls.

But since Tysabri, I've been fall-free. And almost-falls have only occurred on hiking paths or icy sidewalks. Sure, sometimes my balance is a little iffy and sometimes my feet feel a little numb, but my life has been a fall-free zone.

Yet, I fell. Walking in a straight line on a smooth, flat road. No clue why or how it happened. It was all too fast, and there I was on the ground with a scraped elbow, knee and hand.

That first big, bad fall that sent me into the doctor? The doctor suggested that I had probably just tripped over my own feet like she supposedly did all the time. Then, I knew that wasn't the case. I'm not exactly the kind of person who goes to a doctor unless I am positive that something is wrong, and probably something fairly serious at that.(An attitude only strengthened by this doctor's suggestion.) But this fall? I think I probably somehow tripped over my own feet in a purely random, freak accident, happens to everybody every now and again kind of way. Or maybe it was an MS thing, after all, as I was particularly tired and in pain after a long day.  Even if it was, though, this fall? This fall was not a big, bad terrible sign of something bad in the way that first fall was.

But this fall sent me fast and hard back into that negative emotional space. It sent me into mental flashes of my past struggles and of a future including more and more falls, more and more need for assistance, more and more disability. It made me sad, mad, and scared.

But, luckily, time with this disease has given me a few tools for dealing with this kind of head space, and I was able to pull myself up out of the funk before too along. Along the way up, I took some time to feel gratitude for all of the amazing things my body can still do well and for the fact that I found a treatment course that has given me over three years of no falls, other than those involving icy sidewalks. This little flash of memory and/or imagined future reminded me that what I've got now is pretty great. And now, of course, is all we really have, so that's where I'm going to try to stay.

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