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Fell over

As I said in an earlier post told July 80-90% chance I have ms only ever had numbness in my feet for 15 months this week my left leg feels heavy and I’m limping walking, today I got some new trousers tried them on in asda, while putting them on I couldn’t balance and fell in the changing room, luckily I didn’t hurt myself and was able to sort myself out. This did scare me and now worries me for the future it was so unexpected is there anything I can do to help ease the sensation. It is now going from an invisible problem to a visible one. I don’t want to depend on people or for anyone to try doing stuff for me. I like my own independence.

That worry is a beast that lurks not very far below the surface for most of us most of the time, I guess, and it isn’t a good feeling when it suddenly breaks the surface and shows its ugly snout, whether in the Asda changing room or anywhere else. Were there a way of feeling better about that, I would be glad to hear it. Trying not to catastrophize is the only thing to do. There’s a long way to travel between hitting the deck in Asda on a Saturday afternoon and being in the kind of bad trouble you fear. But fears about the future can cast a shadow on a perfectly good present if you let them. Try not to let them do that any more than you can help.

Nice frock, by the way.

Alison

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Hi again,

This sounds a fairly avoidable one - for now! You haven’t just fallen out of the blue, but attempting a difficult feat (no pun intended) that involves balance.

I’m assuming there was either no seat in the changing room, or you decided not to use it?

I haven’t attempted to dress my lower half - jeans, underwear, shoes or socks - for years without sitting down first, because I know what will happen. This possibly dates back to before I was even investigated for MS, as I already had rubbish balance for years and years.

It is a long way from just learning to do things in a safer way, because you understand you have “issues” than losing independence. I’ve been diagnosed five years, probably had it a lot longer, and still fully independent (live alone, no carer, no family). There are certain things I will not do, or will not do the same way I used to, because I know it causes accidents, but I have not yet fallen over “for no reason”, but only if I thought I was “being clever” and trying to put my socks on without sitting down first, or something like that.

You know the old joke about: “Doctor, it hurts when I…”, and the standard answer is: “Well, don’t do that then!”

Similarly, if you are ONLY falling if you try to put on trousers without bothering to sit down first, the answer is: “Don’t do that then!” It doesn’t mean you need an assistant to get dressed - it just means you need to be seated. If shop changing rooms don’t provide a seat, I can only suggest taking stuff home to try.

Or order on the Internet, and it’s all delivered to your home anyway - you can try it on as safely and slowly as you like - sitting down, and without worrying you need to be quick, because there’s a big queue outside.

I’m sorry this has given you a fright, but frights are sometimes there for a reason - it means: “This way of doing it isn’t safe for you - try another!”

If you were falling down from nothing at all, my advice would be different, and would probably involve physiotherapy, or a stick, or both.

But if you are only falling when you try to do certain things a certain way, a slight change of habits could avoid it. There are physiotherapy exercises for improving balance - you could ask for a referral if you were interested. But I still wouldn’t necessarily recommend trying to step into trousers standing up, even if you do the exercises.

Tina

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Phil,

There is a fine but complicated line between cautious awareness and restrictive fear, I have only lived with MS for 25 years so I should be pretty good at judging what things I should and should not do, however I still regularly get it wrong. Just like the rest of the population there is a huge amount of luck involved. I try hard to avoid risks that could impact on other people BUT I will not let the potential risk of doing stuff stop me (every time) We could all avoid 99.99% of terrorism risks if we all stayed at home and never went out again, however I would see that as losing to the terrorist. I will take my MS into consideration and may well take steps (?) to reduce the likelihood of bad stuff but I will do my utmost to resist being dictated to by my condition. You are your own expert , try to learn from what works and what does not. Any restrictions should come from actual problems and not perceived or potential ones. As Alison says try to control your fears & worries.

My own goalposts have shifted over the years and stuff that terrified me in the past now seem like manageable issues.

All the best Mick

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Tina,

I wish I was prcticala and pragmatic as you. Nice response M

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Believe me, I’m not practical - but I learn fast! Once could be bad luck, but if you almost come to grief twice or more, whilst still insisting on doing something exactly the way you’ve always done it, the penny soon drops that maybe a change of approach is needed.

Tina

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hi phil

take the clothes to checkout and ask if they can be returned if they are not appropriate.

most shops will say yes. asda certainly do.

i’ve even asked in expensive shops and they have said yes.

like your other replies - it would have happened sooner or later.

have a strong sense of defiance, pick your self up and tell your ms it won’t get you that way again.

carole x

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Thank you all for your replies it just took me surprise I will learn from this and am now aware that I have to take more care and assess what I’m going to do before I do it. I think now I may change my plans to try the dry ski slope.

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hi phil

give yourself time to get used to your new body (ie ms ravaged).

you could still be safe on the dry ski slope but just give it time.

carole x