My last blog about Falling proved what I too frequently forget. Sometimes with a chronic condition we feel isolated, as if we are the only people with a nagging problem and suffering alone. Falling is not the problem but the result of the problem. It is not just MS. Chronic conditions may be wildly different, but the situations patients face and the emotional fallout are remarkably similar.
Case in point: Consider Nancy Cincotta, who commented on my Post, To Fall:
“The falls have become intolerable. Yet there is nothing to do about it. Sad.”
Nancy may have MS, yes. Or she may have Parkinson’s. Perhaps she had a stoke. The precise problem is not the point. In this case, the resulting tumble is the debilitating issue. I am not a role model because I do it wrong. Falling is a part of our lives. I treat biting the dust as a grim fact of life. I gather my belongings and get helped to my feet, apologizing all the while as if I had done something wrong. Of course I call attention to myself in the process and make a big deal out of a minor incident. Why not spot a friendly face and ask for an arm? No explanation is required. People are friendly and happy to go out of they’re way, especially in New York. Why do we make such a big thing out of a minor spill? Why trumpet our condition? Let’s not play victim anymore than we have to.
Another option, of course, is to buy a bottle of cheap gin and pour it over our head. Then we can blame the alcohol. By the way, when I first used a cane, a neighbor approached Meredith to ask what was wrong. Upon hearing it was MS, she expressed relief. “We thought he was a n alcoholic.” People are nosy, especially neighbors.Screw them.