To Fall

Fall is my favorite season, my least favorite activity.  Yet I cannot stop the drop down.  Generally, I do not  bite the dust like a tree, though usually there is someone around to hear it.  For me, the descent is strange, a slow motion collapse that cannot be stopped. My legs give out.   I grab onto a chair, towel rack, anything that seems sturdy and strong.  But I know the die is cast.   My legs can carry me nowhere.

I crumple, falling on top of myself.  My MS will not allow me to reposition my legs on time, to extend them away from my toppling body.  So I just fall on them, wherever they are, whatever position they are in.  Last night, I caught a knee is a vulnerable position, pinned down on a hard floor.  The pain was exquisite.  Remember Chester on Gunsmoke?  That’s me.  And Mr. Dillon is nowhere to be seen.  Where is a sheriff when you need one?

It used to be different, a graceful but public event.  I wrote about it in an online column for AARP: The Magazine:

 My body stretches forward in perfect flight, parallel to earth, with arms outstretched as if to grab the air. Launch has been involuntary, and the landing pad is a sidewalk or street, busy with pedestrians or vehicles on the move and unkind cracks that sent me flying in the first place.  Grace is gone, lost with a thud and a gasp, with personal effects that seem to tumble down gradually from space.

This is my life, Kitty Hawk revisited, primitive flight.  At least the Wright brothers had a goal, a dream to work toward.  All I want is to stay on earth, feet planted surely on the ground.  Illness has its own plan and the power of lift-off.  I cannot control the disease process overtaking me and choreographing my every misstep and crash landing.

The public humiliation got to me.  The incident always was humiliating.  But at least I could make my unnecessary apologies, dust myself off and move on.  Times have changed.  Falls seem to come at home, usually when I am alone.  I am not going to apologize to the dog, at least in this lifetime.  When Meredith calls often enough and no one answers, I know I can expect a friend or policeman to drop by.

I guess MS has improved my social life.  But at those times, I sure do want to be alone.


One Response to To Fall

  1. Nancy Cincotta November 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    The falls have become intolerable. Yet there is nothing to do about it. Sad.