February has been a hard month for me. I ended up going into the office only 7 days between the extreme cold and the weather. I am lucky to be able to work from home and got tons done. Also, I welcomed the rest, few 4:15 a.m.s. Excellent. The flip side is I have a tiny house and even to get up and walk to the bathroom, I don’t get in enough walking. I work in a building where each floor is a city block. Depending on what my schedule is I can literally walk miles at work. Ok so now it’s with a brace and a cane but still.
Went to work on Wednesday and took a cab in the morning. The bus stop was icy. I went out to lunch but it was only across the street. My New Year’s plan which has been derailed by the weather is to go to lunch once a week. I need to reconnect myself. I swore when this whole thing started that I wouldn’t let this condition/disease confine me or define me. And just like my ability to walk, it gradually took over. I am fighting back. Wednesday night I felt ok and thought I would do my usual Grand Central, Times Square Penn Station deal. I left work early so I could take an earlier train. It’s on a track with an escalator so it’s closer and I walk less. Well, I started to fall apart in Times Square. The train is the 4:12, I was on escalator at 4:11 and the bartender literally held the door for me. I struggled into a seat. The ride is an hour and that is enough recovery time for me. My station is the last stop and almost everyone is gone. I got up and was in the door when the train pulled in. I got off carefully (I have to hold on) and thought Ok that’s good. The next thing I remember I was flat on my face with gushing blood. All of a sudden, thankfully, there were a lot of people on the platform. Someone asked, “Are you alright?” Normally, I am very perky and reassuring. This time I had to say, I don’t know. Two many literally lifted me up as if I was a rag doll. Oh, and another thing. I am not prone to profanity but after saying I don’t know, I added, “I really f–ked up my face, didn’t I” . I have not fallen on my face in more than 25 years. The last time I did I was 24, drunk and dancing in a bar in the Hamptons. Life does change. So they raised me and my gushing face up. A businessman provided tissue and blotted at my face. I thought I had literally split my lip. Nope. I am blessed and lucky. And my legs felt great. My face took the brunt of this fall. Now, the railroad guy comes out of the train. They want to get me medical attention, file a report, get me a cab, call someone. No. My husband doesn’t drive. I refused. This station doesn’t have an escalator or elevator so I gimp down two flights of concrete stairs normally. A man offered to help me down the stairs. I had a knapsack and a pocketbook. He showed me a badge and said he was a federal officer so my things were safe. I didn’t care. I said anyone is welcome to it. He was great! He helped me down the stairs which did have patches of ice. And he got me into my car. Husband freaked. Yes, it looks like I went rounds with someone. He thinks it reflects badly on him.
Then I went into work the next day. This is the kind of place I work in, people came in and said nothing! I have a swollen bloody lip, a scraped bloody chin and huge bruise under my chin. Husband thought it would be a problem for me. If I fall, will they renew my contract? Actually, I felt worse when I got into work. It hit me, all the might haves. I have been so lucky and so blessed. This could have been so much worse. Thursday night, there was almost no one on the platform.
As I have struggled this week I have been thinking. I changed the way I eat significantly. Okay, as I have admitted, I have not gone full force. I still eat sugar. It’s significantly reduced. Dairy and eggs radically down. Never much of a red meat eater but more minimal.
I am getting worse not better. And I hate when people try and whitewash it. And I know I am lucky, truly. I am still walking and I am not going to stop. This month was rough as I couldn’t literally get out of the house. That meant much less walking though I did try to do at least 30 minutes on the stepper every night. I couldn’t get to Zumba or the gym. In fact, I was planning on going to the gym Wednesday night and breaking the ice so to speak. So, amp up the food plan and the exercise. Keep moving forward.
On to fragility. The cell rings yesterday and I am working. I see it’s my one of my exes. It’s a wild, wild life. I keep in touch with all my exes, all the live ones, except my first husband. I do have two dead ones. Stories for another day but both died when I was young, one of AIDS, one of cancer. And yes, for years I had the spectre of AIDS hanging over me. The one after them said I am never breaking up with you. Men who leave you die. Well, I left him and he’s still alive. After that, I was the one that did the leaving. I lived with the ex whose number showed for several years. It was not healthy. He is significantly older than me. We would have conversations and he would mention an event and ask if I remembered. My response was usually “I was three!” or “Uh, I wasn’t born yet.” We maintain cordial relations but he still can be controlling and domineering. I let it go to voice, picked up the message and it was his daughter saying we think we have the right person, you lived with my Dad, he’s in cardiac ICU. I called back immediately and reached his son. He told me that ex is in medically induced coma, had massive heart attack and they are reaching out to the people that were important in his life so they are not surprised. I am devastated. He’s tough and ornery so I am not counting him out . It’s ironic. He hit me once in the face and the next time, because there always is a next time, I punched him in the chest before he could touch me and knocked him out. There never was a next time after that. He said “You could really have hurt me” I was “Exactly”. I left. We made our peace.
This is all, the fall, the deterioration and the ex, making me feel fragile. I am tougher than this. It literally hurts to smile right now but I am trying. I can and will rise again.
3 thoughts on “Falling Flat on My Face, February and Fragility”
Funny thing, since the MS re-emerged on me I turned into a bit of a hermit at first and now I’m starting to go out more again. I’m such a homebody anyway, it’s hard for me to walk enough in a day. I have a fitbit and if I go on the treadmill for 30 minutes and an active around the house all day, I’m lucky if I get 8000 steps in a day, and I know 10000 is what you really want. Not much more I can do but I try!
I’m reading a book right now and I’m sure you’ve heard the same thing before but it says a lot, even if you’re doing everything right for your MS (diet/exercise) that doesn’t mean you’re at fault if it progresses, that’s what it does. So, I hope you don’t cut out all the sugar and fun stuff because I’m sure you’re still doing a good job and you should enjoy foods you like sometimes.
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Tough stories. Reminds me when I fell (due to my MS) going up the stairs in Penn Station. Papers flew everywhere. A crowd helped me up. Fortunately, I didn’t have any gushing blood.
So sorry about the fall. I hope it is looking better by now. New Yorkers sound nicer than their reputation!