Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Little Grey Cells, Little White Spots

In every life there comes a point when falling down goes from funny to not funny. I think I'm well into not-funny, but others may disagree. I'm also predisposed to falling. Just one more way that gravity is no friend of mine.

Walls just jump out in front of me. I have my own personal earthquakes. My feet seem to form attachments to certain spots of floor and don't want to leave. I really can't remember the last time I didn't have a bruise or six somewhere on my body turning my see-through white skin to various shades of black, blue, purple, and greenish yellow.

Most recently I fell at work. The important thing to remember about this fall is that I did it at the intersection of hallways in full view of the waiting room and I was wearing a skirt. I think it's important to entertain as many people at a time as possible.

I was walking and talking with my acting supervisor at the time. He turned down the hall to our offices. My right leg turned, but my left leg went on strike. I went right down. He turned and looked down at me and asked, "Did you mean to do that?" I, of course, told him that I did and asked him for a hand up. (I wonder what it says about me that my supervisor would think I might just sit down in the hall like that, mid-step.)

Of course, just falling wasn't enough. I had to fill out a detailed report about doing it. What could I say? I fell. No, I didn't trip. There was no ice, banana peal, nor piano wire stretched across the hallway. I just fell down. I didn't break anything. My body was pretty sore the next couple of days, though not as sore as my pride.

So I have colorful bruises. One friend (a good one, evidently) asked if I was being beaten. So I told him about the little white spots on my brain. I didn't used to tell people I have M.S. because it's really no one else's business. I didn't want people to think I was weak or defective or something. But lately I've realized that people are likely to think I'm drunk or high or being beaten up regularly. So I tell them.

I think it's important to be able to joke about a disease that rusts my brain, don't you? I mean what could be funnier than losing my ability to function physically? Oh, yeah, there's that possibility that it will screw with my vision and cognitive functioning, too. Yeah. That's a scream.

So for me, falling doesn't really seem all that funny. But I'll joke about it because I can't seem to find a middle ground between laughing about it and wanting to sit and cry or punch a wall. I reckon I've got lots of time to sit and cry later. And if I tried to punch the wall, I'd probably miss and fall again anyway.


  1. Hi Fay!

    Thanks for the link to the 'hands' picture. Too cool.

    Stay positive...!


  2. Hey Fay, I know of some fun exercises (I know some would consider that an oxymoron) to help prevent falls. I'd be happy to share. Email me if you're interested! Hugs.

  3. An aikido technique is to focus one's thought on what is called the One Spot, two inches below the navel and two inches inside.
    Learn to live there, full time.
    This has unexpected results:
    The center of gravity is lowered from the head, to that spot, and one has exceptionally good balance.
    Like a sailboat keel. It keeps the body upright.
    Talking boats:
    One learns to evaluate the consequences of every action before performing the action.
    Mindfulness, in taoist terms.
    MS doesn't help much, but helping MS might predispose it to help you.
    Be the person in the hallway, in the skirt, talking to someone else.
    Don't be the person in the hallway, in the skirt, talking to someone else, who falls down.
    Then again: did you gain anything from the fall?

  4. With all due respect to The Crow, I think it unlikely that his method will affect the connection between your brain and spinal cord. I am not a pessimist, but rather a realist. I've received a lot of advice for my emphysema, but the fact remains that it is incurable, progressive, and fatal.

    How do I deal with it? With humor. I'm not a gigglehead and I'm often depressed, but I wouldn't be able to stand me if I was an old self-centered grouch.

    My heart goes out to you, Fay.

  5. I'll take the exercises from Jess, I'll contemplate my navel and various other spots, and I'll continue to laugh at myself. Charlie, I'll look forward to continued heavy breathing from you!

  6. What an insensitive acting supervisor for asking you such a question. I hope you wrote him up as well!

  7. I know a man who has cancer of the lymph glands.
    That is commonly considered to be always fatal.
    Several years ago, the hospital discharged him to go and die at home.
    Yesterday, we had a long and interesting conversation about animal totems and lucid dreams.
    He looks pretty good.
    And he certainly isn't dead yet.

  8. I'm trying some "alternative" things, too. Things aren't acceptable this way. Thanks for support all.