Blog Question –
If you are still walking how is your balance and walking ability?
I can trip on thin air, which is frustrating and aggravating. If there is a bump in the road, a stick, a slight variation on the ground, or even a gum wrapper, there is a good chance I am going down for the count. I can be trucking along at good pace and right about the time I stop paying attention, that crack in the sidewalk grows and BAM! I’m eating concrete. Such is the life of the average MS person. This is an MS “quality” that is really frustrating for me.
Before my MS was affecting my life I always walked fast.
When I was ready to go somewhere I got up and went, not a problem. Now, I get up and have to “ready” myself to begin walking. By that I mean stabilize myself and let my legs realize it’s time to move. Even then when I start to move I have some of my Frankenstein walk going on. I feel like I should have some bolts coming out of my neck and I should be grunting instead of talking. Me walk, me walk, mmmmuhhh, gurrrrrrr. After about three of four steps I am better, meaning I’ve gotten into a more normal gait.
I now have to think more when I walk.
I have to consciously say in my head ‘pick foot up, then heel toe down’ and repeat this as I walk. I am sure I sometime looks really mean as I’m walking because I am concentrating so much as I say this to myself. I am also easily distracted visually. Meaning that if I am walking and concentrating and then someone or something is coming into my view it can throw me off. I have to really focus mentally so I don’t take a dive.
My other walking issue is my back.
I am losing strength in my back and I start to hunch over.I can be perfectly straight and by the time I reach my car I am in full Quasimodo posture. Between my walking and my body posture I know I look like I could fall over at any minute. Which way is she going to go folks? We really can’t tell. It’s left, no right, no no it’s going to be left. I look like a walking pinball!
If I walk slow enough or if it’s a short enough distance I can look fairly normal when I walk.
But if it’s too far then the fatigue monster kicks in and my legs gets stiff. Then it becomes my Frankenstein walk. If I continue to walk my back starts give out and I have the interesting combination of my Frankenstein walk mixed with my Quasimodo walk. It’s noon, I have to get to the tower to ring the bells. Either way, I look weird and I need to get inside before people start to chase me with torches and pitchforks.