There are a fair good few recurring themes that come up here on the Life With Multiple Sclerosis blog. One not-so-favorite topic, but one we seem to visit regularly, has to do with falling.
Last month I wrote about a “normal” fall that occurred when I slipped on the ice. It was one of those rare falls that was not related to MS, but my previous experience of falling fairly often because of the disease helped keep me from injuring myself.
Two Falls in a Row Leave Me Aching and Bruised
In the ensuing weeks I had two more falls in rather quick succession (on subsequent days). This time (or times), I was not so fortunate, and in the days after the last of my tumbles, I began to feel their effects.
I had aching muscles as a result of either flailing to catch myself or straining to regain my upright posture. My shoulders and upper back, in particular, were making themselves known for their (failed) efforts.
Those were the collateral pains from my falls. Then there were the direct results.
The points that had contacted the ground — knees, hands, elbows — had scrapes, bruises, bumps, and associated pains. Pains which, given that one fall was a forward-motion fall, whereby my momentum drove me to the floor with rather impressive emphasis, are to be expected.
But there is another, more concerning issue that I’m also dealing with.
Could I Have Damaged My Hip Replacement?
My right hip was replaced about 15 years ago because of a condition called avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply), brought on by high-dose corticosteroid use to combat MS attacks over the first years of my diagnosis. That hip and the areas surrounding it have been a center of my suffering for the past week or so.
I’m (pretty) sure that no major damage to the area was done, but I don’t want to keep going with this kind of discomfort either. I’ve attempted a few stretches and was, frankly, met with levels of pain I wasn’t willing to bring on myself again.
So what to do? When do you rest an injury like that, and when do you rehab?
Whatever I need to do to strengthen the area, I’ll do. But I don’t want to exacerbate any injuries that may need more time to heal before they’re ready for rehabilitation.
When Is It Time to Seek Help?
It’s a conversation that many of us have with ourselves, and not just after a fall: Is it MS? Should I see my neurologist? How long should I let this go on before I tell someone? Is this “normal”?
Like many of you, I struggle with these questions. This time, however, I’m bringing in some professional help.
I met and worked with a very talented physiotherapist while attending the beta test of a weeklong residential MS rehab program last year. I’ve made an appointment for later this week and look forward to getting answers, and perhaps some help.
Remembering to Advocate for Myself
Like most people with chronic illness, I have learned to be an advocate for my own health, but sometimes I forget. If something is not right and I’m wondering what to do, asking someone who knows more than I do is almost always the best course of action.
It took me a week or so of moaning and groaning and restricting my movements to get to a place where I’m not moaning or groaning too much. Now it’s time to see what the professionals think. Hopefully, there’s just some painful strengthening and stretching in my future. I’ll let you know.
Wishing you and your family the best of health.
This content was originally published here.