Falls


Most people remember falling as a child, even if you have to stretch your mind a little to think that far back.  Scabby knees, tripping over your own two feet because you haven’t quite grown into them, a little growth spurt making you super clumsy or just being far too interested on what fun you are having to look where you were going.

Imagine never growing out of that.

With a neurological condition like Charcot Marie Tooth Disease (CMT) tripping up and falling flat on your face is something that you never grow out of (well I haven’t!)  It effects the motor and sensory nerves to my arms and legs, the muscles are wasting and the messages about pain and sensation simply don’t get back to my brain.  I think of it as having wonky wiring.  Recognising where my body is in space is also impossible and picking my feet up at all, though I am extremely thankful that I still can, takes immense effort.  My hammer toes and high arched feet are not designed for walking.

With a neurological condition like Charcot Marie Tooth Disease (CMT) tripping up and falling flat on your face is something that you never grow out of (well I haven’t!)  It effects the motor and sensory nerves to my arms and legs, the muscles are wasting and the messages about pain and sensation simply don’t get back to my brain.  I think of it as having wonky wiring.  Recognising where my body is in space is also impossible and picking my feet up at all, though I am extremely thankful that I still can, takes immense effort.  My hammer toes and high arched feet are not designed for walking.

I also have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder meaning in simple terms that the glue that holds my body together is too stretchy, like chewing gum.  This condition also affects my propreoception, and makes my feet and ankles super bendy meaning that they dislocate, partially dislocate and sprain a lot.Neither condition is not conducive to staying upright.  So you will probably believe me when I tell you that over the years there have been many many falls, ranging from the mundane to the truly spectacular.

I still remember this one like it was yesterday although it was probably over 25 years ago now, the details however are a little fuzzy… like where we were going, was it to school? or were we heading in to town shopping? I can however remember the feelings on that day and the exact bus stop we were waiting at to board the bus.  I put out my arm out to stop the number 207 bus heading towards Uxbridge and as I stepped onto the bus I tripped.  I landed with a huge thud, what can only be described as a sack of potatoes hitting the floor.  Smack down in front of the bus driver on my knees as if I was praying.  I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole.  I think the memory is still so vivid because I was at an age where things like this mortified me.

 

“We all fall to the floor at some point.  It’s how you pick yourself up that’s the real challenge.  Isn’t it?” Madonna

 

One of the funniest falls that I remember (when I was at an age where I really should have grown out of tripping up so much) was way back when I still lived at home.  Mum had cooked my favourite dinner, a mountain of spaghetti piled high with bolognase sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.  I distinctly remember holding the plate with two hands as I carried it away from the kitchen… then I tripped.  The dinner glided through the air in slow motion lading with an almighty splat on mums white carpet.  I wonder if this is subliminally why I always serve pasta in bowls not on plates?

 

“He danced with the sky instead, and the sky dropped him like a rotten plum.” Laine Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and bone 

 

I would always try to walk I heels when I went out for the night.  I’ll paint the picture… Manolo Blahnik’s, no, a nice pair of stilleto’s, I wish!  My heels was never higher than 2 inches, chunky and always attached to a pair of knee high lace up boots for stability.  Even in these shoes I lost count of the amount of times I would be dancing the night away only to go over on my ankle and find myself face planting the dance floor, one time even at a friends wedding.  Did I ever run from the party like a modern day Cinderella? No.  I just got straight up dusted myself down and carried on with the night.

 

“If you stumble make it part of the dance.” Unknown

When I had not long met my husband, 20 years ago now, we went into London for the day shopping and had taken his little sister, then 15.  We left the Circle line tube at Oxford Circus, I was closely following behind the others.  As I stepped onto the platform my legs just crumpled beneath me and I folded to the floor.  I remember Dave turning back to glance at me and wondering where I was for a split second before he noticed me disappearing down the gap between the platform and the train.  I can also picture the look of embarrasment on his sisters face as she screamed at me ‘What are you doing? Get up!’

 

“You are perfectly imperfect, and that made me fall for you.” Ama H. Vanniarachchy

 

Saturday morning is dancing morning in my house.  As we live closest to the hall the mums all pop back for a cuppa while the kids are in class. As we live closest to the hall the mums all pop back for a cuppa while the kids are in class.  It’s a win win, they get to dance, we get to chat and drink tea.  So this one Saturday morning I make tea, and, while chatting and carrying a couple of drinks through to the front room before I even have time to react I’m down.  Tea everywhere, really everywhere, I can’t quite believe all that liquid was in those small cups.

 

“Don’t cry over spilt tea, it could have been champagne.” Sarah Wells

 

Have you ever been kicked out of a night club sober? We were out on a Saturday night heading to the local club, as you go in there is a long corridor and at one point it turns to the left at a right angle.  That bend (combined with the heels I was attempting to walk in) was enough for me to dislocate my right knee.  The fuss saw the doorman running down to us having immediately judged me as a trouble maker and proceeded to tell my mate to take me home.  Then he looked down at my knee.  I have never seen such a big black bloke turn so pale.  He apologised, watched me pop it back in, helped me to my feet and let us in.  I think I danced that night away too.

 

“When Life knocks you down… calmly get back up, smile and say.  ‘You hit like a bitch.’ ” Unknown

On holiday this year I’d been doing well, it was a beautiful evening and we were out enjoying the sunset.  At the end of a really nice walk, literally 10 yards from the front door, I stepped on a stone, no, I’m exaggerating, a pebble.  I sprained my ankle and went over like what only can be described as a see-saw; ankle, knee, hip, elbow, shoulder in perfect succession, finally stopping as my face skimmed the floor.  It kills my husband to see me fall and not always be able to save me, the frustration showed on his face as he scooped me up and carried me inside.

 

“I respect the hell out of her for how hard she is working to be okay.  I just wish that she’d let me show her how to let go, how to let herself hurt.”  Jasinder Wilder, Falling into you

 

We hired a boat on a beautiful day this summer and moored up to find lunch.  As I navigated my daughter along the narrow bank (which in hindsight was a silly thing for me to be doing), she stumbled forward.  I pounced to save her placing my foot on a very unstable piece of ground, spraining my ankle and falling sideways quite spectacularly into the Thames, with our phones, keys and money in the bag on my arm.  In doing so I cut my foot and done something to my right arm that rendered me incapable of holding a cup of tea for a whole week.

“The dangerous falls were the ones that happened so fast that you didn’t have time to react.” Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses

 

I’ve learnt a lot since I was that little girl falling onto the bus infront of the world, about myself and other people.  What I know now is it isn’t the falling over that is important in the grand scheme of things, it is all about how you get back up.  How you rise from anything defines your character and shapes your soul.  I won’t let fear stop me from living (but perhaps I need to be a little more sensible about how I approach things as I don’t bounce as well as I used to!)  I have also discovered that other people are far more embarassed when I fall than I am.As the old saying goes if you fall off of your bike, get straight back on… or in my case if you fall into the Thames why not buy yourself a boat and moor it on the river.Crap happens, that’s life, but I’ll continue to drink from the half full cup every single time.

 

“So what if you fall, get back up and show the world that you have wings.” Sarah Wells

 

Written by Sarah Wells

Thanks for stopping by… My name is Sarah, I’m a mum, wife, writer, blogger, advocate and occasional public speaker. This is my blog, where I share our life with the world while raising my children to be happy with their perfect imperfections :)