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I get knocked down, but I’ll get up again

By Neil Bradley
September 22, 2023

Falls and my MS go hand-in-hand. I generally fall over at least twice a month, but I’m also determined to get back up.

First, whenever I do fall over, I know I will not have the strength to immediately get back up. I tell myself, “deep breaths and remain calm,” followed by checking my head/body for signs of blood. Once I realize that everything is more or less intact, despite the sound of the cracking noise of myself falling over, I begin to recover.

Slowly, and now routinely, I find the inner strength to crawl to the nearest stable object and pull myself up, then phone someone who can help assess if my injury is visible, barring a major issue like unconsciousness.

I find the pain is always worse the following day. My last fall happened on February 11, 2023, when I managed to trip over my feet whilst using both crutches.

A light-skinned person sitting in a wheelchair on a patio With MS, you understandably may never get better/fully recover from a relapse. I can honestly say you never know when a fall is going to happen – almost all my falls have happened on the days where I have felt that little bit better. But there are still things we can do to help us bounce back from falls.

I have been in physio since July 22, 2022 when I had a relapse. It taught me ways to strengthen my core which makes it easier to get up from a fall. Currently, my exercises combine sit to stand, balancing on two feet without an aid, and moving upper body left to right. I am improving my hand strength using TheraPutty and working on shoulder and wrist strengthening using Therabands.

The exercises help strengthen the muscles that I might not regularly use. I wouldn’t say it was easy to get through physio, but through determination and using any available stable objects to pull myself up, I’m getting stronger.

I know the falls will continue to happen, but strengthening my muscles does make it that little bit easier to get back up. 

Neil Bradley

Neil Bradley is a blogger living with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. While he is on Tysabri, MS is a daily struggle, but he will never give up! For him: “Life is short, make the most of it. Suntans fade, memories will last forever.” Follow Neil on Instagram @styleremainsfashionchanges.

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