10. Don’t mess with me, I’ve got MS …

There are some people that seem to fall over on a regular basis whether through excessive alcohol consumption or inappropriately high heels. I am not normally one of those people despite my love of the odd g&t and a killer heel.

That was until recently when I seemed to be incapable of walking anywhere without ending up on the floor.

The first time was before christmas. I was with friends on our way out for dinner when I began to fall. Luckily my friend grabbed hold of my arm and stopped me before I actually hit the pavement.

Then last month I took a cheeky detour to Ted Baker in Spinningfields when I fell again as I was walking up the steps. Unfortunatley this time there was no one there to catch me and I fell flat on my face onto the wet pavement, my bags and umbrella flying in all directions. The area was quiet and so I picked myself up, dusted myself off and continued my walk with the most dignity I could muster, despite my distress at the scratches on my Mulberry handbag.

I didn’t really think much of either of these incidents putting them down to uneven paving stones or wet steps and it wasn’t like I had hurt myself.

Then a few days after the Spinningfields mishap it happened again.

This time I had just left my flat and was walking past Aflecks Palace. Suddenly I hit the pavement again. Only this time my ankle went over and twisted awkwardly under my weight. It really hurt. Some passers by came to my assistance and helped me to my feet whilst asking if I was ok. I, crimson faced, muttered something about my heel getting stuck in a pavement crack and sat down on a step to recover insisting that I was ok.

I carried on to where I was going but by the time I returned home my foot was heavily swollen and hot and so I spent the rest of the evening with it raised up and a bag of frozen peas balanced on it.

It was after this I became concerned. Concerned that all three of these incidents seemed to have a similarity. No, it wasn’t the fact that I was tottering in stilettos on each occasion. It was the fact that every time I had been stepping with my right leg. And each time it was my right leg that had given way. My right leg that had been numb and was still a bit weird.

Cue Barbara and Frank – an occupational therapist and physio therapist from the neuro-outreach team at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

I went to see them this week following a referral by my MS nurse.

They watched me walk across the gym and as I stood on my tip toes and my heels and on each leg one at a time. They tested the strength and sensitivity in both my legs and feet. And I didn’t fall over. And they were very impressed. Although if the leaflet they gave me is anything to go off they are used to helping people with very severe mobility problems so it’s perhaps not a surprise that they seemed quite pleased with me …

So it looks like my falling over could have simply been a coincidence, or a symptom of the new lesions shown up by my last scan … but definitely not down to my shoes ;)

Then last week my running skills were put to the test…

I was walking home through the northern quarter and taking a short cut down a back street. As usual I had my hands full of hand bag and work papers. As usual I was texting on my phone whilst walking along. More unusually I had flat boots on which was a good job really. Because as I approached a guy who was walking towards me, he lunged forward and grabbed my phone out of my hand before running off. I did what any self respecting girl would have done and shrieked ‘stop!’ before running after him.

I would like to say that I chased him at super speed, gaining on him until I got close enough to wallop him over the head with my handbag before beating him to the ground and grappling my phone out of his hand ….

… Instead I was no match for him and undeterred by my hot pursuit he disappeared into the northern quarter.

But, by a weird twist of fate, or perhaps just good luck, the police were already looking for him as he had tried to do the same thing to someone else only minutes before and spotted him running away from me. They chased him and arrested him in piccadilly gardens. With my mobile phone.

So although I didn’t manage to catch him and perform a citizens arrest, I did chase him into the sights of the police and certain capture … which just goes to show that perhaps my legs are pretty good after all … and you shouldn’t mess with a girl with MS ….

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8 thoughts on “10. Don’t mess with me, I’ve got MS …

  1. Good grief, Nic. No wonder Eeyore has become your favourite quote! What a time you’ve been having. Glad the tests went ok – and that the ‘boys in blue’ got the pond life that snatched your phone. Maybe no more texting on the move and ?slightly lower heels? No – on reflection, forget the last idea – go, glam girl! But take care too, yes? xx

  2. Hello Paula Radcliffe. Glad you did not get hurt when the hoodie grabbed your phone and that he was caught and your phone retrieved. Shame you just didn’t catch him to give him the wallop he deserved, but maybe not you may have had more scratches on your lovely bag! Long may you wear your killer heels BUT please be careful plus how do you manage to text when walking on them? I find texting impossible walking and I wear flats. You obviously are very proficient at multi-tasking!! Lots of love Auntie B xx

  3. Wow, go you! Chasing him into the hands of the police must have felt great!

    At least when you fell you were completely sober. Be v careful when out for a few drinks – it’s really embarrassing when you fall and people assume you’re utterly trollied when you know you only had 2 pints ;-)

    …and keep on walking and running. Our brains have a lot of spare neurons they don’t use – even when a relapse has damaged nerves we can train ourselves to reroute the nerve signals along new pathways if we keep on exercising (this is called neuroplasticity). Exercises like pilates can help this a lot.

    • Wow Katie ! you really know your stuff ! and I am really glad you’re around to help Nicoletta and to educate us ! One small thing – I just can’t see Nicoletta
      drinking ‘ pints ‘ ( of what I ask ! ) Thank you Katie x Valerie

      • I’m sure that when Nicoletta’s a few more years into learning about MS she’ll know just as much!
        Hmm cocktails instead of pints? Lots of good cocktail bars in the northern quarter!

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