Reflections from the front line: I can’t even fall properly this time!

Impaired mobility leads to a painful mishap and subsequent hospitalization

John Connor avatar

by John Connor |

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Things had been more than dodgy for the past three days. My right shoulder had gone into complete spasm, and even diazepam couldn’t relax it. I’d also upped my antibiotics as instructed. Nada.

As ever, I shouldered on (a naff play on words already, John? Dearie me), stuck on my Nietzschean fight to overcome the unbeatable. This gets me through a lot, then lands me in a true mess of my own making. In this case, a true mass of my own making!

That was to come; if only my putative fall would be that easy. I’d fallen once in my home five months earlier, but this one was going to be a doozie. It was late last November, and I wouldn’t see my home again for four months. In truth, as I write this, I still haven’t. But by the time this is published, I should be ensconced in my abode again. I spent two months in the hospital, then two months here in a wonderful rehab facility.

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After a third of a year without me, my wife, Jane, will have to deal with my somewhat bombastic presence again. I think I’d better do a lot of fact-checking before I start opining on anything. I have to do it in journalism, so why not at home? Hey, matey.

Back to the story. I had managed to clamber aboard the good ship Molift Raiser for the last two days despite my severely spasming right arm, so once more would be no problem. Only it was. My legs immediately crumpled with all the solidity of cheap printer paper.

Then the real trouble was about to begin. The safety belt I’d bought from the company that made the Molift stopped me from falling all right. It just couldn’t stop itself from slipping down to the small of my back. My entire weight of circa 18 stone (250 pounds) was now crushing down on my folded legs.

The screaming started.

My eldest son raised himself from bed and came to help. He may do weights, but not like this one. At least not in such an impossible position.

It was even more of an impossible position for Jane. She had a screaming husband, an imminent and imperative MRI to get to, and an ambulance to call.

To say that she was more than upset with her husband is an understatement. At the beginning of this farrago, he’d insisted with his usual blasé attitude that he was indeed all right — this while on the safety of the bed without yet attempting to step onto the Molift.

To say that she was more than upset with her husband is truly wimping out by your diarist. She was in tears of anger, tears of frustration, tears of now missing her MRI because of her selfish husband, tears of anguish over having to deal with years of a carer role that had been foisted on her. Partners who stay (many don’t) are as beaten down as the person being cared for. Perhaps more so.

One of us came up with a possible solution. The fact that it didn’t work strikes me that it was mine. As I was under the hoist, it could be maneuvered to lift me enough to relieve my crushed legs. Only now I was crushed between the Molift and the hoist.

Still, now there was time for Jane to phone the ambulance and the MRI. The MRI lot were incredibly sympathetic. Jane was obviously not acting. They gave her an MRI slot the following morning.

And there, dear reader, we will leave the story for this week — with your diarist hanging crushed in the air.

Not quite a cliffhanger, but the closest I’m likely to get!

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Robert Hilton avatar

Robert Hilton

As I read this article I both cried and laughed thinking of a similar event in my wife's life with a MS partner. I laughed and cried thinking of your and my events. The one thing MS does is if you weren't a fighter to begin with you certainly are now after diagnosis.

My story is a septic bladder. As usual dealing with one of the many symptoms of MS I deal with a bladder that went from occasional incontinence to full child having to wear adult pull ups all the time. This wasn't going to work and I needed to move to the next step of self catheterizing and then to a folly catheter replaced once a month. All this is great except for you now need to live in an environment more sterile than an operating room. You try to do your best surgeon imitation but it is impossible to not contract a UTI at some point.

Moving this story on I went to the cabin with my brother while my wife travelled to an event outside of the city for the weekend. We were all happy with this scenario, Robin got a break and some time to enjoy herself without having to worry about me and my MS. No sooner had we arrived to the cabin that I climb into bed feeling like I was coming down with the flu and did not move from that position until my wife abandoned her weekend early to pick me up at the cabin and return both of us home.

Arriving home I grabbed myself into the house and climbed back into bed. Waking the next morning so weak that I could not stand to transfer to my wheelchair and all of my 120 lbs wife trying to help me, 230 lbs, do the transfer we must of looked like a Laurel and Hardy skit. This leaving the two of us crying, frustrated and exhausted. Only one thing to do at this point, call for help which I had been fighting because of that silly thing called pride. I knew calling for help meant an ambulance and a trip to emergency. Thank god we did this because my bladder had gone septic and the poison was spreading to other organs. I now have a permanent superpubic catheter which was installed during that 6 day visit to the hotel hospital.

Our partners/wife/care givers are put through the equivalent to Navy Seals training to pass being a MS partner/care giver. They care greatly for us and just want to make our life easy, which also helps to make their life more simpler. We on the other hand keep fighting every round trying to hang on to shreds of our previous life. This journey is not easy and comes with many tears, difficult discussions and finally love for our partners. We would be lost without them. Not that we do this on purpose but I believe they most likely do not hear that enough from us. Every ounce of our energy is spent trying to keep us afloat and we become a little self absorbed. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who stand by us and help make this difficult journey possible. I know I would be lost without you.

Love, kisses and hugs.

Wendy Roe Hovey avatar

Wendy Roe Hovey

Oh John! Your absence has been notable and worrisome but this isn't one the scenarios (scenaria?) I concocted during the silence. The ones I came up with were worse!. So, I am strangely happy to hear all this, and wish you a flawless return to your your Saint Jane.


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