The Crazy Realisations of Falling: It’s not just physical

G’day, friends and welcome to another week and another blog!!

When you have a disability that impacts the strength of your muscles and the tightness of ligaments, you will be prone to being a bit of a klutz.

I am no stranger to falling over. Besides scaring the daylights out of people when I drive past in my scooter, falling over is my speciality.

I have ended up with some pretty gnarly injuries from falling, which has at times landed me in the ER on the odd occasion.

The catch for me (pun so intended) is not being able to get up off the ground by myself if I fall. So I try and be as careful as possible, but still want to live as much of an average life I can!

Since I left school 6 years ago, I have had stints where I have been at home alone for a day or even a couple of days at a time. And I had managed not fall over when I was alone.

However, if you follow my Socials, that all ended 2 weeks ago, when both of my parents were at work, and I was home by myself.

I now am blessed to have two dogs living with me, you all know one is my Border Collie, and another is a mini dachshund puppy. Yeah, you can see where I am going with this!

I had had a rather unfortunate exchange with the postman 15 minutes before my accident and was already pretty rattled. As I went to give the dogs a carrot, the puppy decided he would jump up and jelly-leg me. For those who don’t know what that is, it is where you have a force bump into the back of your knee, making your knee give out.

He had already done that twice that day but had managed not to knock me over. However, this time he got me in the right spot and down I went. If you are concerned, I did not squish him on my way down.

Fortunately, there was a wall next to me which saved me from hitting my head on the floor, and kept me sitting on my butt.

A black and white photo of my legs after falling over. I am sitting on the ground with my legs out in front of me, I am sitting on a cow hide rug and a pillow in front of me

Although I had already been worked up, I yelled at the dog, and it made him run away.. not before grabbing his carrot on the way out. Yes, he is cheeky, and I apologise to the neighbours for my very colourful language.

I sat there and just cried. In my personal life, I have had a lot going on and that fall just tipped the scale for me. And also because I was home alone, with a sure sprained ankle, my phone was on the dining table 10 metres away and my smartwatch was on the charge… I know; I should know by now to keep a phone or something on me.

So without any communication device on me, I had to scoot my butt to the dining table, and fortunately, my phone was on my planner that was close enough to the corner of the table to move the planner to reach my phone.

Long story short, I called for help, and my mum had to leave work to be able to come and grab me off the floor.

The Mental Side of Falling

There is something that falling makes you come straight back to earth and makes you confront your disability all over again.

Having to scoot on your butt like a dog, and wait on the floor for someone to help you, is dehumanising.

You feel a level of vulnerability that is unlike anything else. You can so easily feel like a burden having to pull people away from doing what they are doing to help you.

And when you have to be picked up from the floor, you easily can also feel like a kid, and not an adult. Especially when falling is your middle name!

An old photo of me in the ER with my head wrapped in a bandage after I fell out of the car
flash back to a couple of years ago when I fell out of the car.

There is so much pressure in the disability community to say that being disabled is a good thing and if you say it sucks, then you are classed as you want to be abled, and you then get called ableist.

We are allowed to say that sometimes, disability life is not easy. Because it isn’t. It is full of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. And it should be okay to be able to admit that. There should never be shame it admitting that sometimes life, and disability life, is exhausting and sometimes just sucks. And that is okay.

We need to get to a place where we can be more gentle on ourselves when it comes to moments of vulnerability. Whether it be because we have had a fall, or whether it be over something entirely different.

We can’t keep suppressing emotions and not being able to say what we need to say for ourselves. Because at the end of the day, it isn’t healthy.

Acknowledging that something is terrifying or something sucks, is just as important as acknowledging the incredible things life has to offer.

Take time when you fall, either literally like me or figuratively, heal and reflect. Then when you are ready, you have to dust yourself off and realise that each time you fall, there are lessons and blessings to be learnt.

For me, those lessons are making sure I put the dogs out before getting a carrot for them, and keeping a phone on me. The blessings are that I have an amazing circle of friends and family who are always a phone call away, and that I am still able to fall because I can still walk. Even if it means I have a sprained ankle and a potentially hyperextended toe. I will take that any day.

P.s. If you are wondering, the dogs did come back inside, and the culprit for my fall did not leave my lap all afternoon and showered me in plenty of kisses.

-Rhi xo.

2 thoughts on “The Crazy Realisations of Falling: It’s not just physical”

  1. You have enlightened so many, of the difficulties that are part of your every day life. Thank you.

  2. Frequent falls is an essential feature of collagen-vi muscular dystrophy. The older you get, the less you will fall. But these falls
    are much more severe than those falls in your childhood days. As long as you don’t brake any of your bones, falling will only be a painful and dehumanizing experience. Breaking a leg with muscular dystrophy is an extreme experience and it is not easy to
    regain your own walking and standing ability after weeks of forced inactivity. Your own fragility is put in a nutshell when bones are broken. I don’t wish this to anybody! Being affected by collagen-vi muscular dystrophy myself,
    I was lucky enough to fully recover from my broken left leg.
    Those were hard times an tough experiences for life.

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