Much of my early childhood was spent collapsing on the floor, unable to get myself up.
Such fun, such fun!
Born with a rare form of congenital muscular dystrophy, I could only ever walk short distances, awkwardly, with the aid of custom-made leg splints.
I was never able to climb stairs or tackle curbs. I tried, many times…and failed.
I would manage to stumble a few steps then drop in a heap.
At 33, my bony knees remain scarred from recurrent injuries. Small marks on my forehead serve as a reminder of falling forward onto the patio as a kid – That one hurt!!
At around the age of 9, I tumbled from a horse after it bolted unexpectedly. The result was a battered and bruised bum, as well as a lost riding boot!
Still, I got back on the horse – (well, I was lifted) – knowing I had no other option, since I couldn’t raise myself from that muddy puddle and walk away.
In 1998, aged 10, I became completely non-ambulant and dependent on my manual wheelchair.
Though it was some relief to no longer struggle desperately to stay on my feet, I then found myself thrown from my wheelchair on numerous occasions – whether due to misjudged terrain, being pushed too fast around the school grounds, the absence of belt straps and anti-tippers (I know, I know), or simple recklessness.
Oh well, you live and learn!
Now, I’m teeny tiny in stature and so, I’ve always been manually lifted and quite literally chucked around. This, inevitably, lead to further falls – or rather, being dropped on the floor and bashed against furniture.
Most of the time, I managed to laugh it off – shit happens! Other times, it was pretty damn painful.
Some years ago, a routine chest X-ray revealed a fractured lower rib.
The radiographer approached me to ask if I knew about the fracture. I told him I did, (how could I forget?). He then asked if I attended A&E following the accident – “No, what’s the point? Nothing can be done for a fractured rib”.
Though visibly surprised, he shrugged and agreed.
There are many more incidents I could recall, such as ramming my powered wheelchair – and my knees – into the bathroom sink, (unintentionally, of course!).
My point is, in life, we fall, we get hurt, we break. We can either wallow in self pity, or take the knocks on the chin, (sometimes literally), and choose to get over it.
Saying that, I could do without anymore ouch moments!
“Falling down is how we grow. Staying down is how we die.” ~ Brian Vaszily