Tag Archives: foot drop

Not Such a Clever Idea….

Ok, who suggested I should take some ski poles and go out walking in the white stuff?? And it all started so well. At 7am yesterday morning I was doing a little jig in the snow outside my house, the cat glaring at me accusingly from the window. Gloves, hooded jacket and ski poles were primed and ready to go, so I had a bit of a quick trial run, eventually deciding I looked less like a weirdo with just the one.

The Teenager was busy messaging his friends while I got myself loaded up. Keys, check. Mobile, check. Wallet, check. Huge ruck-sack, check. Emergency ration biscuits. Only joking. I headed off, feeling a bit silly with the ski pole, especially when someone yelled, ‘oi, you lost one!’ at me from the other side of the road. So far so good though.

I trekked up to the shops, feeling intrepid and adventurous and soon got into a semi-comfortable stride. Any foot drop I had was hidden by the snow. I got to the supermarket, but snowpocalypse had already struck. There was no bread, no potatoes, not much meat and hardly any fruit left. The shelves had been stripped bare. I picked up some grotty mushrooms, half-price bacon, Monster Munch crisps and a tub of double cream (no idea why, seemed a good idea).

After a quick coffee pit-stop, I trekked up the hill to my mum’s with a newspaper, another coffee, then over to Tom, the elderly guy I check in on. Stopped for a tea and a chat, then trekked back up to the shops to meet a friend for coffee, eventually getting home four hours after I set off. My cheeks were ablaze with redness, I felt exhilarated and generally rather fab. Until I took my welly boots off and crumpled in a heap in the hall.

Excruciating cramp in my legs, a sore hand from gripping my ski pole and a huge wave of tiredness sent me straight to my sofa. My legs and feet are still tingling and buzzing. Think I got a bit carried away. Note to self – perhaps take it a bit easier in the snow next time…

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Bring On The Snow….

We are overjoyed in our little household that there may be snow on the way. The Teenager is happy because it could mean a day or two off school. I’m obviously not happy about that, but I love snow. Apart from it looking pretty, I love it because it makes some of MS’s horrible side-effects socially acceptable. Honestly!

Let me explain. I have foot drop. Some days it doesn’t happen (but you’re always waiting for it to) and some days it’s constant. Wandering around the shops is not always an attractive option, It’s more a case of smash and grab a few groceries and head home. But if it snows, we all belong to The Ministry of Silly Walks. Foot drop is hidden when you’re trudging through snow. Everyone is watching where they put their feet, not just me. It’s lovely.

And if I fall over, well, lots of people do in the snow, and at least there should be a soft landing. I also like the suspension of real life and the feeling that we’re in the grip of a national crisis. We start to look out for our neighbours, whoever gets to the shops first buys milk for everyone and we smile as we walk/stumble past other people in the street.

I used to live in a country where it snowed for over half the year. Everyone was pretty blasé about it but I was like a kid at Christmas, ‘ooooh it’s snowing, look!’ ‘Yes, dear, it does that a lot here.’ Snow wasn’t very kind to me back then though. I skidded in my car and ended upside down at the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere. I clambered out and walked home, crying all the way. I wasn’t hurt, just stunned that snow could be so mean.

Then there was the time I was convinced I’d make a great skier. How hard could it be? Answer – very difficult when everyone else in that country was born with skis strapped to their feet. On the nursery slope (called nursery for a very, very good reason), toddlers whizzed past me at electrifying speed pausing only to point at the adult inching painfully forwards, legs akimbo. I called it a day and never went back.

Anyway, I am watching all the weather forecasts, as is The Teenager. Please, please bring snow!!

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Why ‘Stumbling In Flats?’

I’ve had some  messages asking me to explain the title of my blog, so get yourselves comfortable and I will tell you the whole sorry saga.

I’m quite tall for a woman, and I was pretty tall in school. I longed to be a dinky little thing, one of those cute girls the rugby blokes would be quick to take under their wing and look after. No such luck. So, I slouched. I wore Doc Martin boots, long skirts edged with tiny mirrors and grungy tops. All through sixth form, I was group-less, so belonged to the group of all the people who didn’t belong to any group.

When I was 18, I decided against taking up my place in University and moved to Europe instead. I swapped the grunge for crisp white shirts and smart jeans, and if I was feeling particularly adventurous, a jaunty neck-scarf. The next step was exchanging my Doc Martins for elegant, Italian-made leather ankle boots, with a glorious heel.

Well, it was a life-changer. I did not walk, I strode. I sashayed. Head  and shoulders back, I adored strutting my stuff. I had a bit of a setback in Poland though, when a bunch of friends and I  headed off to stock up on cheap fags and beer. We ended up staying in a dodgy hostel where we were told to leave our shoes outside the door. Polish tradition, no?

The next morning, my beautiful boots were gone. I cried. A lot. I drove back home in a borrowed pair of too-small flip-flops. Lesson learned, I saved up for another pair and never looked back.  Until MS came along. I may as well have been walking on stilts. I simply could no longer wear heels at all.

My ‘walk’ became a ridiculous shuffle, eyes downcast, watching the floor. Foot drop was the bane of my life. So, with a heavy heart, I gave my last two pairs of heels to a good friend of mine. It was a sad, sad day. And since then, the closest I have to heels are cowboy boots. How depressing.

I miss my walk. I miss striding and sashaying. I hate foot drop. But it’s happened. I have a whole bunch of beautiful flat shoes. But, hey, I still stumble…

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