At a new job orientation (consulting work), I fell. Twice. In front of colleagues. And I don’t mean, oops I stumbled. Oh no, I mean flat out, splay this gorgeous body all across the immediate real estate, duck and roll fall.
This is an issue not specific to lupus or fibro or sjogrens or any specific disease process. I fall. It’s part balance, part klutz, part neuropathy. Funny enough, wearing high heels rather than flats actually help (in flats, I tend to not pick up the front of my feet and catch them on protrusions).
How do you handle such situations? Depends on the injury and the surroundings. If I break something…like an ankle, leg, knee, hip – not likely getting back up soon. If I break a wrist, elbow, arm – getting up is not graceful, but generally doable. Not sure about a collarbone or shoulder, but I’m sure I’ll find out at some point. Concussion – that depends on whether it is accompanied by a loss of consciousness.
But it is embarrassing. If in front of strangers – yeah, well. Hopefully, I can walk away and never see them again – and pray that I did not land in water, muck, in front of a car – you know. Keep it simple.
In front of friends, colleagues, customers, business acquaintances – what can you do? It happened. And they always want to know 1) am I okay and 2) was I dizzy, twist an ankle – looking for an explanation of this stellar event. My explanation is “it’s just me.” and hope that it is a non-injury vs. anything more severe.
This is merely a part of my life. This is what I do. I’m healthy, physically fit, loving, intelligent, and a garden-variety klutz. I hope and pray that it doesn’t impact my professional standing (haha – see what I did there?), but there is always the possibility that someone gains a bad opinion of me. If nothing else, I am memorable, but I’ve long since owned that phenomena.
My big issue is do I get an assistance dog? One for stability and balance. It is a visible sign of being disabled and I have avoided that for a while, other than when I use a wheelchair to enjoy amusement parks and such (I will sacrifice pride there). But as a professional? Guess I’m getting closer and closer to making a real decision.