by Connie Cox (Misner)
(Seattle, WA)

I want to walk but I know I can’t
Confusion and fear hold me back
I fall and people I trust don’t catch me.
When I was 25 years old, I ran for a cab.
I was rushing. I could have waited
Impatience overtook me
I don’t know why.

I fell and my legs crashed into the cement
I was told it was a freak accident
But I was scared and unaware
That I fractured my foot and ankle.
It healed but that was the first of many falls.

The next fall was in a van and the driver hit a possum.
I flew out of the belt; I flew above my seat.
I turned, I twisted.
I hurt my head, my neck, my back, and my legs.

For a brief second, I was suspended in the air over my husband’s head.
I called for my mom when I hit the van floor.
A baby was inside me, but I did not know it at the time.
I cradled myself as my body hit the floor.

Then there was Kmart.
The day I fell and hit my head
Reaching for clothes on the rack.
All I saw when I fell back was darkness.
I woke up and a headache was there to greet me.

It’s another accident, I was told
People were talking but I heard no sounds.
I went home with a concussion this time and was labeled ‘accident prone.’

After that, I entered the world of walkers.
The walker made me feel independent as I walked into a future with MS.

From then on, I saw the world sideways.
It was hard to get shoes to fit the brace I had to wear.

It was like my leg wouldn’t go with me.
My leg stayed back while I went forward.
Seeing me like this scared my daughter.
The brace and walker were like monsters to her.

I was half monster.

It was hard to hold her, hard to see her.
It wasn’t until my daughter was older that I could hold her again.

Years later, doctors wanted to see if I could stand and walk without my walker.
I remember the doctors and nurses moving my walker away from me.

Could I walk to the bed? The question on everybody’s mind.
Everybody, but not me.

I remember hitting the floor. I thought I saw mom and dad hovering over me.
When I woke up, I was scared. I thought I was in a bad dream.

Days passed, reality was a blur.
Mom said I hit my back and spine.
I was bruised from head to toe.
Nurses thought I would not live.

My mom kept whispering, “Please live for your kids.”
When I came through, I found out it was not a dream.

I came to the hospital on a walker, but I would be leaving in a wheelchair.
When I got the wheelchair, I wasn’t sad like the others thought I would be. I said to myself, “I always wanted to drive!”

The last fall I had was in my current home. A house attendant pulled my cushion from under me and I slipped to the floor with it. The fall bruised my back. It felt like I was attacked.

This fall brought back the past, feelings of fear, feeling like I was betrayed.
Wishing I could walk.
Wanting answers but getting none in return.

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