Help, I can’t get up

So I had this bright idea to scrub the floor yesterday and since I’m a bit OCD, I chose to get down on the floor and lug my body along with a bucket of vinegar water across the room to ensure that every nook and cranny was cleaned.

I didn’t crawl around on my hands and knees as I would have done years ago. For me that’s an impossibility. I am unable to kneel due to numb and weak body parts. I just scooted myself around on my butt. I’m sure I am not the only person who does that. Surprisingly I am pretty good at pulling my body around on the floor. I’m actually better at that then I am at walking.

When I finished cleaning the floor, it came time to get up. Now for me that’s a big deal. I am definitely better qualified at get down on the floor than I am at get up. The thing is, even though I know this fact about how my body functions, I still disregard it and find myself in these crazy predicaments.

It took me over 30 minutes to make my way off the floor. I tried all my normal tricks to no avail. I’m sure if there was a camera focused on me at the time, I would have looked much like a beached whale. I simply had no strength to pull myself up.

As I sat on the floor in tears and feeling defeated, I came close to calling a friend and asking them to leave work to help me up from the floor, but my stubborn determination won out.

I remembered a video I had watched a few years back on how to get up from the floor MacGyver style! I used the “book method” since I had a nearby bookcase loaded with books. You have to watch the video to know what I mean, but I slipped books under my butt to slowly raise myself up to a height where I could pull myself onto the couch.

It took a bit of work, but I made it. I did nothing the rest of the day, but felt proud of myself for the accomplishment. It’s funny to me the things that make me feel proud lately. Getting up from the floor may seem trivial to a majority of people, but for me it was monumental.

Don’t avoid asking for help. If someone had been home with me, I would have surely had them help me get up. But sometimes you are the only one around and you have no other choice. You have to push through and figure out a way to make things work.

Never let a moment of defeat cause you to give up. We may have to do things differently than a majority of the population, but with a bit of creativity, ingenuity and determination anything is possible.

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About the Author

Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

25 replies
  1. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    I have made use of my trolley for this purpose many times. But I also learn when I fall not to do that way again. I got sick of damaging myself in all the falls I have been through. It’s good to know that what I have been doing is similar to that video and that is nice to know other means of doing that.

  2. Roland Clarke
    Roland Clarke says:

    I’ve fallen a few times and struggled to get up off the ground. I can’t do it on my own as my knees have minimal strength, but my wife cannot lift me on her own, especially since she had a minor heart attack just after Christmas. The last time, when I fell out of my wheelchair, we used a combination of her lifting and me forcing myself back into my wheelchair using a toilet and handicap rails.At least the toilet was close otherwise, I don’t know what we would have done.

  3. Meeya
    Meeya says:

    Penelope, have you been watching me again today!? Where’s that camera??
    I’ll always be thinking of you now when trying to get up from the floor 😚
    Again: big hugs & thanks!!

  4. Diane Bustin
    Diane Bustin says:

    It must be the same for all of us. Learning to pace ourselves is something we have to live with even when others do not understand that it has to be that way, we have no choice.

  5. Leah
    Leah says:

    I sure could have used these great tricks when I fell in my kitchen just before Xmas. Like you, it took me 30 minutes to get myself up off the floor. Spasticity in my left leg along with a left drop
    foot made it all that more difficult to get up. My left knee just wouldn’t bend, so I took a tea towel and slid it behind my knee and was able to bend it that way. Once I was on all fours, left knee resting on the same tea towel, I was finally able to grasp a table chair and hike myself up. I too was frustrated, screamed and cried. I will probably fall again but I now have some McGyver tools to help me thanks to you!:)

  6. Margaret Peddar
    Margaret Peddar says:

    Any tip like this is useful to those who can bend their knees/ have strength in their arms/are able to lift themselves to a certain degree. A safer option is a personal alarm that is worn on a lanyard round the neck (very lightweight) that is connected to an alarm company who will come out and lift you up or call for an ambulance if necessary. For a cheaper option, they don’t come to you, but will call a designated person for you to help. Living alone, I wouldn’t be without my pendant. Not only does it give me and my distant family peace of mind, but I have used the service many times when I have fallen over. Brilliant!

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