None of us like the cold. For me, cold is the devil, my Waterloo, my Nemesis! Muscles literally seize up, and combined with the resultant panic, walking becomes very slow. I have managed to relax a lot more, and that does help.

I am not sure it was because of the cold (actually it was very warm), but I did have a rather amusing fall the other day in our local Co-op (for my American friends, that is a 7-Eleven type shop).

I caught my foot on something. Now this normally does not lead to a fall, as I grab something (or someone, or someone’s parts!) and my stability comes back.

Unfortunately, I grabbed a 5 foot high stand of sweets which was not attached to anything. What then pursued…………

  1. A shocked feeling when I realised said stand was not fixed.
  2. I turned my head to see stand moving in ultra slow motion………..
  3. I flung my right arm out to see if it could hit or grab anything – no luck!
  4. I watched as the sweet stand, with its 100 bags of bon bons, started to fall, with me about 1 second ahead of it.
  5. Once I was safely positioned on the floor, looking up, I was then able to observe fast approaching stand!

My fall was broken by a load of plastic Ribena bottles, which scattered across the floor like bowling pins.


Bowling ball release

By John Severns (Severnjc at English Wikipedia) (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

and then the crash of stand.


Here is the offending location (after clear up). If you see any “3 for a pound signs”, steer well clear!

My thanks go to the Co-op staff who helped me and were thankfully more concerned about my health than the scene of carnage and destruction I had created.

There were 3 other people, “youths” shall I call them, who just stood there and did nothing. So amusing for them, I guess?! Well, “they won’t amount to much in life”, I thought. “I put a curse on you!” It was Halloween after all. They had that gormless look; you know what I mean, readers?

The loss of balance is a right pain in the arse, and I was intrigued to know why and how it is happening. I don’t appear to have muscle wastage, so what is going on?

I think I mentioned in previous posts, my main symptom is muscle rigidity, and it appears to be related.

At a MND conference 2 weeks ago, I heard a nice explanation of what might be happening from an Oxford Professor. He indicated that as the stiffness is rising up the body during disease progression, the lower body typically moves slower than the upper body. So any sudden movement in the upper body, eg arms, can change the centre of gravity too quickly, and bingo (or timber!).

Food shopping in Waitrose, with the cold chiller cabinets, is a scene I dread. Especially when one could be progressing away from these towards the warm sanctuary of the alcohol area. However, of course, Jean, my wife, wishes to hesitate over which of the yoghurts to select. JUST CHOOSE ONE DARLING, ..NOW!!!!!

Heated car seats I thought were a luxury. But I am so glad I got them in my last car. As we now dive into deepest winter, I press MAX heat, and the warm glow spreads across my legs. Checking to see that I have not soiled myself, I relax and enjoy the ride.

I also now notice even the slightest temperature change. For example, when someone leaves a window open 20 yards away!! I am beginning to think I am becoming a vampire or some type of super sensitive superhero.

In fact, symptoms becoming worse in the cold is generally accepted as a supporting diagnostic for MND. I understand that people with multiple sclerosis suffer the opposite issue, that of symptoms heightening in hot weather.

Anyway for me, holiday destinations are now simple, hot, hot, hot.

Actually, I remember the coldest I have ever felt in my life was many years ago when I used to ride a motorbike. I was riding home from work on a perfectly bright early autumn evening, wearing jeans and a leather jacket. Imagine a Hell’s Angel, that was me! Suddenly out of no-where, snow started to fall, and I still had 5 miles to go. The deep cold that penetrated my body was terrible. I remember walking into the house, and starting to thaw out. I must have paced across the kitchen a thousand times!

A motorbike is definitely something I cannot ride now. I need a minimum of 3 wheels. Humm, perhaps a tricycle?, now there’s a thought.

Anyway like the famous chocolate advert says “Slow down Mr Rabbit, take it easyeeeeeeeeeeee”.

Yes, I am now a tortoise.

Until the same time next week. Be careful with your fireworks! I don’t want you reading this in A&E! But if you do read there, please be sure to share and publicise!

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