I have a thing about stairs. I just don’t like them. I have had too many accidents involving falling up…or down…a set of stairs for it to be funny!  I have made it my life’s ambition to live in a bungalow or at the very least a ground floor flat with the bare minimum of trip hazards!

I have always been clumsy, throughout my childhood years, I always had bruises and scrapes from falling over and bumping into things. But, in the past 10 years, a couple of years before M.E hit up to now I have broken a few bones and given myself concussion from the evil that is a staircase!

From an M.E. point of view, stairs are absolutely not good for my health. Disequilibrium/feeling a bit giddy/low blood pressure and limited spatial awareness has lead to so many stumbles halfway up a flight of stairs. My brain not knowing where the last step is has caused so many issues! Don’t even get me started on the energy required to put one foot in front of the other to climb stairs. Why do you think people have physio post stroke or after a major injury to be able to climb stairs independently. Stairs are tricky.

I have lost count (it’s in the thousands) of how many times I have got halfway down a flight of stairs only to remember the thing I had forgotten to do upstairs. I know that happens to everybody. The act of forgetfulness isn’t reserved purely for people with chronic illness. However, the sheer level of *ARGHHHH* that comes with the knowledge that A. you forgot something B. have to manoeuvre 360 degrees without falling over and C. that you need MORE energy to go back up or to think of a plan B(get someone else to do what you had planned on doing) is exhausting!

I live with my parents. This being the case, most of my possessions are in my bedroom, which is upstairs. EVERY DAY, when preparing to leave the house, I have to go upstairs to get something. Whether that be a pair of shoes, sunglasses, handbag and a lot of the time a combination of things. Do you think I remember everything in one trip? NO. So, by the time I do eventually leave the house, I have wasted at least 20% of my energy going up and down blooming stairs!

My energy has flat-lined a number of times midway up a flight of stairs. It’s a bit scary when that happens but I find just resting for a minute gets me to the top. Sometimes a flight of stairs in a department store can be my own personal Mount Everest challenge! Muscle fatigue is also an issue linked to climbing stairs. Stair-climbing can turn my legs into slabs of concrete that are too heavy to lift. Not because I am unfit but because of the level of energy required to do something that everyone else takes for granted.


Sally xx