Jayne has described this as "work in progress" and she will be posting updates to it in due course.
When I was small I lived upon a long street from my elementary school. I would walk to and fro for lunch, earning me the designation of “walker”. This was my first social designation and I enjoyed it.
I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the time of my first major MS attack in August of 1987. It paralyzed me all along the right side of my body.
Treated with iv steroids, I recovered almost completely from this attack but more attacks followed.I had returned to school to get a Master’s degree in clinical social work after my first major MS attack but another attack ended my career plans. Other attacks ensued over the next few years until I began betaseron therapy in the Spring of ‘93. I did have another attack shortly after begining therapy with betaseron. My doctor explained that it hadn’t had time to build up in my system. I didn’t have another attack until the following flu season and again treatment with iv steroids got me back to my baseline abilities.
I was attack-free until I went off betaseron to take part in a peptide vaccine trial. Within a month of stopping betaseron I had a new attack. I gladly resumed betaseron at trial’s end and have remained on it.
My world now revolves around physical therapy appointments, MS Society-sponsored aquatic classes & yoga classes. My early attacks compromised my balance so badly that I’ve need a walker since then.
I have had to do without physical therapy for awhile now. Its somthing I really miss. When use an exercise bike I need to have my feet strapped I with velcro because my legs are still strong & put out of the mere usual straps which guide placement of one’s feet in the cycle. Before my coverage ran out I was getting acupuncture as well as strengthening exercises at the place I was going to for physical therapy. The acupuncture was provided by a Traditional Medicine doctor, originally from China, where he worked in the Beijing Traditional Medicine Hospital for 20+ years. I felt this therapy was beneficial to me but my coverage ran out & I had to stop.
When I was going for pt I would use a KAT apparatus which consists of a platform sitting atop a bellows which allows for practicing my balance. I would raise on my toes then go back on my heels, repeating this over and over. I also practiced my weight shifting, I‘d go side to side, shifting my weight left then right. My first major MS attack paralyzed me all along my right side. I recovered almost fully from that attack & returned to walking unaided but further MS attacks compromised my balance, necessitating the use of a walker. I have a felt weakness along the bottom of my right foot which I had hoped to have helped by use of the KAT.
The KAT has a rim you might touch when you need to and Fernando Tan, the director of All Care Physical Therapy Center, the center I was using for my pt before my coverage lapsed, got the idea of using straps attached to the KAT bridge” to help me balance alone. This was not quite worked out at the time my coverage ended. Fernando got the idea while watching a softball game & holding the mesh fencing. As I said it wasn’t quite worked out but I *did stand alone, however briefly!
© Jayne Alder, 2002