31 Days of MS: I Keep My Body Moving and Life Is Good
Day 30 of 31
This is Lance Schultz’s (@drlschultz) story:
My first symptoms began in 2006, the year I turned 50. At first, a cold breeze on my legs would cause severe spasticity. I would walk like Frankenstein’s monster. Shortly thereafter, I had difficulty lifting my legs out of my pants, at the end of the day.
I saw a local neurologist. He ran tests, including a lumbar puncture, and the diagnosis was MS. His recommendation was to start medication, get a second opinion, or do nothing. I consulted with my primary care doctor, and I started Avonex and got a second opinion from a MS specialist in Boston. More tests confirmed my MS diagnosis. The doctor switched me to Rebif.
I had been a very active person and now I am fighting because I am gradually losing the ability to do the things I love. I went from tournament racquetball and league softball to scuba diving and motorcycle riding. Because my MS was not the relapsing-remitting kind, nothing was working to slow the progression even after I tried different treatments. Finally, Myfortic seemed to slow/stop the progression.
That was 2013. I’d already stopped scuba diving, sold my practice, went on disability, and started using a wheelchair. I took my last organized motorcycle trip that summer on three wheels with my wheelchair strapped to the back.
Two years later, all my children were out of the house and due to unforeseen circumstances, I found myself divorced and moving to the warmth of south Florida. The warm weather helps with my spasticity.
I’d given up all my dangerous hobbies, and my upper body was good. I went back to swimming since I was an avid swimmer in my youth. In Florida, my home and most everywhere I go is wheelchair-accessible (to a point). My community has five pools, with one indoors. There is no excuse not to get the body moving every day. I built my swimming distance and speed back up over time, without the use of my legs.
Two years ago, I went on a blind date, the day I started Ocrevus. We are still together; life is good.
Multiple Sclerosis News Today’s 31 Days of MS campaign will publish one story per day for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in March. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofMS, or read the full series.