A Winning Belt Turns Into WrestleMania

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by John Connor |

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living with MS | Multiple Sclerosis News Today | lymphedema and MS | main graphic for the column

It was a moment of clarity.

Unfortunately, my attempt at making a bright, clear consommé has for the moment turned into a muddled chowder!

Even worse, it was writing this column that started it.

I’ve written so often in this column about using my Molift assistive device for transfers that I had a YouTube link ready to go to demonstrate it. Then, somehow I didn’t have the link anymore, so I looked up a new one. The new Molift link reveals a new strap for the device made by Swedish manufacturer Etac that allows a carer to lift a client for standing transfer without help from others. It looks safer than other options and appears to be less work.

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Many moons ago — when the moon was 10.36 inches closer than it is now (that was seven years ago, peeps) — an occupational therapist (OT) from the U.K.’s Health and Care Professions Council, a regulatory body,  gave — or rather loaned — me a Molift. This is how it is done in the U.K. However, its very existence seems to have been lost in the pale, pale moonlight of time.

I certainly wasn’t trying to lose a carer. I’m a lump who’s obviously getting incrementally weaker. However, standing up is incredibly good for me, even if only for a few minutes a day. It also means I can wear pull-up incontinence pads. In fact, I’ve now got a terrific new system in which the pad is shoved in the back of a pair of knickers.

If I couldn’t stand up, I’d have to use wrap-around pads that I’d put on in bed. Of course, I’ve been weak enough before that this has been a necessity. Somehow persisting in efforts to stand up is one of the ways I battle MS. My neurologist was surprised I could still do this.

I’ve been challenging medical orthodoxy for such a long time — including with my response to urinary tract infections and in fighting to become a patient of a lymphedema clinic — that I’ve only just now gotten used to getting things done.

So I bought the new strap, which works wonderfully.

But now I must take my licks and grind through the bureaucracy. First, an OT from the council must assess it, which I managed to organize in just a week. She verbally agreed that the strap was beneficial to me. Now, the home healthcare company must train its operatives to use it.

Molift | Multiple Sclerosis News Today | John holds up a new Molift strap with his left hand

Have I won a prize belt with just my left hand or is it a new Molift strap? (Photo by Jane Davies)

As I write this, I’ve received a couple more calls from the OT, who is scything through the bureaucracy amazingly, all by herself. She’s coming back tomorrow, and the home-care company has agreed that she can train my carers. If all goes well, I will have circumnavigated a morass of Catch-22s.

If not, I’ve made the mistake of kicking the hornet’s nest just as it’s getting warmer!

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Leslie Flippin avatar

Leslie Flippin

I would like more information on taking Tai Chai and other balance activities. Also how to obtain cooling vests, etc. for the warmer months. I am 74 years of age and I am starting to lose my balance more. I was diagnosed with RRMS when I was 50. It has been almost 25 years that I have been fighting a daily battle with MS .I am more anxious and depressed since I had covid in February 2022. My body is staying very tired and seems to need more sleep. After covid I had to go to hospital for dehydration and the doctor said I was not thriving. I feel as if my body is giving up. He said covid had taken my body through something like a grinder of every part of my body. I am still trying to win the battle, but it is so hard. God Bless my MS Warriors. Let's keep our Armor on because Jesus is Guiding us and he loves us so much.


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