mobility

While Living With MS, Good Planning Is Key to Avoiding Chaos

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” ― Gloria Steinem For as long as I can remember, my father has always had a saying: “Perfect planning prevents piss-poor performance.” Much to my husband’s frustration, though, I’m still…

Old Friends, Broken Chairs, UTI Admissions, and Redemption

The week started with a bang, albeit with a hint of underlying anxiety. Friends and former work colleagues gathered during the first days of spring to chat in my sun-lathered back garden in South London. COVID-19 lateral flow tests had all been passed. Previously, we’d spent years working together on…

The Visible and Invisible Reflections of MS    

“Mirrors don’t lie. They only show a part of truth.” — Lara Biyuts I’ve written about how my reality feels jagged compared with actual reality. I wrote, “The woman looking back at me isn’t whom I perceive myself to be.” I’ve been pondering this recently. The realism of reality With…

FDA Clears Leg-worn ‘Neural Sleeve’ to Aid Walking

Cionic has received authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its lightweight, leg-worn Neural Sleeve to improve walking in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other conditions that affect mobility. The decision comes four months after the company submitted the device — the first to…

With MS, a New Pair of Shoes Makes a Big Difference

I wish I could walk a mile in my shoes, but even with a new pair, that’s not going to happen. My MS limits me to about 100 steps while using two canes and a functional electrical stimulation device strapped under my left knee. Because walking is so difficult,…

Getting Something Off My Chest

May I vent, please? In the five years that I’ve been writing this column, I don’t think I’ve ever used it to get something off my chest. But I need to today. It’s about an experience I had at a restaurant the other night. My wife and I went…

Robotic Exoskeleton Intervention Improves Motor, Cognitive Function

Four weeks of robotic exoskeleton-assisted exercise rehabilitation, called REAER, worked better than conventional gait training in improving mobility and cognitive function in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with substantial walking difficulties, according to a small trial. A robotic exoskeleton consists of an externally worn device that encases a user’s hips, back,…

This Fall Was a Real Eye-opener

Well, this was a first. I’d fallen backward once in my power wheelchair. That was in the back of our mobility van. Hubris told me I could get away with just holding on to the handgrip for a few hundred meters. As ever, hubris was wrong! About six months…

Car Repairs Aren’t Easy When You Have MS

I love the car I drive, but I’ve hated going to the dealer to get my car serviced. In the four decades that I’ve lived with MS, my walking has deteriorated to the point where I use a scooter if I have to walk more than 75 feet. If I…

So, Where Do I Start?

Ah, it’s not the blank page that all writers fear that I’m worried about. Those days have long left me. Now it’s applying the discipline to stop! When I first started with a professional writing commission, I sat in the office all day with that fear freezing me. (Those were…

Short and Sharp

This column will be short as I am quite ill. That’s nothing too unusual for those of us with MS. Oh, the joys of a relapse. A while back, it stopped me from walking. Now it’s stopped me from standing! Transferring anywhere is now a nightmare. I have to use…

This Could Be the Last Time

Fear grips me. Marijuana relaxes, eases pain, and helps my body work better. It also stirs paranoia, but only when you let it. In bed, a fretful waking dream. This is a problem when you actually have something to be paranoid about! I don’t remember all my last times…

Going Mobile, Part 2: I’m Powering Around the House

Ah, the sequel. Back in April, I wrote about getting an electric wheelchair and then spending hours working out how to get it going. Six months later, I may have cracked the challenge of driving it without putting cracks in my house. When a district nurse visited last…

Under Pressure

There’s always something. The trouble with a mélange of complex medical issues is that one good action often can lead to a bad secondary one. It’s like a game of consequences that unfortunately not only injures your psyche, but also leaves a mark on the body. In my case, it…

A Wee Trip — But Not Like in the Past

I looked at the road, then west to the horizon. It was the Trans-Canada Highway. I was standing just outside Halifax, Nova Scotia. A 23-year-old intending to hitchhike the length of the Trans-Canadian to Vancouver. I’m English but knew this was a rite of passage for young Canadians.