Angela was diagnosed in her mid-50s (later in life than most as MS is normally diagnosed in adults aged 20 to 40) with Primary Progress MS, just days before having a cancerous kidney removed
“I originally came to the centre because hyperbaric oxygen therapy had been recommended by a friend, so we decided to give it a try. The induction with Ash introduced the physiotherapy and we followed that up too.
The oxygen therapy has returned welcome stability to yet another life turned on its head by MS - increasing stamina, delaying the onset of fatigue and reducing some of the unkind symptoms of bladder and bowel, as well as making me feel chirpier overall.
In the gym Mel, the physiotherapist has designed exercises to help stabilize my balance, enhance muscle strength and suppleness and build towards greater endurance, all of which help me feel better! My understanding of it is that where message pathways no longer work, we are trying to help the brain learn that other messages it is receiving are saying the same thing – a sort of DIY rewire of that which is left. I recovered before falling last week because I could tell I was toppling and react in time!
After a cycle warm-up, we are doing a lot of slow, steady work: leaning, rocking and stepping in all directions, while maintaining posture, so the brain gets used to which signal now means which motion – working on a soft beam along the floor certainly heightens the concentration.
Mel has also put me on a mini trampoline! I haven’t managed to have both feet off the floor at the same time on purpose for years! Only very gentle little bounces, marches and trots, but it has me laughing out loud with the joy of it …so good for the spirit as well as the balance training.
Physiotherapy helps me feel more in control of what’s happening to me, is rebuilding my confidence in balance and steadiness of foot – Mel and Ash have helped me find some room and the courage to take a deep breath and help myself get better; to be as well as I can.
Mel has set a first target of an hours cliff walk with my husband – we mountain-walked before, but to now be able to aim for a simple cliff walk is mountain enough and we shall go for that walk this spring.
I might now have PPMS, but I survived cancer last summer, so I can do this – with their support, I can do this.