How my recovery from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) started.
As the years go by, I like using my wheelchair less and less and for progressively shorter periods of time. I’ve had to tell my wheelchair, (Roxy) that although I love her and am grateful for having her in my life, she is the last wheelchair, and now my second favorite child.
While my MS progressed and my health declined, I started needing a cane, then a walker, a rollator, and eventually a wheelchair. Long story short, I eventually started to use tall rollators part time. I maintained my wheelchair as my primary walking aid but began to strengthen my legs.
I hated/hate using my wheelchair. I find that when I would get out of my chair and use my tall walker my organs would just absolutely scream with delight, they once again had space, and they weren’t on top of each other. They were where they were meant to be and they were so grateful. Without a doubt, I could feel the difference and it felt good.
More importantly, my back began to really bother me. I found that I had/have a tendency to slouch in my wheelchair so I began to use my walker as much as I could, which had its own set of challenges. It was around then that I began to seriously dislike being in a wheelchair. I was determined to get out of the chair at some point. Nothing against Roxy but I want to feel like my mobility aid is, in fact, aiding me to improve.
At the beginning of 2022 I was able to crowdsource a walking bike from (www.theAlinker.com). I absolutely love it (Feel free to send me questions about it, I’m MORE than happy to talk about it but I’m not going to talk about it in this blog unless it relates to the Exospine Back Support).
Having said that, I will tell you that the most important way it helped me with the Exospine was at the beginning. Obviously it uses a completely different set of muscles. As I said, I slouch in my wheelchair. The main challenge has been regaining strength in my back muscles and my abdominal muscles. I used my Alinker for about three months before I got my Exospine Back Support.
Thankfully I had been regaining some strength in my core as well, from using my Alinker. Although I started by only using the Exospine for 45 minutes at a time, I don’t want to even think about having tried the Exospine without having some time with my Alinker (his name is Madiba). On the first day of using my posture corrector, my core was so tired after the first twenty minutes. The next day I felt like I had been doing sit ups, so I knew it was working my muscles.
If you are wondering if my MS has affected me using the Exospine, yes it has. As some of you may know, one of the symptoms of MS (and many other disorders) is an intolerance to heat, particularly to humidity. It completely robs you of energy (the first thought I have when I wake up is ‘how soon can I get back to bed?’) and replaces that energy with fatigue.
Even if I stay inside to avoid the humidity, it still gives me incredible brain fog. This past summer was hot and the humidity lasted about six to eight weeks. It made any chance of wearing the Exospine impossible for a couple of weeks at a time for just over two months until I felt like I could stay awake, stay alert, and be able to think, and then only for about 45 minutes, the same amount of time as when I first started wearing it. However, thankfully without the abdominal discomfort.
I have started my second journey with my Exospine, which is actually better than before as I will be writing about my experience in real time, so to speak. I’m actually glad that I will be doing it this way. I will be able to share my journey with readers, learn tips/ways to get the best use of my Exospine from y’all (I lived in Carolina for 6 years. Canadians don’t typically say ‘y’all’. We prefer ‘you guys’. Not important. Sorry!)
Anyway, that’s me. I’m looking forward to reading your questions, comments and ideas, so send them in. My plan is to write an entry a month and see if there is a want or need for more.