MS: Biting the bullet and using a scooter (part one)

July 8, 2016

IMG_1882 (1)I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 18 years ago, but I’m still learning to be flexible when MS rears its ugly head and makes my life difficult. I have found that the most challenging parts of living with MS are being flexible and accepting my limitations.

Since my diagnosis, foot drop and muscle weakness have caused me to have problems with walking and balance.  I used to furniture-walk to help with my balance. Then, on the advice of my doctor, I began using a cane to keep from falling.

I began wearing an AFO (an ankle\foot brace) to help with foot drop, but the AFO caused additional muscle weakness in my foot and ankle. So, two years ago, I purchased a Walk Aide device and found that is better than an AFO at correcting foot drop. And it helps strengthen my muscles instead of making them weaker. (For those of you who don’t follow my blog regularly, a Walk Aide is functional electric simulator that is worn on the calf and improves the walking ability of people living with foot drop.)

However, I can no longer walk for long distances without fatigue, even with my cane and Walk Aide. The time has come to consider other accommodations.

In some instances I can make adjustments so I don’t have to walk long distances. For example, I can shop online instead of spending my energy walking around in big-box stores. But in other instances, I have had to limit or stop participating in activities I enjoy — activities such as traveling –and I don’t like that. I don’t want MS to control what I can or can’t do.

So once again, it’s time to be flexible in the face of MS and admit my limitations. I am planning a trip to Glacier National Park. My choices are clear: (1) don’t go, or (2) use a scooter so I can travel long distances without walking. I don’t like the first choice, so I have decided to use a scooter — for the first time. Now using a scooter may not seem like a big step to you, but it does to me. I don’t need to use a scooter every day, and I don’t intend to become dependent on a scooter, at least for now. But for this trip, it will be a necessity.



5 Responses to “MS: Biting the bullet and using a scooter (part one)”

  1. Marcy Says:

    Thanks for sharing a bit of your life. Of our life I should say, as I am exactly in the same position. I have tried FES but had to stop with it due to terrible skin reaction. What to say… We will keep on trying finding the best solution!
    All the best!


  2. Sherry Says:

    You will love using a scooter. It will allow you to go most anywhere and enjoy your trip–really cuts down on fatigue. I never use mine in the house and only use it when I must walk long distances or stay at home.its also great when someone is in the hospital, and I must walk long halls. We just shouldn’t have to choose to stay home.


  3. Stell Says:

    You are an inspiration


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