Me, My MS and I


Now I Have A Walking Stick, Can I Behave Like Dr House Please??

I was at the hospital today for some cognitive ability tests (very easy and terribly boring!) and also to see my physiotherapist. It’s the first time I’ve taken the Stroop Test and I’ve decided I hate it with a passion! Not the most fun at 0930 on a Monday morning having taken strong medication! Seemed to go rather well though. For more info on the Stroop Test, visit:
http://www.snre.umich.edu/eplab/demos/st0/stroopdesc.html

Having had the functional electrical stimulator (FES) on my left leg for over a month now, I’m finding it a fantastic help when walking, but my walking is still rather bad: I’m unsteady on my feet due to balance problems and my left foot deciding not to follow instructions from my brain. My physio decided to give me a walking stick and it helps a treat! I feel more confident walking and it provides stability without having to lean on it. I don’t need to use it all the time, only when I require it, so I may invest in a folding one to keep in my handbag to use when needed. My handbag is akin to Mary Poppins’s bag – everything in it except for the kitchen sink!

Many may feel sympathy for a 23 year old woman having to use a walking stick, but I feel no stigma attached to it and am going to make it into a feature (when I need to use it). I’ll end up with a whole cupboard of the things in various different designs and colours! One must match one’s accessories after all ; ) If my stick changes how strangers perceive me, that is their problem and not mine. Small minds are commonplace, but perhaps I can shatter their illusions rather spectacularly.

Nice as my stick is, it’s plain black and rather boring (see below) and I think it needs jazzing up. If I’ve got it, I’d rather make a feature of it than be embarassed by it : ) I’m pretty arty and may decorate it myself – I’ve spray painted a few motorbikes so I’m pretty handy with spray paints and detailing. If I can’t decide on a design, I may hold a competition for someone to come up with a design for me, or I may end up with a collection of designed sticks! Keep your eyes peeled on here and Twitter! At the moment I’m thinking candy cane stripes, humbug stripes or stars on the stick. Artistic area of my brain’s in overdrive!

I’ve had a couple of suggestions to decorate my stick like Dr House’s with flames on. This is definitely high up the list of choices! I’m known for my occasional rants when I feel strongly about something or am angry and can be a bit of a grump for a very short period of time – a mild version of Dr House (some may say actually a very similar version!!). Now I have a stick, can I act like Dr House please? I wonder if I could get away with being cantankerous, sarcastic and rude when I’m using my stick?? Just how many allowances are made for disabled people? None? Rather a lot? Perhaps I may experiment with this out of sheer curiosity……

A quick update as I’ve been rather quiet recently: I’m now on anticonvulsants for neuropathic pain, muscle relaxants for muscle spasms and heavy duty painkillers. They’re definitely helping and it’s fantastic to get to sleep without pain and sleep like a log for the first time in a year. I got the swine flu vaccine a couple of days ago and have no ill effects except for a slightly sore neck, some shivers for a day or so and a feeling of bruising around the injection site.

I have a phone consultation tomorrow with the Dr I receive LDN from and will hopefully have the dose increased to 2mg per day. Fingers crossed!
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