When I think about my New Year's goals for 2014, I find myself thinking about what made 2013 such a good year. In addition to a loving and supportive family, I have had several major shifts in my lifestyle which I believe have helped me to stabilize and slowly improve my condition.
While I have made changes in both my diet and medication regimen, I strongly believe my immersion into a rigorous exercise program that uses a therapeutic amount of electrical stimulation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_electrical_stimulation is the reason why my function continues to improve.
I have been in an adaptive rowing program for several months with MSers and spinal cord athletes. At first the program seemed completely impossible. I didn't have much upper body strength and my hands weren't strong enough to grasp the handles. They used velcro handgrips to fasten my hands on the handles and after a good deal of persistence on my part, I began to see a steady increase in my strength week by week and month by month. I row three days a week for an hour each workout. I couldn't imagine my life without it.
From time to time I've also participated in Access Sports America physical activities, which is a fantastic organization for bringing outdoor and indoor exercise into the lives of people with many different types of disabilities http://www.accessportamerica.org/ and provides access to such sports as windsurfing, canoeing, biking, tennis, basketball, etc. They transitioned me from my wheelchair to a windsurfer on the Charles River– it was so much fun! They work very closely with Spaulding Rehabilitation and are set-up to serve people with varying types of physical limitations. The staff at Access Sports America are kind, highly skilled, and very adventurous.
I'm thinking about branching out and skiing. I used to love to ski but have never done it using modified equipment. If you're interested in New Hampshire slopes, I found a lot of information on the following website:
The new year is always filled with hope and uncertainty. When fulfilling my New Year resolution becomes onerous, I take comfort in Abraham Lincoln's Message, "The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time."
Keep on moving!
P.S. A bit about me...I have been diagnosed with MS for over 20 years and am currently being treated for secondary progressive MS. I am married with a beautiful little boy and until recently worked full-time using both a manual wheelchair and at times a power chair. I battled stage III breast cancer and consider myself to be a survivor. I am grateful to be a part of this community and share my experiences with you and hope that in some small way they may be useful to you.
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