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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Important Safety Information
Before beginning treatment, you should discuss the potential benefits and risks associated with Rebif with your healthcare provider.
Rebif can cause serious side effects. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed below while taking Rebif.
Rebif will not cure your MS but may decrease the number of flare-ups of the disease and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS.
Do not take Rebif if you are allergic to interferon beta, human albumin, or any of the ingredients in Rebif.
Before you take Rebif, tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any of the following conditions:
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The most common side effects of Rebif include:
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Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
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Rebif is used to treat relapsing forms of MS to decrease the frequency of relapses and delay the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS.