catch 22

as i thought about writing this post, it struck me (and this will back up my claim to being slow on the uptake), that most of the other MS-related blogs that i read tend to deal with more general MS news and information and such, rather than the kind of this-is-my-life kind of entries that i seem to write. it occurs to me that i’d probably have more people reading “one life,” if i stepped away from writing about my own personal experiences. but then i think, so many others are doing such a good job of covering the news, and no one is writing about me. so in the interest of keeping the world apprised of the drama and pathos of MY life, i’ll keep on keepin’ on.

the catch 22 is that i got these leg braces, to help with my foot drop – sitting by themselves, they look a bit like prosthetic feet:

i even bought new shoes to accommodate them (kudos to zappos for making it SO easy, maybe easier than going to a real shoe store. they have the most amazing customer service!) and despite my misgivings, they really do work. when i can manage to lift my foot, the braces do help clear my toes and swing my foot out. i know that i need to walk more to excercise my legs and start to regain some of the strength i’ve lost over the years.

the problem is that when i do more walking, i have to lean on a walker, and i end up with close to excruciating pain in my arms – shoulders, elbows and wrists – which is bad enough and stays with me so long that it makes it hard to sleep. the only way to avoid the pain is to walk less, and so lean on the walker less, though even a little bit of leaning on my arms hurts. and i spend more time in my wheelchair. which means, obviously, that i am walking less, using my legs less. the more i walk, the easier it will become, but more i walk, as a consequence of having to lean in the walker, the more pain i am in. and around it goes.

there is probably some sort of middle ground where i’d be walking/leaning just enough to keep my lower half working without my arms in such pain, and spending the rest of my time in a chair – with or without wheels. and i suppose the more i walk, the stronger my legs will get and the less i’ll have to lean on the walker. there’s a still point in there somewhere. i have not found it yet. i am seeing my neuro next week, and will investigate some sort of PT that might help both my leg strength and my arm pain.

knowing that all of you are so deeply fascinated with the minutia of my life, i will keep you up to date with each little development….


Author: Stephen

Stephen Harris is a writer, painter and a photographer who lives with his family in Maine.

3 thoughts on “catch 22”

  1. may be dumb thoughts, Steven . . . but ice for those arms? and fish oil dietary supplement? My muscle pain comes from over-training not MS, but wouldn’t the remedy be the same? I find ice on areas of pain immediately after work-outs and fish oil (lots and lots) makes a huge difference in recovery from (and avoiding) inflammation.

  2. I had the same problem with a standard walker, I learned about a somewhat new one it’s a stand up walker called an evolution’s walker! Now I can walk standing up right not hunched over. P.T. is where I found out about it.

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