Is the end of my secret in sight?

When does one come out of a closet?

My walking and balance are deteriorating. Unfortunately, at a fairly quick pace. While my MS is still a secret to all but my closest family, the end of that is starting to be in sight. My walking has a limp that varies from slight to crippling. To date, I have gotten away with telling lies when I am asked by coworkers why I am limping. However, I can’t claim to have hurt my knee exercising the night before etc. forever.

I am still strongly of the opinion that public knowledge of my disease will negatively impact my job, career and earnings. So my task then is to try and walk as normal as possible, for as long as possible.

That having been said, my wife has presented me with another perspective. I am not going to be able to hide this forever; maybe not even for much longer. She felt that I should focus on functionality as much as possible, not necessarily on hiding it as long as possible. It was hard to argue with her. While income is important, so are things like going on cub scout hikes with my son and playing in the park with my daughter.

So how do I improve my walking and have a more natural gait with greater endurance?  I have thought of a few things.  First, I tried ampyra.  But it didn’t work for me.  Secondly, I signed up for physical therapy.  Working with a physical therapist, we will focus specifically on trying to maintain as normal of a gait as possible.  Lastly, regrettably, I have decided that the time has come to consider some type of assistive device.

Luckily, there are a variety of options available for me to try.  In the upcoming posts I will be telling about my experiences with a brace and with electrical stimulation.  Stay tuned!

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