Archive For: MS Stories

Meet Michael from South Carolina, USA

We have asked MS warriors to share their experience with MS and having a rollator.

This is Michael’s story:

Michael first got MS in 2004, but after an attack in 2009 his walking ability has been on a slow decline. He started using a cane in 2016, two canes in 2018, and a rollator in 2020. The rollator was hard to accept at first, but he needed something sturdier and searched for “cool rollators” and came across our Carbon Ultralight. It helped, in his words, an “image conscious 33 year old”.

During Michaels journey, he has been on five different DMT and explored and implemented diet changes, exercises and alternative therapies. He explains that each element has had pros and cons (and varying degrees of effectiveness), but that he overall remains thankful for the opportunities and hopeful for better days!

Talking about better days, during MS awareness month 2022, Michael got married to his wife, Victoria! He describes her as “an amazing person with a huge heart and a big smile, that inspires me everyday”. Even though Michael is now mainly using a wheelchair, he used his rollator to stand tall and meet her by the altar.

“For my upcoming nuptials, although we will be sitting for most of the ceremony, I plan to stand proudly while my bride walks down the aisle, using my byACRE”

– Michael on how he planned to use his rollator at his wedding

Michael’s best rollator tips:

  1. Stay positive! That doesn’t mean hide how you’re feeling if you’re feeling down, allow yourself some grace, but I’ve found success treating MS as a problem I need to do my part to solve… Or at least tolerate and compartmentalize 😉
    It is not your whole world, you are “worth” just as much as before your diagnosis.
  2. Build a great team. This means family, friends, community, and medical. Have open and frank conversations about what you can do in life, and what you need a little help or understanding with. Stay engaged in your community, including the local MS community, it will be rewarding. And medically, I highly recommend finding care from a MS specialist neurologist, and/or medical institution or university. They should be able to provide you with a high degree of personalized care.
  3. Explore all the alternative/complementary therapies there are – but stay on the meds. After my first four relatively controlled years, I decided to take a break from my DMT. I went back on it after about six months, but my slow decline in walking ability had started in those months. I have found tremendous help from eating a clean diet (or trying to), vitamin d, probiotics, cbd, acupuncture, massage, etc.
 

Meet Tara from Colorado, USA

We have asked MS warriors to share their experience with MS and having a rollator.

This is Tara’s story:

“I started showing MS symptoms in 2012, after the birth of my second daughter. I started using a rollator in 2016. At first, I only used it at home, and I was really embarrassed about needing a mobility aid in my 30’s.

At first, using a rollator was hard to accept. It felt overwhelming to be losing my mobility due to MS at the same time I was raising a young family. Over time I realized that using a rollator made it easier for me to be a better wife and mother because I could do more with less effort. I had only used a cane a few times, so using a rollator was a big adjustment, but also a big help.

I use a rollator every day when I am on my feet. I also use a wheelchair sometimes now, but my rollator is still one of my most frequently used mobility aids.

Using a rollator has changed my life for the better. I am able to accomplish more things and stay on my feet longer when I use it. I’m also able to get outside and enjoy activities with my family more often. Learning to use a rollator has been one of the most helpful tools along my MS journey.”

“Over time I realized that using a rollator made it easier for me to be a better wife and mother because I could do more with less effort”

– Tara on starting to use her rollator more publicly

Tara’s best rollator tips:

  1. View your rollator as a tool that helps you to live better.
    Maybe even call it an “accessory”.
  2. Wear clothing that you feel confident in.
    When you stand tall and feel good about yourself, a rollator is easier to use.
  3. Give yourself grace. It can take time to adjust to a new MS diagnosis and/or using a mobility aid. It will get easier!
 

Meet Nora from North Carolina, USA

We have asked MS warriors to share their experience with MS and having a rollator.

This is Nora’s story:

Nora has had MS symptoms since she was in her 20s, starting with affecting her vision. She didn’t have any mobility issues until her 30s, when she began to have tingling in her left leg for months and could barely walk. She then got physical therapy to learn to walk with a cane.

This cane stayed with her for a long time. Too long.
It was a mobility aid that she outgrew, but continued using to “look less disabled”, which it didn’t. And whilst trying to look cool, she waisted so much energy that she could have spent on her loved ones. This realization helped her to borrow an old rollator, which then started her search for a better one. That’s how she found us!

One of Nora’s best MS tips, that changed her life, is “my body isn’t me”. When people saw her struggle one day more than the other, they would say “I see you’re having a bad day”. That made her realize that no, that is her body having a bad day, not her. She refuses to let her unpredictable body determent if she’s having a good or a bad day. That’s to her mind to decide.

“It is not just what I need, it is what I need to project to the rest of the world”

– Nora on how a mobility aid creates awareness for others

Nora’s best MS tips:

  1. My body isn’t ME! People ask if I am having a “Bad Day” when they see me struggling with physical MS symptoms. I let them know I refuse to let how I am doing as a person to be based on how well my body works physically from one day to the next because MS can be too unpredictable. 
  2. Do not let your ego get in the way of asking for help or using what you need to make your MS life easier. If you need a cane, a rollator or wheel chair or a service dog, do not hesitate!  You do not look any cooler by struggling without help!
  3. Other people better understand what they can see. Using a rollator lets the world know you probably have balance issues & may need extra time or physical space without having to explain. When MS invisible symptoms are made obviously visible to others, people will be more careful around you.
  4. With MS, using a rollator is not only for balance. I conserve energy using a rollator because my body is not working as hard. It helps me to be more present to my loved ones throughout the day.
 

Meet Robert from Leeds, England

We have asked MS warriors to share their experience with MS and having a rollator.

This is Robert’s story:

Robert is 48 and a father of three teenage girls.
He was diagnosed with MS in 2003 and his disease causes vertigo and balance problems for him. He therefore needs a boost for stability and to stand correctly – which his Carbon Overland helps him with.

Robert has just only started using a rollator. He says that his own personality traits and stubbornness prevented him to come to terms with MS. But seeing the “slick design of Carbon Overland” and “so well designed pieces of kit” helped him massively.

In his daily life, Robert uses crutches and the rollator to move short distances and an electric scooter to go grocery shopping and spend time with his three girls. Talking about his three girls, he says that one should “prepare themselves for teenage girls”. He thinks they are always on their phones, which makes it harder to communicate. Yet, he says that they give him the reason to stay as well as possible!

“My three girls give me a reason to stay as well as possible”

– Robert on his role as a father of three teenagers

Robert’s best tips:

  1. Ask for the blue parking badge! I’ve had mine for six years, but I wish I would have had it earlier – by the time I got diagnosed.
  2. Embrace medical aids!
    I wish I would have done that earlier too.
  3. Never lose hope.
 

Meet Tricia from Switzerland

We have asked MS warriors to share their experience with MS and having a rollator.

This is Tricia’s story:

“I was diagnosed with MS in 2018, but with hindsight the symptoms started long before. My main stopper is the strong fatigue (cognitive and physically) and pain, so I need to compromise a lot. There are sadly a lot of other symptoms such as numbness, stimulus satiation, vision problems, which would be too many to summarize all here.

To priorities my daily energy, I allow my body and my brain to rest when they need to. I take it day by day and make my well-being a priority. That means I follow a healthy nutrition, be physically active when the pain allows it, do yoga and meditation, allow and accept my feelings – in short: I learnt to be a good caring friend to myself.

I do not use a rollator daily, only occasionally on “bad days” or when having a relapse, when my body is weak.
The reason why I chose the byACRE is because it’s light. I do not only have weak (and painful) legs but also weak arms. If I need a rollator on the so-called “bad days”, to push something heavy and bulky (especially when entering a bus or train etc.,) would probably make the situation worse, not better.

Also, the pinky color fits me because pink has always been my motivation color in sport. Plus, I wanted to set a statement: walking aids can be cool/sexy, they do not need to be boring.”

“I wanted to set a statement: walking aids can be cool/sexy, they do not need to be boring”

– Tricia on using the byACRE Carbon Ultralight rollator

Tricia’s best tips:

  1. Give it time, and I mean really time… learning that you have MS is nothing you digest in a few weeks or even months (I’m still learning).
  2. MS has a thousand faces, none is the same. Talk to your doctors; seek facts and advices from them, and from other serious and verified sources (books, online) and talk/connect with other affected people – while, at the same time, stay connected with yourself- because as I said, there is not “the one MS” and everyone experiences it differently.
  3. Be the best friend you could wish for to yourself; be patient and kind to yourself, challenge yourself while at the same time accept the (new) boundaries. Don’t be ashamed to use aids if they help you in daily life or bringing more quality into your life.