MS Walk Countdown #3: Interview with Denise, UBC MS Clinic
This next posting is from Denise, OT (Occupational Therapist) at UBC MS Clinic. Denise has assisted me with ways to manage my fatigue and promote control over my ADL's (Activities of Daily Living). There are a lot of different strategies to explore but the ones that I asked Denise about were in regards to preparations for the 2016 Scotiabank MS Walk. Here is a little of what she has shared with me:
Denise, OT, was happy that I took this project and wanted me to make sure I didn't overextend myself. "Too late for that," I said with a big smile! "It takes energy, but will be well worth it in the end!" She agreed that it was a good idea to help people enjoy their day at the 2016 MS Walk. Denise was very thorough with her answers to the questionnaire I gave her. That was greatly appreciated and I think we would all benefit from some of her tips. Denise echoed some of the tips that Dr. Reebye provided. Things like the use of mobility aids, bringing a support person, taking regular breaks if needed, building up endurance to train your body for the walk. Here is a little more that she wants to share with everyone:
- Plan ahead. Find the location of the MS Walk and look at: how will you get there, if you drive - where will you park, where you will need to check-in upon arrival (drop off donations). This planning can help so you don't feel stressed out about the day of the Walk and could help manage your fatigue.
- If you typically use a mobility aid outdoors, plan to use it when you are doing the walk. Do not use a mobility aid for the first time on the walk without consulting a physiotherapist prior.
- Exercises: General body stretches will help, especially for your legs. Consider some strengthening exercises for your lower body, but make sure these are prescribed for your level of function.
- If heat typically aggravates your symptoms, it is important to avoid a rise in your core body temperature. This can be done many ways, but make sure to try any cooling strategy out prior to the day of the walk: keep hydrated, have a water bottle with you to drink water throughout the walk; cooling garments such as vests, headbands and neckbands during are helpful for some people, but be aware of the added weight of a cooling vest; a simple damp cloth or towel can be helpful if you don't have a cooling product; wear wide-brimmed hats and light-coloured, loose clothing.
- Plan for a light day in terms of activity the day after the walk, but remember to incorporate some stretching and movement to avoid stiffness.
To close our appointment, Denise told me that she looks forward to hearing about my experience at the 2016 Scotiabank MS Walk! I can't wait to tell her about how useful her tips were!
We continue counting down the days to the MS Walk! The interviews with Healthcare Professionals continues too! "MS Walk Countdown #2 - Interview with Janelle, UBC MS Clinic," is up next. Then #1, then we go to the 2016 Scotiabank MS Walk!
Let's put the FUN back in FUNdraising!