Project Wellbeing will give more Australians access to life-changing MS Wellbeing Centres.

Losing mobility in the first place, it’s hard on many levels. About a year after my MS diagnosis, I’d lost the use of my left arm, my left hand, I couldn’t walk well with my left leg. My balance was so poor my husband said it was like I’d had ten drinks! I’d sit on the lounge, and I felt confined to one space. It wasn’t how I wanted my life to be at all. It was easier to stay seated than try and get up and use my walker to go to the shop.

It was all so exhausting. It was so hard. And people would feel sorry for you when they saw you out using a walker. I hated seeing that sorry smile people can give. Maybe I used to do it, too – but I hope I never see that expression again.

I was angry when I had to give up work. That wasn’t my choice – I wanted to work.

I felt weak, like my worth in society had dropped a level. And I think that’s really sad. I actually feel that a lot of people with MS, like me, go through that.

With losing the use of my arm, I couldn’t get dressed very easily on my own. I couldn’t do up a bra or take toilet paper off the roll.

I was vulnerable. Everything had to be with my husband, or my sons. I couldn’t do anything alone. If I just wanted to pop out anywhere, I had to have one of my family with me. That wasn’t how I wanted to live my life. It was all effort, exhaustion and hard work.

Your support helped take Alison from here…to here.

So, I started by changing my diet to see if that would help me control my MS symptoms. Then a few years later, in 2018, I came to Dr Phu at the MS Plus Centre in Lidcombe. He tested my mobility and strength and told me, “I can help you walk again.” And he has. I didn’t know what to expect at first, but I’ve seen him once a week since then, and he’s given me a program of exercises to do that’s always changing. And I’ll be the first to say – my MS symptoms have improved enormously. You wouldn’t look at me and think I have MS.

Now I can walk four kilometres. Maybe there are a couple of breaks, but otherwise, my walking is getting there. It’s good. I feel like I’m getting a bit more of my old self back and talking more because my voice was affected as well. I’m making up for that lost time.

It’s the exercises I do with Dr Phu, my eating, and the medication I take that is meant to halt my MS symptoms. So, I think the three work together. It’s about the whole person.

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