Oxygen has been a miracle treatment for me

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Oxygen has been a miracle treatment for me

Ian led a full and active life. He worked full-time as a structural engineer and in his spare time enjoyed cycling and photography, often travelling across the country to attend events.

However, that changed upon his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2009, after noticing that his speech was becoming slurred and he was experiencing unsteadiness and falling over for no reason. He lost mobility in one hand which prevented him from continuing any of the hobbies he previously enjoyed, and become reliant on others to take him anywhere.

Things changed about two years after his diagnosis when the practice manager at his local GP surgery told him about the Chilterns Neuro Centre (Chilterns MS Centre at the time) and he started coming along.

Oxygen really has been the ‘miracle’ treatment for me. I suffer from extreme fatigue, on some occasions sleeping for 24 hours straight. Oxygen definitely helps with fatigue, leaving me feeling like I have a lot more energy to do the things I enjoy.

“It gives me a much better quality of life. Being able to stay in work has been so important to me and oxygen has allowed me to do that. It also helps with my bladder/bowel issues meaning I don’t get disturbed as much at night, nor do I have the awful dread of not being able to reach the bathroom in time. This was very noticeable when I was unable to have oxygen.

“I have had one-to-one physiotherapy on my arm to help overcome spasticity and improve mobility. It also helped with strengthening my core which in turn helped me to stand/walk short distances. I had a course of acupuncture, also to help with spasticity in my limbs. The differences may sometimes be small but it’s such a positive feeling to see improvements and regain some functionality when living with a degenerative disease.

“If I hadn’t joined the Centre, and met people who were also living with MS, I know my mental health would have suffered greatly. It makes such a difference being around people who totally understand what I’m going through, and to be treated by clinical staff who know specifically about MS is most important.

“On top of all the clinical treatment, the social side of the Centre is just as important. The volunteers are unbelievably kind and caring and take time to have a chat which makes a positive difference to my mental health. At the Centre, I know that no one views me as just a ‘disabled person’.

“It’s never too soon to drop into the Centre to see what they can offer, even if it’s for further down the line. I know that when newly diagnosed, it’s so difficult to see the positives but visiting the Centre to see what’s on offer could be a real boost. Walking into the Centre and being greeted by friendly volunteers really brightens the day.

“I cannot express with enough clarity just how important the Centre is and not being able to attend for the oxygen treatments recently reinforced that.”

If you have MS, Parkinson’s or experienced a stroke and feel you would benefit from the services offered by the Centre, or you know someone who would then please get in touch by phoning 01296 696133 or by emailing info@chilternsneurocentre.org