Oxygen therapy gives me the energy to work
Like many other people in their 20s, Jane Matthews was enjoying life to the full – working hard, partying hard and not thinking too much about the future. Her MS diagnosis brought her face to face with a very different future to the one she had pictured.
“When I received my diagnosis, I was very uncertain about the future and, looking back now, I realise it was a really miserable time. I was struggling to accept the diagnosis and was worrying too much about what would happen to me in later life.
I think the hardest thing was letting go of the person I was before the MS. My brain had to adjust to the new limits that my body had, which was extremely difficult for about two years. Now, I don’t even think about it, I just am who I am!”
Jane discovered the Centre through a work colleague and she describes coming here as a “ray of hope.”
“I called up and was shown around and then started receiving oxygen therapy pretty much immediately. Having oxygen once a week helps me live my life without feeling the effects of fatigue.
On diagnosis, I’d made the decision to take my health more seriously – taking care to eat well and get enough exercise. Oxygen therapy enables me to do that – I have the energy to concentrate on my diet and exercise without being run over with fatigue.”
“I dread to think what my life would be like without the Centre now. I think it would feel like an uphill struggle every day. The Centre is there for me at every turn – in early 2022, I slipped over and broke my ankle pretty badly. The Centre assessed me for physio and gave me a course of hydrotherapy which was so helpful in my recovery. During that difficult time, it made me feel like I was doing something positive.”
Being able to continue to carry on working is a really positive thing for Jane, who is an accountant, specialising in payroll. The fact that she has a desk job has made it easier for her to stay working, but she mainly attributes her ability to continue work to the treatments and support she receives at the Centre.
“Receiving Oxygen at the Centre enables me to live a pretty normal life and is the main reason I have been able to continue working. Without it, there is no way that I would have the energy to work as much as I do and I want to be able to work for as long as I can. Being able to access WiFi during my treatment is brilliant as I can even continue to work in the oxygen tank and it fits in with my life.”
Jane is keen to work, walk and stay independent for as long as possible. “With the support of the Centre, I know that’s achievable. To anyone with a diagnosis like mine, who wants those things too – I’d highly recommend having a look at the Centre.
“It might not be for you, but then it might be the best thing you have ever done and, like me, it may enable you to continue working and doing the things you love. The people are amazing and you are always made to feel welcome, so what have you got to lose?”
Jane’s mindset has changed completely from the person who struggled with accepting her MS and worried about her future. “I can honestly say that having MS has improved my life. It is a very positive thing in my life and a huge, huge part of that is because I found the Centre. I feel like I have control over my MS, it does not have control over me, and that is because the Centre empowers me and is an extremely positive place!”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org