You CAN ...
Suzan Black has lived with MS for 25 years, and learned that “regardless of my disability, staying mobile is the most important job that I have.” Brian Hutchinson, physical therapist and President of The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis in Edwards, Colorado, chats with Suzan about her tips and insights and shares his own.
Take the "Scenic Route"
SB: When walking, rolling, driving, or any method of moving, LOOK, MAP, MOBILIZE: First, look ahead for potential obstacles. Second, mentally map out a plan of action. And, finally.... mobilize.
BH: Know your options. Determine the best route to your destination. It may not always be the shortest distance, but choose the safest.
SB: Before leaving the house, call for directions and ask about provisions for people with special needs (i.e. parking, elevators, ramps, etc), if you need any.
BH: ”Accessibility” is individual so make sure you make your own needs known so that you can plan properly.
Allow ample time
SB: It is much less stressful to arrive early than to feel panicked because you are late. Build in plenty of extra time in your date book for a "leisurely" journey. Bring along a book or something you can do while waiting if you arrive early.
Collect a variety of mobility devices (cane, walker, wheelchair, scooter, etc.)
SB: Mobility aids don't have to be boring. Get yourself a device that expresses your personality.
BH: Your health care team (specifically rehabilitation professionals) can identify the appropriate assistive devices for you, taking into consideration your different needs and purposes, ergonomics, size, and other factors.
For information on assistive devices, click here.
You CAN! is brought to you by The Heuga Center, promoting health and creating hope for people with MS since 1984, and by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The Heuga Center believes that a positive, “can do” attitude is the most beneficial approach to managing this chronic, unpredictable disease and that despite the challenges MS may bring, you have a whole life to live. We encourage you to visit You CAN! regularly. Topics change every other month.
Written by: Suzan Black with comments from Brian Hutchinson, PT, MSCS.
Contributing editors: Brian Hutchinson, PT, President, The Heuga Center; InsideMS Magazine.
© 2007 National MS Society. All rights reserved.