Client Name: Diana S.
Hometown: Washington, NJ
Injury/Diagnosis Date: 1992
Injury/Diagnosis: Multiple Sclerosis
Start Date: 09/09/09
Diana was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1992 shortly after the birth of her first daughter. She had been experiencing left arm numbness and developed optic neuritis in her left eye. After seeing an eye doctor she was referred to a neurologist who ran many different tests and results pointed to MS. Being diagnosed with MS was horrible for Diana, but having close friends by her side to lend an ear has helped her get through it. Diana describes having MS as depressing and frustrating because she is slowly losing strength, mobility, and function. She feels like she is unable to plan her life effectively because her physical abilities continue to change.
Despite these frustrations, Diana still has a productive life. She is a physical therapist who had started her own practice in 1994, but sold it due to MS constraints and desire to have more family time. She continues to be involved in the industry and works part time at a home care agency. There she supervises the other therapists from inside the office. Diana says “if nothing else it keeps my mind busy,” which she is thankful for.
Over the years Diana has tried numerous medications since her diagnosis. In 1996 she participated in a trial for Copaxone, which is now FDA approved. She recently underwent chemotherapy, but she stopped due to side effects. She is currently taking steroid infusions and is hopeful that a better drug will be developed in the near future.
Diana began coming to Push to Walk when a doctor referred her to try the FES bike. Upon coming here the other workouts appealed to her because it is exercise she cannot do at home by herself. She was coming here once a week, but without insurance coverage it is difficult, so now she comes every other week. She says that the staff is “wonderful, encouraging, and positive,” and they work her limitations into her workout instead of letting them hold her back. Push to Walk has helped keep Diana motivated and positive. Although she admits it has been tough because any strength and mobility she has gained, the disease takes away with a flare up.
When asked what she likes to do in her free time she answers honestly and states “what I like to do and what I can do are two completely different things.” She does enjoy reading books of mystery, suspense, and romance. Mostly she takes joy in watching sports, especially her daughters’ teams. Her two oldest daughters play field hockey, while her youngest plays basketball. She loves going to any of their activities and games.
Videos of Diana’s Progress: