A rollator is a walker with wheels. It is hard to describe the freedom I felt when I first used one.
Rather than walking (often staggering) slowly and always thinking about falling, I was able to actually look up and enjoy (or at least take in!) the world around me as I moved about.
I was no longer at the mercy of some unobservant person who might accidentally knock me down. This was both because I was more stable and because my “wheels” signaled to others to be more careful around me. And I can definitely understand why Heather M. Jones, the writer of the article below, described her first ride in a wheelchair as “like flying down Route 66…”
Lest this sounds too “pollyannaish,” let me assure you that above all, I wish I did not have multiple sclerosis and did not need this device. But since I do, this is one of the things that greatly enhances my quality of life.
And for others who think that something like this (or a cane, a wheelchair or a scooter) might make their lives more manageable, I definitely encourage you to at least give it a test drive!
People with multiple sclerosis used to be told to avoid exercise. The thinking was that since our strength was limited, we were best off using our bodies as little as possible.
Fortunately, time and observation have shown that not only is that wrong, but exercise can actually help people with MS in a variety of ways. Attached is the latest newsletter from the Providence Multiple Sclerosis Center in Beaverton, Oregon. On page 4 is an article by Doctor Meghan Romba, where she discusses clinical studies showing that regular exercise may improve cognitive function in people with MS.
This is a very significant discovery. Between 40 and 65% of people with MS have some form of cognitive decline during the course of their disease, but no medication has yet been shown to be effective against this. In addition, as with almost everyone else, people with MS may improve their general health and well-being if they embark on an exercise program (after checking with their doctor, of course).
And as more and more people are exercising these days, you may also find that your social life becomes healthier!