Diagnosis: Primary progressive MS
At her six-month check up, the RT300 study showed Nancy’s strength had improved, she was faster on timed walking, and she was able to walk further. “I still use my scooter, don’t get me wrong—it wasn’t like a miracle and I’m all of a sudden walking. But everything had improved.” Nancy knew she had to have her own RT300, which she acquired in 2009.
Three years on Nancy continues to get tremendous benefits from regularly using her RT300. “I used to support myself on my walker with my arms. My arms helped me walk—my legs were rubber, useless. The RT300 improved my strength and balance so now I don’t feel like a rag doll. I walk and feel like my legs can support my weight. It’s also helped with my balance: I can walk with my walker and not feel terrified I’m going to fall over. I can’t tell you how much that strength means.”
Nancy credits the regular sessions on the RT300 with her maintaining the gains she made during the clinical trial and the fact that her condition has been stable ever since. She also reports not having to take medication for muscle spasms, and stresses the need to be dedicated to exercising. “If you stop using the RT300 you will know. It is not a quick fix, but it is an important part of your ongoing treatment”.
She is still excited by the recovery of feeling in her left toe! “My neurologist was poking me, asking ‘do you feel this, do you feel that.’ And I said I felt it. She reminded me that six months before, I couldn’t feel my left toe—I had no feeling in it. Now I do. To me, that’s just amazing. You’re supposed to get progressively worse. But if you ask my neurologist, I have improved over the years. And that’s against the statistics.”
Nancy is 54 years old. She has raised two kids, divorced her husband and moved across the country. But right now, what she’s really proud of is moving her left toe.
Nancy’s journey began in 1995. After experiencing difficulty walking and weakness in her arm, she saw a neurologist who ran countless tests but couldn’t diagnosis her. The doctor’s insensitive advice was “just don’t take any long walks in the desert.” Furious, Nancy found another doctor who finally diagnosed her with primary progressive MS.
Her emotions swung from devastation to denial and finally to acceptance. “It took me time,” she says, “but I did accept it. That’s the first step towards dealing with it.” For Nancy, the first five-and-a-half years of dealing with it included terrible side effects from the weekly shots she took. She learned not to make any plans for several days after the shot because of the flu symptoms that followed.
Eventually, Nancy attended a symposium at Johns Hopkins where the doctors spoke passionately about the RT300. Using the RT300 as a natural way to handle her condition appealed to Nancy. She joined a Hopkins study of the benefits of the RT300.
At her six-month check up, the study showed Nancy’s strength had improved, she was faster on the timed walkings, she walked further. “I still use my scooter, don’t get me wrong—it wasn’t like a miracle and I’m all of a sudden walking. But everything had improved.” Nancy knew she had to have the RT300.
“I’m very dedicated. I use the RT300 two to three times a week for an hour. It tells you the average stimulation during each session—whether you’re at, say, 100 percent or 0 percent. I try to keep it at 0 percent for as long as I can. On good days I can do 25 minutes like that, where it’s completely me doing the peddling. After that of course, I’m exhausted but I can sit there and the RT300 does it all for the last half hour. To me, that’s just amazing.”
"The RT300 has improved my strength and balance so now I don’t feel like a rag doll. I walk and feel like my legs can support my weight. It’s also helped with my balance: I can walk with my walker and not feel terrified I’m going to fall over. I can’t tell you how much that strength means.”
The RT300 also helped Nancy’s depression. “Here I was, I worked full time, I exercised, I maintained a home and raised a family. And all of sudden my world was ripped apart. It was depressing. But now it’s like, okay, I’m doing something about it, I’m doing something for myself, I’m seeing benefits.”
Those benefits extend beyond Nancy’s body. She’s gained the confidence to move across the country and live on her own. “I live in a house all by myself now. There was a time when there was no way I could have lived alone. My kids said, ‘Mom, how in the world are you going to do this?!’ I can’t wait for them to come visit me. I can’t wait for them to see I’m doing it!”
Thanks to her therapy on the RT300—and the excitement of seeing positive results—Nancy has new amounts of energy. “I’m happier than I’ve been in years. I’m doing better than I’ve done in years. It used to be that every little thing tired me out so much I had to rest. I brushed my teeth—I had to rest. I showered—I had to rest. Dress, blow dry—my whole day was spent just getting ready! Now I can do several things in a row without having to rest amazing!”