A positive, uplifting testimonial to share today.
“Treatment liberates patient: MS symptoms improve for one woman”
Orginally published at Southshorenow.ca, by Paula Levy.
“It has been over a month since Geraldine Wagner returned home after receiving treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) outside of Canada.
She opted to go to Rhode Island for liberation treatment. The treatment, which improves blood flow, is not available to MS patients in Canada and therefore not covered by the national health-care system.
Ms Wagner said she felt going elsewhere for treatment was her only option since the effects of the disease were becoming more and more debilitating and eroding her quality of life.
“That was my only option if I wanted to improve the quality of my life. I was just going downhill and I really had no hope. I just didn’t want to get any worse,” said Ms Wagner, noting available medications were also not helping. “I wanted to go [for treatment] as soon as I possibly could.”
On December 22, Ms Wagner received treatment for chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI. The term is used to describe compromised blood flow in the veins coming from the brain along the neck and upper chest. The restricted blood flow is thought to play a role in MS.
To improve blood flow, CCSVI’s founder used a tried and tested procedure known as an angioplasty to widen the narrowed or obstructed blood vessel. It is also known as balloon therapy and is often used to treat patients with coronary artery disease. But using the technique to improve blood flow in MS patients is new and controversial.
An empty and collapsed balloon on a guide wire is passed into the narrowed locations and then inflated. The balloon catheter opens the blood vessels and improves blood flow.
Ms Wagner said the morning of the scheduled treatment, with her husband Terry by her side, she felt excited and never once had any second thoughts about leaving the country to get help. She arrived at the hospital around 9 a.m. Following preparations, the procedure was completed with local anesthetic in about an hour. Around 1:30 p.m. she was discharged.
“Everything went well,” she said. “I walked out of the hospital. I used my cane, I think it was just force of habit. Immediately, I noticed a difference,” said Ms Wagner. “I felt better. I felt that my balance was better.”
That same day, Ms Wagner tested and videotaped her balance and ability to walk and climb stairs.
“It was really quite amazing,” said Ms Wagner. “It was a huge difference.”
Now at home, Ms Wagner said her mobility problems are continually improving. She is able to walk without the use of a cane. She realizes, however, that it will take time before her muscles regain strength. To help rebuild, Ms Wagner is getting regular physiotherapy.
Another noticeable improvement is Ms Wagner’s ability to complete more tasks around the house. She said although she is still feeling fatigued, she is able to accomplish more before she tires. She said being able to do simple things such as preparing a meal for her family or going to her son’s basketball game mean a great deal to her.
“I’m able to do more. … I now have the desire and the energy to do things,” said Ms Wagner.
Although it is not known if her MS symptoms will continue to improve, stabilize or regress, Ms Wagner said her overall quality of life has improved and that was the primary goal in receiving the treatment. She added, if her veins narrow again over time, she will have the procedure done again.
“The veins may narrow again. … They don’t know,” said Ms Wagner. “If I return to the stage I was at, I would definitely consider going again.”
As for now, Ms Wagner is enjoying the difference the treatment has made to her quality of life.