Archive for the ‘Testimonials’ Category
I am 53 years old and had a minor stroke eight years ago, i.e., at the age of 45 years.
Two years ago my path crossed with that of the rehab team at Little Company of Mary Hospital Neurology Rehabilitation Centre, RehabWorx. Retha Nienaber became my personal physiotherapist.
Retha Nienaber introduced me to the FES machine and I am taking part in a rehab programme as well. I want to state that my life was changed not only by the use of the aforementioned machine, but also by the results of the rehab programme. My quality of life improved dramatically, and I am of the view that rehab subsequent to a brain injury, is usually completely under-estimated.
Furthermore I may mention that prior to the use of the FES machine, my left knee was extremely painful to the extent that I could only walk with effort. Immediately after starting the use of the machine, the pain disappeared.
I received a package from the US last week, containing sample packs of self adhesive electrodes. Although they are from my usual supplier in the US, being Axelgaard Manufacturing, I was not too sure about this New Patented PALS Clinical Electrode with DermaFlow Hydrogel!, as the included marketing material indicated. So I decided to test these electrodes for robustness, their ability to maintain contact, and the comfort of electrical stimulation after abusing the electrodes somewhat. This is what I did:
3 days of non-stop use of the electrode (5cm x 5cm square), placed firstly over the popliteal fold of my leg (the fold behind your knee), with baggy pants on over them. Now for those of you who have used electrodes for Functional Electrical Stimulation, you will know that this is the most challenging way to wear the electrodes, as the constant knee bending, and rubbing of the clothing usually results in the electrode rolling up, and sticking to the inside of your pants rather than on your leg!
Well, with some changes of position to suit the social environment I was in (got tired of people guessing that I was trying to quit smoking with my patch on), and even with leaving the electrode overnight off the plastic to “dry out”, I was still able to apply this new electrode without any water to the skin or electrode, with good stickiness, and comfortable stimulation!
Although there is some residual Hydrogel remaining on the skin with this sort of extreme use, these was no apparent changes in comfort of electrical stimulation, even after purposefully destroying the Hydrogel layer (I would not recommend this though).
Verdict : a nice, more robust self adhesive electrode for use on standard and hyper sensitive skins. Works well with difficult electrode placements.
What a win!
I was diagnosed with MS in 2000. That was not the win. I was only given permission from the medical aid to use Betaferon in 2008. A bit of a win. By then MS was beginning to dominate my life, although not without trying to keep it in the back seat. MS had and still has, taken away the active, able person I used to be and has made everything a physical and emotional challenge, despite my daily swim and exercise routine. I am reliant on loved ones around me, and an electronic wheelchair. My lack of co-ordination and balance do not allow for me to walk unassisted. Falling is a daily occurrence. Not a win.
Searching through the internet and discovering Deon Buhrs and the functional electronic stimulator was The Win. I now wear a device called a Pace. This allows my droopy foot to have a walking action and the falling is about non-existent. Unfortunately the electronic wheelchair still serves a purpose when the ground is uneven or when I need to go a distance, BUT, otherwise I walk with one crutch!
I am upright, meet people making eye contact and am more confident. A win!
MS and its backpack of fatigue and other goodies, do often still unpack and influence me, making me weary and teary, but the boost the Pace has given me psychologically and physically, allows me to get up and go after a short rest. What a win!
(MS status – Secondary Progressive)
It has been nine months since I started using the Odstock stimulator, and it has drastically improved my quality of life.
I have damage to the nerves that control the left arm and leg as a result of a neck injury which also means that I also suffer from the “dropped foot syndrome”. Walking became incredibly difficult, and resulted in severe back ache and a painful right hip as I tried to compensate by pushing off the right leg during my walking action. My work, social life and interaction with my children started to deteriorate because of this situation. I was not able to wear any other shoes than boots that provided extra support and improved my balance.
The Odstock stimulator immediately started to address this by making it much easier to walk (by lifting the left foot reducing the need to compensate by pushing off the right leg) and this resulted in the pain in my back and hip almost subsiding completely. Physically the muscles in my left leg are now almost the same size as those of my right leg. I now often travel for work purposes without fearing the long walks at the airports, I partake in short hikes with my friends and family, and I am able to kick a rugby/soccer ball with my young son. Now that I have gained more confidence, I am now able to wear shoes and sandals and hardly ever wear boots.
Thank you, Deon for your friendly assistance and advice, and please let me know in what way I can help to spread the good news.
Change of Life.
That dreadful phrase that describes the phase in life for the fairer gender when things don?t seem so nice anymore. When hormones really start moaning, womenfolk don’t feel pretty anymore, not loved anymore and life is just not good to them anymore. What a change!
Then there is Change of Life for a hemiplegic. This change predominantly brought about by the advent of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), of which the advantages were long overdue.
I was left a hemiplegic after sustaining damage to my spinal cord at C4/C5 level in a motor vehicle accident in 1988. From the outset, after months in rehab, I managed to walk with a bad limp. The main problem was the lack of dorsiflexion stimulus on my left foot causing my toes to drag on the floor, forcing me to develop a compensating maneuver to prevent myself from tripping. This compensating action however caused my ankle to rotate inwards leaving me putting a lot of pressure on the outside of my foot. The pain and agony of managing the chronic calluses that developed on the pressure point caused by my acquired walking pattern is hard to describe. Further on there was no guarantee that I would not trip and fall. I still had views of objects around me from all angles imaginable.
It took 20 years for a solution to change my life. Change came in the form of the Odstock Dropped Foot Stimulator (ODFS). This FES based device has become an irremovable part of my life and I simply do not leave home without it. The bulge in my pocket (the device has a belt clip built into it, but I prefer to keep it in my trouser pocket), the subtle remote wiring requirement and the application of the gel type stimulation pads is no effort nor nuisance compared to the pleasure it brings in terms of:-
- Much improved mobility
- No tripping
- No more calluses
- Confidence to go out there and put a better foot forward
I have been using the unit for close on 2 years now and I am hooked. Everyone who’s clinical condition leans towards being a potential ODFS candidate should at least try the solution. The personnel from Proffessa Health Services have proven to be extremely competent in the application of this technology as well as the ongoing support of their customers. Well done Deon !!!