So, I’m four weeks on from starting to take vitamin D supplement. How’s it going?
To be honest, I did not expect much. How could a vitamin make any difference to the multiple sclerosis symptoms that are so much part of my life? What affect could vitamin D have?
I would not have started taking the capsules if not for my visit to the hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) clinic at the A.A. Maximov center, in Moscow in October. That’s where, after tests, a much-respected physician, Denis Fedorenko, MD, revealed my vitamin D deficiency and recommended taking a daily supplement. I am so grateful he did.
I am more steady on my feet when walking in a straight line, although turning is still somewhat of a challenge. Indoors, I can move about without needing the support of furniture or walls for every step. That’s not to say support is never needed, but nowhere near as much.
Outdoors, I still use a walking aid, but just the other day I put out the trash. That is amazing because it’s something that has been beyond my ability. I took out the bag, walked slowly and carefully to the trash can, deposited the bag, and walked back just as deliberately — without using a walking aid and without falling.
Already, my muscles are definitely stronger. My left knee has been giving way for years, sometimes several times in one day, but usually only once or twice. In comparison, while taking vitamin D it has happened only three times in four weeks. Now, that’s progress.
Something I didn’t notice at first was spotted by my wife Lisa. She saw that my foot drop, while stll there, is not affecting my walking as much as it did. The result of that is less tripping. In fact, in the past three weeks, I have stumbled just once and not fallen at all.
Being used to falling, I often joke about the floor and I being good friends. However, the other day I got on the floor by choice to reach something and got up with no problem. It wasn’t the struggle that it has been.
I am not saying that everything is wonderful, because the MS is still there, and the myelin remains damaged. But there is no doubt in my mind that the supplement is having a positive effect – and that is fantastic.
The next step is to get my vitamin D level checked again.
50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease/disorder-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.