In late 2009, my sister and I took my Mother to San Francisco be checked out to see if she could benefit from a BalanceWear vest. My mother received a bad myelogram in March 2003 which affected her spinal nerve and caused her to lose her balance, confidence walking and overall attitude about life.
I had done some reading about the BalanceWear vest. However, I have been an engineer for the past 28 years and I was a bit of an unbeliever since I am trained to seeing material facts before I believe it is true.
During the evaluation in California, Cindy put my mother through a series of tests. These included walking, standing, flexibility and resistance to forces while standing. The vest was put on and weighted with just a minimal amount of weights. Cindy then put her through the same series of tests. First she just walked across the room. She walked without assistance, head held high and without anywhere near the unstableness we had seen a few minutes earlier. My sister and I just looked at each other as it to say: “What the heck, this is unbelievable.” She then tested her standing resistance to a force put on her from the front, back and sides. My mother put up a noticeable resistance which she did not do before the vest. She stood her ground, unlike her falling over previously with the vest on. No words had to be said. You could tell it in each of our expressions.
If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would not have believed it!
Since 2003 my mother had been frustrated with not being able to do the things she had normally done. You could tell on her face that we had finally found something to make her quality of life close to what it had been before the myelogram. She could not wait to call my 82-year-old father back in New York to tell him the trip was a success. It not only helped her physical balance, but greatly improved her mental attitude and outlook. She now puts the vest on when she wakes up and goes about her daily routine as before. She no longer has to lean or hang onto support objects when she walks and her head is held high instead of looking at the floor.
If someone had told me they were going all the way to California from the east coast to see if a vest would help with balance, I probably would have told them they were crazy. But I saw and now I believe! This vest has been a miracle for my mother and our family. Even though she will be 79 on June 25, we have our mother back the way she wants to be and the way we want her to be.
So I say to anyone who may question this BalanceWear vest, don’t ignore it and go see it for yourself. It truly is worthwhile and should infuse into other medical situations in the very near future. I think the immense possibilities of this vest are just beginning to be realized.
I really am thankful that we made the trip to California. I hate to think where my mother would be today without this vest. Being an engineer I like to put numbers on most things. If I had to put a number on my mother’s improvement with the vest, I would say it has improved her quality of life 70-80 percent.
Newport News, Virginia
My mother is 79 years old and suffers from peripheral neuropathy on her lower inside legs and both feet caused from a bad myelogram in March 2003. This resulted in damaged spinal nerve causing balance problems which are worsening as she ages. By 2007, my mother used a cane when walking to help steady herself and for long distance, she used a motorized cart or a wheel chair. When standing she holds onto a wall or another person and must utilize the furniture or walls for support when walking around her house. She has had numerous falls where she stated she was on the ground before she knew what happened. My mother was an extremely active woman all her life and could run around all day without tiring, so this has been very frustrating and greatly affected her quality of life.
Cindy spent a generous amount of time with my mother, evaluating her balance problems. The vest fit her perfectly and within 30 seconds of her walking with the vest on, her posture was straighter and her walking ability and stability improved immensely. She was much studier and if you pushed on her, she responded and gave resistance, something she did not have prior to the vest. The second thing I noticed was that she was once again engaged in the conversation and not distracted by concentrating on her balance. She actually looked us in the eye while standing and conversing, something we had not seen in a very long time.
The morning she was to be fitted, we ate breakfast in the hotel and my Mother walked with a cane and held onto my arm for balance – she was concentrating so hard on her feet that she ran into the doorway of the restaurant. After the fitting, she walked to lunch with no help and looking straight ahead, not at her feet– it was astounding to witness.
My mother continues to wear the vest daily and states she can tell such a difference when she doesn’t have it on. She recently had a knee replacement and the first thing she stated when she walked into the house after her release from the hospital was “I want my vest”! My Mom now has the confidence and ability to walk without fear of falling over, which has vastly improved her quality of life and given her the independence back that she lost many years ago. Yesterday she was making cookies at 9 am and when I called back at 2 o’clock she was still making cookies. I can’t thank you enough for helping her. The vest is holding up very well and she has washed it with no problem.
My entire family is very pleased and supports this vest fully – it will be of great help to a large number of people with balance problems. I hate to think where my mother would be today without it.