Marty lived with multiple sclerosis for almost two decades before finding BalanceWear. He told us that nowadays BalanceWear makes him feel like he hardly has MS at all.
When did your doctor diagnose you with MS?
I was diagnosed in 1998. Before then, I avoided all the testing, even though I knew something was wrong. I just didn’t want to get the actual diagnosis. Finally it got bad enough that I figured I needed to know and get help, so I went through the testing.
How did MS impact your daily life?
I worked in a factory up until ‘06. I wanted to retire, but I pushed myself a lot. I would work long hours – I didn’t have too much of the day left after working. My condition started to get worse. My wife would tell me “you need to get more rehabilitation.”
How did you find out about BalanceWear?
One day I went to the eye doctor for an exam, and right nextdoor there was a physical therapy place, advertising that they have something to help with balance. I figured what the heck, I might as well try it. I went and saw the therapist there, Melissa, and she said, “I think I can help you. We can do some therapy to build your core strength up.” Up to that point I had been to a lot of rehabilitation and it was all the same old thing, and I just got tired of it. But after I talked to Melissa, I thought that maybe this was different from the other ones.
What was your first experience with BalanceWear like?
Melissa told me about the vest, so we tried it. I put the vest on and started walking, and I looked around and said to myself, where did my MS go? I couldn’t believe it, I was ready to jump through the roof! Since I had the progressive form of MS, doctors told me that there was no medicine for me, so I was amazed that the vest could be such a night and day improvement.
How has BalanceWear impacted your daily life?
Like I said, it’s night and day. I’m not afraid to go out of the house and do stuff now. Sometimes I even try to do too much, since it’s working so well. I bicycle ride – I even rode on the beach with a bicycle. Before the vest, I’d ride the bike for about 5 or 10 minutes, and then I would have trouble getting off or I’d fall over. Now, I can ride the bike in the sand. It’s like being a teenager again, riding the bike.
A lot of stuff I can do now that I wouldn’t try without the vest. I even horseback ride now. They were going to help me get on the horse, and I did it all by myself. I rode the horse for maybe an hour. The person taking us around was a therapist using horse rides as a part of her therapy, and she was so surprised that I didn’t even need her help to get me on or off the horse. She was surprised that I could do so much on my own. I told her about the vest.
I went to the neurologist recently. He said, “where’s your cane?” I told him I don’t need it no more, I got my vest, that’s all I need. The cane was too much work for me. The vest is simple and makes everything better. He said, “ok, I want to watch you walk,” so he watched me walk for a little. Then he said, “I want to see you stand on one leg.” I stood on one leg, and he couldn’t believe it. Before, I would fall right over. Even my coordination was back, touching my fingers to my nose and all that. All because of the vest.
How often do you wear BalanceWear now?
I wear it every day. If I don’t wear it one day, the effects still carry on to the next day. I can still feel that I’m not tilting, my legs are straight, and I’m standing up. But I wear it almost every day. Some days I wear it morning ‘til night. Some days I just wear it ‘til dinnertime. I don’t like to take it off because I’m doing so good with it, and it keeps my body together.
What advice would you give to somebody who is wondering whether BalanceWear might be a good option for them?
Try it! I would recommend some therapy before putting the vest on, to build your strength a little, but once you get there, the vest will keep it in you. There’s no holding back after that! It’s like a security blanket that kids have. It holds you together!
I went out to see Cindy last year, just to thank her. I said, “you’re the first person who did something for me. All the other ones said, take this pill, take that pill.” We had a good time.
A lot of people don’t know about BalanceWear. Even my neurologist didn’t know about it. That’s why he was confused when I came in and showed it to him. So now I tell everyone about BalanceWear.