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Old 08-23-2017, 11:35 AM
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Dave @ ActiveMSers
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 3,588
Default Ingenuity strikes as MSer hits on solution for foot drop, weak hip flexors

Fellow active MSer Mike struck upon a clever solution and I wanted to share it with you all. We can be a stubborn bunch of SOBs. - D

My name is Mike and I have been living with MS for almost 16 years now.

Like most people living with MS for many years, my journey has had its ups and downs. When my MS progressed to the point that I finally had to stop working a couple years ago I struggled with the thought that I was destined to start using the power chair the insurance company bought for me a few years back. The power chair sits in my garage where I see it every time I come home. Seeing the power chair sitting there and my fear of losing my mobility has been the driving force for me to come up with a way to keep me moving.

I have hip flexor muscles issues and foot drop so I am not able to walk far and many daily tasks have become a real challenge and even dangerous sometimes. It would be easy to just give up and start using the power chair or staying home all day but that was not an option for me. I had to do something!

I was getting frustrated trying to lift or adjusting my leg when sitting. It was difficult getting in and out of my car or going up and down stairs. I decided to see what I could to do to help make these tasks easier. I looked on line but nothing seemed to be what I was looking for. It seemed simple enough to make something that I could use to move or lift my leg.

I went out and bought a sewing machine. I experimented with different leg slings and configurations. After numerous changes I came up with my first working prototype. It soon became a what if I did this would it help me be able to do that. This went on for another few months. Within 6 months I made numerous changes. My final prototype allowed me to accomplish many tasks that I was not able to do on my own.

I now was able to go up and down stairs and walk longer distances. Using my new device, I completed the one mile route on the MS walk this year. This was significant for me. I now use it every day to help me get around and conserve energy. This has changed my life in many ways.

I have really enjoyed the past few months. Having a goal and project to get my mind off my disability has been beneficial. Nothing beats feeling like you have a purpose in life.

Iím not sure what my next step will be but I do know that I want to make this device available to the many that can benefit from its use. Check it out on U Tube. Search for MS Muscle Strength Compensator or MSMSC for short. If it looks of interest tell your therapist to check it out. Thanks for reading my story and remember to not give up. Keep moving!
Dave Bexfield
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