Sara's Personal Page


     Spring is coming and it's time to start training for the MS-150! I have been out on my single bike once just for a few miles. My bike is configured so that I can almost lay it down to get off of it after a ride. If I stop I have to put both feet down and stay straddling the bike. I also have to drink when I'm stopped because while riding, it doesn't feel safe anymore. My balance is affected so that's the only way I can do it. After about 8-10 miles, I have a hard time walking once I'm off. It gets a little scary because I have toe clips instead of clip on pedals for that bike. I always call Mike before I ride and when I'm finished, and I carry my cell phone.

     The best thing that has happened to me since the last ride has been a major job change. I worked in a hospital for 35 years, always in Pediatrics. The Pediatric Unit was always shrinking so that more and more of my time was spent caring for adults which was never my forte. An opening came at the Peds Clinic right next to the hospital. I started there in October and love being with children everyday. The Pediatrician I work with, Katy Cahill is wonderful and so are all the rest of the staff. They have all made me feel welcome. The decision to quit hospital nursing was a big one; big cut in pay and benefits, but being happy makes up for all of that. Mike has been very supportive of the change and has even started cooking on the 3 days per week that I work. I have a great schedule that gives me Mondays and Fridays off so I usually use that time to spend with friends and of course our dog, Brandi who turns 3 this summer.

     At work, I would have to sit in a tall chair for the computer but soon getting on and off the chair frequently (every 15 minutes) started to affect my back which I guess is being affected by position changes I make to compensate for my poor balance. When my co-workers saw this happening they made accommodations for me to sit in a regular chair now when I work. The clinic is expanding and remodeling and that will also help.

     I have noticed other changes in my balance and tolerance for activity. When I go for a walk in the field by our home with Brandi and/or Mike I use ski poles to steady myself. Also, Mike bought me snowshoes this winter so walking in the snow isn't to tiring. I have learned to modify how I do so many things. When I'm doing things around the house, I have to take frequent breaks. If I'm cooking, it's hard to stand in one place for a long time so I frequently have to use a chair. I do as much as I can ahead of time when cooking a big meal or making my famous pies. I always use a railing or Mike to go up and down stairs and now I have a Handicapped sticker for my car so I don't walk as far when I park. A typical day has me counting my steps and finding ways to lessen them. Swimming is still the best way for me to exercise without overheating. I did spend a week with "free" membership at the Princeton Club this winter and used their resistance pool which worked out well for me. They don't have a membership for just pool use, so I didn't join because of the expense. Hopefully soon we'll have our own resistance pool at our home, that's the plan. Scuba diving in Cozumel was wonderful again this year.... I love being in and under the water! We also went skiing in Vail, Colorado. I was worried how my balance would affect my skiing but we discovered I could ski better than I could walk. It helped that our friend Rick who's now working at Vail showed us the way around the mountain so I didn't get too fatigued.

     Now back to thinking about the MS-150 Bike Ride for 2009. We both need to be stronger this year. Our tandem is very heavy and makes the hill climbs that much harder for us. Switching to the recumbent tandem was the best thing for my MS symptoms. When we get to a rest stop I can stay sitting on the bike until I'm ready and able to get up and walk to the bathrooms, food, and refreshments. The camaraderie and support all the way during the ride is indescribable! I am always so emotional during the ride as I see so many doing so much to help rid the world of this horrible disease. When I think of the things that I can't do anymore, like long hikes, skydiving, racquetball, water skiing, or anything aerobic, it makes me angry. I would just love to be able to do simple things like running up a stairway without holding on to the railing, running with my dog, riding my single bike 150 miles and all the things most people take for granted.

     I would like to prevent this disease from stopping other people from doing the things they love, NOW! Please join me in this fight to keep people "moving".