An Eastbourne man suffering with MS is sharing his experiences to help others realise there is life after being diagnosed with the condition.
Christopher Fox-Walker, 78, is originally from Brighton but has lived in Meads for the past 16 years.
Christopher said, “Following minor vision and speech defects and numbness in the legs at the end of the 1970s, I was given a series of tests and a lumbar puncture and in 1982 aged 42 I was told I had multiple sclerosis, or MS.
“It meant very little to me at the time and I had never connected the symptoms with MS.
“I gradually became more aware of the significance of MS and the 100,000 in the UK affected and I began to meet with people who were disabled.
“One of the main symptoms of MS is a loss of energy together with rapid fatigue and exhaustion. I found that people with MS should avoid physical, mental and emotional stress whenever possible.”
Christopher says there are drugs available but he has benefitted from a different therapy.
He said, “the main form of treatment I have used weekly with benefit for more than 30 years is Hyperbaric Oxygenation Treatment, or HBOT. It involves sitting for an hour in a pressure chamber with other people and breathing oxygen via a face-mask.
“It can give an extra boost of energy because it is a high dosage of oxygen at almost 10x what we breathe in normally at sea-level. It is simple, safe, and inexpensive at our charity centres and without any significant side-effects.”
Christopher says it is a minority of people with MS who sadly experience severe paralysis. The majority of people with MS live a normal life-span even with the disabling symptoms.
Christopher was previously a trustee of an MS charity and added, “I try to show that there is life after MS by adopting the right attitude and feelings about one’s self. There is unfortunately a great deal of ignorance about MS but the main thing is not to panic and living with it can be made bearable with proper information and support.”
Support is available from MS centres and from the MS Society branch.