The FES Really Changed My Life

The FES really changed my life


The FES really changed my life. I am quite sure it was the Functional Electrical Stimulator otherwise known as an FES. Originally fitted in December 2014. I immediately stopped falling over with monotonous regularity. Instead I stayed upright, it changed my life for the better . So many people commented that I looked better and happier. The stressed and strained look on my face disappeared.   Suddenly I felt rejuvenated in so many ways but I still had MS.

The FES really changed my life

It did take me a few weeks to learn to position the electrodes on my left leg in the correct places.

I soon realised that buying 10 batteries through Amazon was cheaper than 2 batteries from any local shop.  I needed surgical tape and a stretchy tubigrip to extend the life of the sticky electrodes.

The Neurological Centre in Queens Square, London was unbelievably kind and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble.

Regular check-up

I had a regular check-up in early February 2016. By now I was a confident user. I really did not think much more could be done to make things better. I thought it would be a quick in and out appointment; instead it was an hour long. They checked my walking with and without the FES and checked the stimulation to the muscles was correct.

Don’t stoop

At the end of the session the physiotherapist offered me something to put inside each shoe that lifted both heels by 7 mm. This reduced the possibility of my knee hyperextending; it would make walking easier.

The physio also told me to walk upright and stop leaning forward. The higher heels would make this easier and stop me feeling as if I was about to fall over backwards. By the way they reallydo work.

There is a down side

This was all really good news but… I have learned to accept that I need a stick or rollator to walk. I grudgingly accept that double vision has stopped me driving. MS has had a huge impact on mine and the wife’s life. Nonetheless I can usually park the MS.

Its last thing at night and first thing in the morning that MS is rammed down my throat. Taking the electrodes off at night and then staggering through to the bathroom to rinse them. Putting the electrodes onto my left leg and thigh on in the morning and wiring it up.

It‘s worth it

The price is only half an hour a day but it is a twice daily reminder. In a few years the frustration and angst will become inconsequential. My SPMS started in 2000 but the FES only happened in December 2014 Sadly MS never goes away.

4 responses to “The FES Really Changed My Life”

  1. Eileen Poulaud says:

    Thanks Patrick, agree with all you say about FES. I wear it every day,all day and never leave the house without it. It gives me confidence and I think without it I wouldn’t get out as much as I do. I’m 79 and would encourage anyone with MS to give it a go !

    • Hello Eileen,

      I have chronic foot drop and leg drop, Without an FES I would be in a wheelchair. It is my ticket to freedom even though I have advanced MS and I cannot walk unaided

  2. John Cowburn says:

    I share the frustration and angst, it’s the small things which seem to get to you! Also unfortunately, I am starting to dwell on the future, I think things like ” I wonder how much worse I’ll be in 12 months? Will I be able to walk at all if I continue to deteriorate as I am doing now? ” Does no good but I can’t seem to stop those type of thoughts!

    • Hello John,

      Like you its always the small things that cause the most angst. I can still keep myself busy, the website is very therapeutic and helps me to park the wretched MS.

      The secret is not to dwell but to look forward to things. The Wife has been away this week and I have been bonding with my 31 year old daughter who has taken a week off work. I have a weeks sailing with the Jubilee Sailing Trust at the end of April to look forward to. The ships are designed for people with physical and mental disabilities. Really looking forward to trip, something new and different.

      Talk soon,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.