Its now week 84 of the ASCEND trial, the weeks seems to have have rolled by ever so quickly. I can’t believe I’m nearly at the end.
The real thing?
Even after week 84 I have no idea whether I’m on a placebo or not. Looking back over the months of the trial my balance and foot-drop have definitely got worse but the ability to walk has not deteriorated. I hope that makes sense.
This visit was a big one, this time I’m assessed, this happens every 12 weeks. The blinded doctor does an EDSS test. The 25 foot walk took me 25.5 seconds. Later on they nerded to find out how far I can walk. I managed to walk 200 metres, before I decided that enough was enough, this bit was not timed. A few hours later the hospital wanted to find out how far I could walk in 6 minutes, this is nothing to do with the ASCEND trial. So armed with just one stick I stomped up and down 10 metres of the very same corridor. I managed 228 metres. In case you are wondering I am a bit competitive. At the ASCEND trial I must always do the walking with just one stick. That’s how I started and I am not allowed to change. When I started the trial I could even manage to walk a short distance without any support or aid. Those days are now over for me!!
Not quite reality
It is all a bit contrived. I’m walking inside on a flat even surface. Go outside and take a look at the average pavement, it ain’t flat and its uneven. In fact it is a complete nightmare. There are paving stones at different heights, cracked paving stones. Also repairs to the pavement where the gasboard have been replacing the pipes or the tree roots put put bumps in the pavement.
This is not a cure
I still have no idea if I am on a placebo or the real thing. At best the treatment will stop progression but much more likely to slow it down. Tysabri does significantly reduce relapses but Its not a cure
I’m trying to get out and do some yards with my rollator. Yup regular exercise. I’m trying to get out everyday and walk some where between 400 and 600 metres each day in one go.This might not seem much to you but rest assured I do feel tired at the end.