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My wife, Carol Phillipy and I met in late December 1986 and married three years later in December 1989. She told me soon after we met that she had MS but was free of symptoms at that time. She had a relapse while we were dating and once again after we married.
Carol developed Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis, MS, since 1976, over 38 years. The disease eventually took its toll on her by creating multiple disabilities. She calls her MS “an unwelcome guest.” I call that unwelcome guest a “sociopath.” The sociopath stole much from her and created considerable stress in me as her husband and caregiver over many decades.
All this and more became the basis for my book, The MS Warriors, A Love Story: Reversing Disability from Multiple Sclerosis Through Strength Training. The book may be purchased for $16.95 plus applicable taxes in the following ways:
- Through the publisher, HenschelHAUS Publishing, Inc. People can pay with credit, debit card, PayPal, check or money order. For organizations for orders over 100 books they also offer quantity discounts and can personalize books for organizations for order over 100 books.
- On Amazon, the book is available in print and in Kindle format. It is the book with the blue cover.
- At Barnes & Noble, or at Barnes & Noble locally. It is available in print.
This book and our story is now the basis for the documentary film, The MS Warrior. The film, now in progress, describes Carol’s descent into disability and how it affected me as her husband and caregiver. This descent includes multiple falls and serious injuries. The injuries have included being knocked unconscious with concussions four times. She dislocated her right shoulder, broke bones and suffered cuts. There were multiple visits to the emergency room. We called Nashville Metro ambulances many times. There were times she fell to the floor transitioning from the bed to the toilet and I could not get her off the floor and the ambulance was called. On occasions she had to use the urinal on the floor and slept on the floor until she could regain her feet in the morning. She fell often in multiple public settings including church. Spasticity and leg cramps were common. She had episodes of loss of control over her bladder and bowels. MS affected her sexually with loss of libido. She also experienced foot drop. The disabling effects of her MS and the stress on me were enormous.
THE LIFE-CHANGING BREAK-THROUGH
After decades of heartache, Carol and I discovered a remarkable method that has changed her health and transformed our lives.
The ascent and the restoring of function began with an aggressive course of strength training and flexibility training from neck to feet with me as her trainer at a local YMCA. We began with the assumption that we will create more muscle mass to compensate for the neurological deficits. We noticed positive changes within three days and things continued to improve as the amount of weights increased. These changes were noted by Carol’s neurologist. These improvements included longer walking distance without fatigue, fewer falls and an increase in pounds pushed with weights. The foot drop disappeared. Through Kegel exercises there was significant improvement in bladder and bowl control. Cramping and spasticity has been eliminated. She can walk up stairs with greater ease and her posture has improved. She can transfer from bed to toilet without fear of falling. Her balance has improved. Her energy levels have improved. Her bone density is greater. Most exciting for us has been a resurgence of her libido. Coupled with this has been a significant weight loss.
Carol is frequently told by friends and people at the YMCA that she is an inspiration. She is a warrior. We are warriors. This is a love story. Our experience has been transformational. The film will be inspirational to viewers and hope filled whether or not they have or know someone with a disabling illness.