Clinical Trials and Triathlons

In this blog series, Teena Marie Johns updates us on some of her experiences living with Multiple Sclerosis, being a triathlete, and her observations and learnings of constructive health practices.

I finished the clinical trial for Fampyra. All in all, a good experience. I don’t know whether or not I was in the medication group or the placebo group but I know it was intensely motivating. My walking speed and balance were measured monthly along with questionnaires, bloods, vital signs on various visits. The team was great and the experience has left me as a better research nurse. I have now started the medication for real so I’ll see what the effect will be.

I’ve been working with a new trainer for the past 5 weeks and I’m pretty pleased. We started very slowly on the spin bike-15 seconds on, 90 seconds break for 10 minutes- followed by various strengthening exercise, some of which I’ve already been doing, ending with some phenomenal stretching. Getting on the bike is getting easier-not on my own yet, but I can see this is within reach, and I’m up to 2 minutes on and 1 minute off for 12-15 minutes.

My left leg is much straighter and is less prone to rotating internally. It’s been nice to have someone help me with all this and encourage me- I’ve been so used to doing it on my own-it’s a nice boost. I’m also in my pool so all in all, I’m happy.

This is all helping me prepare for the ocean swim portion of triathlon this summer in my community in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It’s not until the end of July so I feel like I’ve got a good start on things. I will work with my trainer until the end of June at which point I’ll be in Cape Breton where I can start ocean training and continue with my strengthening routine.

This is helping with my restorative approach to my MS. I still plan to walk without crutches – I’m just not saying when.

Read previous posts from Teena Marie on MS and Restoring Pathways
MS Clinical Trial to Improve Walking Speed
Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis
Never giving up hope
Transitioning to forearm crutches

Teena Marie Johns is a registered nurse with over 35 years of expertise in the field of vaccination, pediatric infectious disease and more recently as a health service navigator. Living with MS since 1998, she manages her health through rehab therapy, meditation and Qi Gong.

Qigong is a form of Energy medicine. Considered a major branch of and precursor to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qigong incorporates Mind-Body Interventions, and is also a Manipulative and Body Based Therapy.