Heather was diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) in December 2016. It is understood however that she was suffering from this for many years prior, Heather underwent several investigative procedures including MRI and CT scans prior to receiving this diagnosis. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys the protective covering of nerve cells (myelin) of the brain, spinal cord, and/or eyes. Primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) affects around 10% of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Of the three types of the disease, PPMS is considered the rarest (Statchowiak 2021). PPMS gets its name as from the first or primary symptoms, it is progressive with symptoms gradually worsening over time. In addition to PPMS Heather has also had Arthroscopy on both knees, a procedure which diagnoses and treats joint problems.
PPMS has predominantly affected Heather’s mobility and balance, she uses a wheeled walker and wheelchair as aids. MS Society Scotland referred Heather to the MorphFit Gentle Movement Project digital programme where she has exercised with Special Population’s Instructor, Nicola and other likeminded attendees, weekly since. Heather praises Nicola’s style “She is very good, she motivates me”, Heather also appreciates Nicola’s approach, “Even though we meet as a group Nicola treats you as an individual, guiding you and remembering all your personal aches and pains”. The sessions really support Heathers mobility, she finds herself feeling more loose and her walking improved.
Another key aspect of the sessions for Heather is the opportunity to connect and socialise with others. She enjoys chatting to Nicola and her class mates about day to day things and welcomes the encouragement which comes from the group setting.