Former Nurse, Helen Broadwell, is both a member and volunteer APS Therapist at KMSTC.
Helen’s own MS diagnosis came back in 2008 when a colleague of hers commented
that she had a ‘funny gait’ and recommended that she get a check-up.
Helen had been experiencing some numbness in her left leg so didn’t argue when a colleague more or less frog-marched her off for an examination. A back X-ray highlighted some degeneration in her spine and she was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for further investigation.
An MRI revealed lesions in the brain and spinal cord that are characteristic of Multiple Sclerosis, ‘You could have knocked me down with a feather,’ commented Helen, ‘And because, I was in such shock that I kept the news to myself for five days. I didn’t want to worry my family’. Helen continued to hold down her busy, full-time job for nearly another three years after her diagnosis, but found it increasingly difficult. The fatigue took its toll and, after three relapses in the space of a year, she took medical retirement in 2011. ‘My last job was as a Specialist Nurse in Bowel Surgery and I put my heart and soul into it. When you come to the realisation that your own health could be compromising the quality of your work it can be heart-breaking.’
After a relapse in 2016, Helen found her mood very low and was encouraged by Karen, Support Manager at the Centre, to have some counselling. ‘Seeing Avril helped me get things in perspective and to realise that I wasn’t being silly; I had lost my Mum in the November after my MS diagnosis in September. I hadn’t worked through any of my grief properly, such had been my focus on simply keeping it together. Once I started to feel more myself I wanted to give something back and Karen suggested volunteering as an APS Therapist.’
APS Therapy works by sending micro-currents through the body to ‘re-boot’ the electrical system. This encourages electrical impulses to be transmitted more efficiently and reduces pain and other problems arising from the ‘interference’ caused by MS. Whilst it can’t repair the myelin damage inflicted by MS, APS Therapy does help with symptomatic relief.
Become an APS Therapist
The Centre needs more APS Therapists and Helen would encourage anyone with an interest to find out more.
I enjoy both receiving and delivering APS Therapy. It really isn’t hard to do and all volunteer therapists receive full training and support. As I have MS I find it very easy to empathise with fellow members and enjoy the conversations we have while this gentle and non-invasive therapy does its work. You can even have APS Therapy in water – just like a Spa Day!