Living with Multiple Sclerosis

 

Foreword by Sophia Dickinson, Occupational Therapist, Home Independence Occupational Therapy Ltd.

During my career as an Occupational Therapist, I often have the privilege of meeting many inspirational personalities, individuals who have found inner strength that has enabled them to overcome difficulties and carry on despite all the challenges that life throws at them.

This was most true when I met Mr Peter Chapman. His life story is one of great courage and bravery, for living our lives on a day-to day basis and accepting changes to our health and abilities especially when we have little or no control, often shows the greatest bravery and courage.

Supporting such a wonderfully inspirational man was a genuine pleasure. Listening to Pete’s life experiences has touched my heart.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Pete for taking the time out to share his experiences with Home Independence Occupational Therapy Ltd.

 

My name is Peter Chapman.  At the age of 16 I joined the RAF (Royal Air Force) as an Aircraft Mechanic in 1989.
I spent my working life on Squadrons which brought hard work in some far-flung place places around the world.
Travel was in abundance around the world (RAF Germany, N Ireland and not including the many detachments to various locations around the world).
Life was going well as I completed my daily Squadron life requirements.

 

Health Changes

In 1995 I was admitted to RAF (H) Wegberg (Germany) as my left leg had suffered a complete loss of feeling and movement.
Various tests were conducted (MRI & CT scan, various tests) and the following consultation with the senior RAF Neuro Doc had shown I had suffered a single nerve attack.
I was advised that this is often a ‘warning’ that if it happens again the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) would be investigated.
I made a complete recovery and led an active military life until 2002 where a second relapse was diagnosed and the investigations in MS began.

Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

After being diagnosed with MS, I was medically discharged from the RAF in Apr 2005 and settled in Leicestershire.
As the years have progressed my MS has declined.
I have gone from using a walking stick to two crutches and I now use a Motability scooter for any distance that needs to be covered.
The Royal British Legion supplied me with a scooter when I first started my Law Degree at Northampton University in 2013.

Living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS):

My disability needs have changed over the years and now I use a perching stool in the kitchen to cook/clean.
I try to keep busy and volunteer for the Citizens Advice Bureau and I am working with the job centre to transfer my RAF/Aircraft skills for employment in another sector.
I also use my love of West Ham to travel to the London Stadium (with a Carer) to get out of the bungalow and back into public life.

Wheelchair Access, by Sophia Dickinson, Occupational Therapist:

Pete contacted Home Independence Occupational Therapy Ltd to ask for support with recommendations to create a wheelchair accessible bathroom as the current standard bathroom was preventing Pete from being able to access washing facilities.
The following was provided:
  • Occupational Therapy assessment via a home visit.
  • Comprehensive report
  • Details of adaptations recommended in the bathroom to ensure wheelchair accessibility to promote independence with personal care tasks.
  • Details of adaptations recommended in the kitchen to ensure wheelchair accessibility to promote independence with preparing food and drinks in the kitchen.
Pete is currently exploring funding options via the Royal British Legion.
Thank you again to Pete for sharing his experiences with Home Independence Occupational Therapy Ltd.
If you or any one you know has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and would like further advice or support, please contact the MS Society.
If you’re interested in having an independent Occupational Therapy assessment, please telephone on 07341265564 or email on info@homeindependenceot.co.uk or complete the contact form here.
Led by Sophia Dickinson, Occupational Therapist, based in Leicestershire

 

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