Hospital employee and multiple sclerosis patient
"When I have questions I know I can call MS Clinic Coordinator Jackie Wheeler, R.N., and she takes care of me right away. That’s really important to me."
Glenda Roby Leads a Full Life – Despite MS
From time to time, Glenda Roby experienced a tingling sensation in her leg, but she didn’t suspect anything was seriously wrong until her young nephew ran out in a street and she couldn’t catch him because of pain and numbness in her leg. After undergoing a number of diagnostic tests, including a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
MS is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. But with the help of the MS Clinic at MidMichigan Medical Center, Glenda continues to live a full life. The MS Clinic includes offerings for the specific needs of MS patients, such as rehabilitation services and urology and ophthalmology care.
Since her diagnosis, Glenda, 55, has experienced changes in her mood, typical of MS patients. “I know I used to be able to tolerate more stress,” she said. “I get frustrated that I can’t do what I normally used to do.”
Glenda works five days a week and has a 45-minute commute to her Saginaw home after work.
“When I come home, my energy is gone,” she said. Her husband, Maxie, who retired in October 2008, has dinner ready for Glenda when she gets home. She has two grown sons and she does her best to keep up with her two 13-year-old granddaughters. “They think I’m their age,” Glenda said.
With the guidance of her doctor, neurologist Faith Fuentes, M.D., Glenda is learning to combat the symptoms of MS, including fatigue and depression, using medication, physical therapy, stress management and good nutrition.
Glenda has taken various steroids to help relieve inflammation brought on by MS attacks, and she has taken pain medicines and an anti-depressant. Some of these medicines she receives at the Infusion Center of MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland. MS affects each patient differently, so Dr. Fuentes works with Glenda to monitor her reactions to the medications and alter dosages or eliminate medicines, accordingly.
Glenda receives physical therapy through MidMichigan’s MS Rehabilitation Services, including specific exercises to keep her legs strong.
“I have a really great physical therapist,” Glenda said. “Erica sort of pushes me.” Glenda also receives moral support from the other physical therapy patients, who sometimes root for each other when they are performing difficult exercises.
Glenda, who is already slender, sometimes just doesn’t feel like eating, so Dr. Fuentes also closely monitors her weight. Being under the care of Dr. Fuentes and the rest of the staff at MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland has helped Glenda stay active. In fact, she recently planned and hosted her husband’s retirement party for 150 guests, and she chose a new dress for the event. “That dress took me to a whole new level,” she said.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, call MidMichigan Health Line for physician referral at (989) 837-9090 or toll free (800) 999-3199.