Editors Note: A few days ago we received an email from Jon Draffan that really stood out. Jon has MS and had struggled to find the right shoes until he very recently tried out FiveFingers – he was ecstatic. I asked if he would be interested in sharing his story and experience, he said ‘yes’, and here it is…
In 1999 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and for about 10 years I was mobile without difficulty, but over the last three or so years my walking has turned into the unsteady limp of a drunk man. I fatigue quickly and lose sensation in the bottoms of my feet, especially when I feel hot. My leg muscles become stiff after not being used for even a short period of time and I have bad balance.
When in public, observers might give the disapproving glances that are reserved for the publicly inebriated. Once a passing child looked at me, then asked her father, “what is wrong with that man”. These are not experiences that are uncommon, and it is stressful, which immediately increases the intensity of all of my symptoms.
I have tried many ‘solutions’ to my MS challenges including prescription drugs, diet, exercise, marijuana, vitamins, massage, Chiropractic, Qigong, Rolfing, Yoga, and more… Physical practices are the most helpful, though the benefits are short lived as my body moves in ways that reverse their benefits.
Enter the Vibram Five Fingers (VFFs). I tried a pair of the Bikilas at an REI and instantly felt something I hadn’t felt in years… the ground. These shoes were like magic! My gait, balance, and posture all improved as I stood up in them. It was exhilarating as I walked with no fatigue for nearly two hours, deciding finally to purchase Komodos.
Trying to stay with the adjustment period didn’t last long for me. The “magic” did not go away and on the second day I ordered a pair of Bikilas also. I no longer experience my morning leg stiffness that was caused by spasticity. When I stand up to use the restroom at a coffee shop, I walk stiff legged for only a couple of steps, if at all, instead of across the entire room. When I go to the grocery store, there is no longer a question in my mind as to whether or not I will have trouble walking while I shop. And the best part? I’ve only owned them for a week.
Today is my eighth day of ownership and I look forward to experiencing further benefits, both physically and mentally, from wearing VFFs. I don’t plan on ever wearing another shoe if I don’t have to.
Do you have any thoughts for Jon? If so, please leave them in the comments below!