Saltney based charity reflects on Kadeena Cox’s journey on ‘I’m a Celebrity” whilst living with MS
The team at the Neuro Therapy Centre in Saltney have been cheering on Paralympian Kadeena Cox during her time in ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ – where she has been an inspiration for many facing life with a neurological condition.
Centre Director of the Neuro Therapy Centre, Jane Johnston-Cree, has been reflecting on what it might be like to be a participant in the show, particularly in Kadeena’s shoes.
“It got me thinking what it would be like to be a participant, and undergo some of the hardships they encounter – no phone, no TV, very little contact with the outside world, sleeping on a hard floor, and that’s before we even get to the lack of food, hydration, warmth and the added burden of physical tasks and their associated unpleasantness which all drain physical and emotional resilience.”
“I am full of admiration for Kadeena Cox for taking on this challenge when she is living with the additional challenges of having had a stroke at the age of 23 and being diagnosed with MS later the same year,” said Jane Johnston-Cree.”
Talking to the information and advice charity the MS Trust and on the show itself, Kadeena has explained the symptoms she experiences.
She said: “I get a lot of muscle spasms, mainly through my right arm and in my right leg, and then when I’m quite fatigued I get them in both legs and arms and that’s when I spend time in my wheelchair.”
The Paralympic athlete also said she experiences “pins and needles and burning” sensations as well as “problems in terms of memory and thinking”.
This is her reality, something she lives with every day, something her love of sport and her natural ability and tenacity have given her a small amount of control over.
“We know at the Neuro Therapy Centre, the positive link between being active and emotional wellbeing, but what there would have been so many things that were out of her control too,” said Jane Johnston-Cree.
If you have a condition like multiple sclerosis (MS), cold temperatures can make symptoms worse. People might find that it’s harder to move their limbs, they get more muscle spasms than normal, or their muscles feel tighter. Doctors aren’t sure why cold temperatures make MS symptoms worse, but there are some things people with the condition can do to help:
- Try to get moving – walking or stretching to burn energy and warm up.
- Dress in layers, and wear a hat to stop heat escaping through the head.
- Keep your hands and feet warm – they may be more susceptible to Raynaud’s phenomenon where fingers or toes lose heat and can turn white.
- Having hot drinks and food.
- Get some sunshine – even on winter days wrapping up and enjoying the feel of sunshine is encouraged. It also helps the body make Vitamin D.
Staying hydrated helps control bladder and bowel symptoms, and may help decrease injection site reactions and medication side effects. Dehydration can contribute to fatigue and cognitive impairment. Clearly, good hydration matters. The recommended amount of water to be taken in per day is between 1.5 and 2 litres; more if you’re exercising or if the weather is particularly warm. Little and often helps, and clear fluids such as tea count towards the total too.
Certain food will impact on how well hydrated the body is, such as salt, sugar, caffeine and alcohol, which in turn will impact on symptoms.
Maintaining a healthy weight and diet has been found to be beneficial for a number of health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, and it makes sense that a good diet will have a positive effect on MS, although there hasn’t been a lot of research in this area.
Poor sleep is common in people with MS and other neurological conditions, and may be a symptom itself, or a side effect of other symptoms such as spasms, pain, anxiety or depression.
These are just some of the additional issues that Kadeena Cox would have faced during her time in ‘I’m A Celebrity’.
“I believe Kadeena is a fantastic representative for anyone living with a neurological condition and the challenges they face on a daily basis just to do the ordinary things. That is why I love my job so much; if we at the Neuro Therapy Centre can help even a little bit, then it makes our job worthwhile, and we take as much pleasure n all the little gains we can make with our services users as they do. Their determination constantly humbles me and their ability to cope with adversity is an inspiration” said Jane Johnston-Cree.
The Neuro Therapy Centre supports people with neurological conditions including MS, Parkinson’s, ME and MND, and their Carers from across Cheshire, North Wales and the Wirral. They offer a range of exercise, physiotherapy and support services which are delivered face-to-face at their Centre in Saltney and online accessible from wherever people are based.
If people would like to find out more about the services of the Neuro Therapy Centre visit: www.neurotherapycentre.org/ Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com