Her Ailment is a Mystery, but an Effective Therapy is Clear
When one of our Design Representatives received this email, just seven weeks after Deborah's Endless Pools WaterWell® therapy pool was up and running, we had to call her to learn more.
"I always was active before I got sick," she told us by phone from her Ontario home. "I'm 62. At 40, I learned to rollerblade. I hiked, I walked, I did everything. And then this thing just took over, gradually, gradually, until I couldn't do anything."
Frustratingly, Deborah does not have an official diagnosis. Her many specialists, in the U.S. and Canada, have ruled out MS and ALS, both early suspects as her condition has some similar symptoms, including muscle weakness and spasms. "We're just dumbfounded. No one knows what this is."
The Aquatic Therapy Rx
"This pool has put me back probably to where I was 4 years ago inside of 2 months," she reports happily. "I just exercise in the water. I dance; I have my radio cranked. I don't stop in the water. I love it.
"Before I started in the pool, I had to have the cane or my husband pushing me in a wheelchair. Now I'm walking around the house without my cane, even in my yard with my cane. The muscle is reversing. Everyone says how amazing it is!
"I used to not be able to sit up in bed. I would have to be pulled up, and now I just get up. My arms are stronger; I'm using water weights. Just going gung-ho," she adds with a laugh.
Reasons to Smile
"When I get so bad with it – which happens every day – it starts around the afternoon to the evening, on one side or both. My leg will start jerking, and my medication won't even work. I go in the pool, and it stops. As long as I'm in the pool, all this goes away."
Her WaterWell exercises also help her related symptoms. "I was taking sleeping medication every night, and now, hardly at all." She finds that, while her pool workouts give her the ability and the energy to move, they also leave her ready to sleep a healthy "eight or nine hours." She says her husband jokes that, when he tucks her in each night, "'I have to kiss you good night, because by the time I get around to the other side and climb in, you're already asleep!'"
The WaterWell offers temperature control, and Deborah keeps hers set to just over 90 degrees. "I can't do cold water. My muscles start to cramp up. So I can't do a public pool – the temperature's not right; my immune system isn't good. It's all not good."
We hope that Deborah's medical team can soon find a correct diagnosis and treatment. For now, though, she says that the WaterWell has given her a new lease on life. "People say they can see it on me. One of my neurologists said, 'I can see you have a smile on your face!' The pool has been the best thing."