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‘’I had spent years looking for work and struggling with job interviews my lack of real success had meant I spent years longer at university and had worked for myself. Then I decided on a whim to try Baclofen a muscle relaxant I thought may help my Cerebral Palsy but I really had little idea what to expect. I had been reluctant to try it as I had faced some opposition from some people like a past physiotherapist saying it would not be suitable for me that when I got a prescription from my GP I was not sure what was best. I recall that first evening I took the smallest does just before bed and as I felt myself swallow the small pill my feet that were normally on tip toe were flat for the first time, I felt quite emotional. I realised for the first time how heavy and painful my legs had felt and my walking looked more normal. I was quite shocked. But it is not that simple the muscles in my foot were so weak and unused that walking outside became more challenging than ever. For the first time things appeared better than they were so people did not realise the extent of my difficulties with tasks like walking outside and managing curves or uneven surfaces. I got a new physiotherapist and worked hard it was not an easy option. I also tried FES a devise that also improved my walking that I use with the Baclofen a lot but is hard work. After only a couple of weeks or less taking Baclofen I applied for a couple of jobs and was called for an interview. I recall that the change in my walking made me feel more confident, unexpectedly the medication had the side effect of really reducing also my extremely serve Hyperhidrosis that had plagued me for years with extremely sweating hands making shaking hands at interviews very awkward!
I recall walking into the building very aware of my walking and balance and really worried as I was not used to my new walking style I had had past negative experiences including falling over in front of the interview panel!
This time I struggled as was often the case with the questions especially as I had focused so much on just walking into the building but it went well. I did not get that role but they recommend a different role I went on to apply for and actually got! It was amazing! I applied and still use Access to Work and get a taxi to work just paying what it would cost in public transport. The job has given me so much more confidence over time and I’m much more accepting of myself and of help I need like I now use a Mobility scooter out and about when needed. Before the Baclofen I could however manage okay most the time outside now I need more help like using a walker outside on the way in and out of work. I don’t like it but I accept it. Sometimes it is hard to know what the best option is but with the Baclofen for example I don’t have the Hyperhidrosis and I have much less pain as well as my walking looking good inside. It took time to get used to it and to start it was hard to walk.’’