I was referred to Jessica by a private insurance company, and was unsure what to expect. As a fellow physiotherapist, I was impressed by her involvement in the clinical specialist team which developed the NICE clinical guidelines for CFS / ME, and in her research profile. I was aware of the controversy around GET, but had confidence that if anyone could make it work, Jessica had the skills and knowledge.
Although I approached the treatment with great anticipation, I was quite shocked when Jessica suggested that I could be walking for 30 minutes – a concept, so far from my expectation, that I was scared to believe it could be achievable.
For two years I had only been able to walk slowly for short distances. Now after six months of rehabilitation, I am exercising daily for 30 minutes, and asking my friends if they could walk a little faster, so that I can get my heart rate up to my current training level! The ability to walk for 30 minutes has opened up all sorts of opportunities and has taken away the fear of going out. I am no longer unduly concerned about where I will park the car, or how far I might have to walk.
I have now also started cycling, and am planning to rejoin my local gym in the near future. Every progression, no matter how small, has been celebrated by Jessica, and all my family and friends.
One of my other most significant problems associated with CFS was very disturbed, unrefreshing sleep. I followed all Jessica’s suggestions – some more unusual than others – and within a month I was sleeping much better. Getting a good nights sleep certainly contributed to my overall improvement.
As I live in Northern Ireland, I have had all my consultations using Skype, which has been very successful. It has made the relationship more personal than using the telephone alone.
I particularly like the very measured, objective approach of the programme, as I can easily monitor progress, even though it may be small. I like having a very specific treatment plan to follow, and love using a heart monitor to record and check my average heart rate, as I now increase the intensity of my exercise. Every stage of the programme has been tailored for my needs as an individual, and I have had control over every decision made. I was not always confident to make decisions for myself, and Jessica was always happy to guide me when I asked for her opinion.
My progress has not been without the occasional setback, but these were professionally managed, and in a short time I was moving positively forward again. This programme requires commitment and dedication from the client, and a willingness to take on board, and apply, all advice and recommendations.
I deem myself to be unbelievably fortunate to have been referred to Jessica, and will continue to work with her until I have gained the maximum benefit I can from the programme. She has given me real hope for a future I hadn’t dared to hope for, and I wait with anticipation to see what lies ahead.
I would highly recommend both Jessica and the Graded Exercise Therapy approach to anyone suffering from CFS.