Friday, July 7, 2017

Retired Hockey Player Talks About MS and Service Dogs

Retired Canadian hockey player Bryan Bickell sat down with HealthCentral to talk about hockey, multiple sclerosis, fatherhood, and his new service dog program for people living with MS.

Bickell, 31, played in the National Hockey League from 2006 to 2017 for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Carolina Hurricanes. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November 2016.

Health Central (HC): As a professional athlete, what were the initial symptoms that concerned you the most and how long did it take to get a diagnosis of MS?

Bryan Bickell (BB): I had a pain in my shoulder, which I thought was from sleeping on it wrong. I brushed it off, took some Aleve, and moved on with my day like many athletes with injuries do. Then it went down my arm and a week later down to my legs. I was really concerned. I’d been through a lot of injuries and knew that something was off. Days later, I had an MRI and got the news.

HC: What were your biggest fears after your MS diagnosis?

BB: If things were going to get better. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play hockey, or if I would feel the way I did [at that moment] for the rest of my life. But due to the MS treatment I’ve been taking now for six or seven months it’s gotten a lot better. I feel awesome right now and things are looking positive.

Read this post in its entirety:
Bryan Bickell: From Skates to Service Dogs

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