Some patients with DIPG may have issues with moving around and getting where they need to. According to the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, this is likely due to ataxia, which are balance issues that often accompany a DIPG diagnosis, difficulty controlling eye movements resulting in lack of proper perception, or even muscle weakness as a result of various external factors. In terms of solving this issue, there are various routes that caretakers can choose, depending on the individual patient’s needs and responsibilities.
One of the best ways to restore mobility to a patient is to get them to physical therapists. This is a very reliable method because physical therapists can use genuine medical intervention and help the patient recover functioning in their limbs (Cancer Treatment Centers of America). It is the safest way to ensure that the patient retains or even regains their mobility to the point it was at before cancer affected their bodily functions.
Another method, which would fit well with younger patients, is to get a stroller. Since the majority of DIPG cases affect younger children who may not necessarily have the patience to undergo physical therapy, getting a stroller can help the caretaker move the patient around. The “adult” alternative is to get a wheelchair and push themselves or have someone else push them.
Because rehabilitation works to improve the patient’s muscular strength, it is a good way to keep the patient healthy while also attempting to regain their mobility. But mobility is not solely determined based on the patient’s ability to move freely (OncologyNurseAdvisor). Instead, it involves the patient’s ability to go from one place to another, to sit and stand, and many more daily life activities that require some form of movement or lack thereof. DIPG can affect mobility in many ways, so caretakers must be aware of concerns surrounding the issue.
A helpful thing to have when taking care of a patient with DIPG is a handicapped parking permit. It would drastically reduce the walking times for patients and caretakers and allow them ease of function when interacting with society. A caretaker can obtain an application for handicap parking from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicle Administration. The feasibility of movement is something a caretaker must be aware of as they are traveling, whether it is to the local park or another country.
By Aayush Gandhi