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Before and After the G-suit

While I am sure that each person's results with a g-suit will vary because of differences in illness, symptoms, level of disability, expectations, and fit, these are some of my experiences with wearing a g-suit, since August 2001.

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Before: I had not seen any improvement for 5 years; I had gotten worse after a move in 1999, 2 years before starting to wear the g-suit.
After: I am finally seeing improvement and going in a positive direction.

Before: I was mostly bedbound.
After: I am mostly homebound and continuing to improve. (See My Life and OI.)

Before: I did not feel well and my life was very limited.
I am feeling better and have gotten to do many things I was not able to do before wearing the g-suit.

Before: Because of Orthostatic Intolerance (OI), I felt "almost well" while lying down and getting out of bed led to feeling awful.
By treating Orthostatic Intolerance with a g-suit, I can be out of bed more and get some exercise.

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Before: There was payback (symptoms and extra time in bed) for doing every little thing.
After: There is no payback after doing some things.

Before: I was always tired and had symptoms after doing something.
After: Now I sometimes experience a new kind of tired. I can only tell the difference because of a lack of payback and a new ability to recover.

Before: I had 2-hour days.
I can have 8-10 hour days (low energy/sitting activity 8-10 hours per day or high energy/standing activity 2 hours per day, with most days somewhere in-between).

Before: I had overwhelming symptoms by 4 PM.
After: I can work on a computer project through 4 PM.

Before: I was not able to have an evening.
After: I can often have an evening; I even exercise or read or play keyboard or do a hobby after a "big" day at home.

Before: I would need notice to do things so I could prepare and rest beforehand.
After: I have tried several spontaneous things at times when I am not so tired.

Before: After an afternoon out shopping, I experienced overstimulation - headache, tired, generally feeling fried.
After: Now there are times after shopping, I have lots to think about, but no other symptoms.

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Better Days

Before: I woke up knowing I had not recovered from the day before and I could not have the day I planned. I would need to spend the day in bed.
After: That happens much more rarely.

Before: I was always hopeful that I could do tomorrow what I could not do today.
After: I am enjoying the consistency of feeling and doing better on a daily basis at home.

Before: Many projects at home that should have been easy were not.
I was suddenly able to do the projects easily and take the extra time to do a quality job on them.

Before: Working on any small project required its being interspersed with frequent rest periods. Sitting up to work on a project was often out of the question.
Now, I can work on small projects and will notice that I have not needed to stop and rest for a couple of hours.

Before: A project like this website would have been unthinkably hard before the g-suit.
I have been able to work steadily on the website because of the g-suit.

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Before: I could not exercise; there was not even the possibility.
After: I have played tennis, bicycled, rollerbladed, walked, strength trained, ice skated, and gone horseback riding.

Before: Lifting a one pound weight was difficult.
I have been able to build my arm strength and can lift 8 and 10 pound weights.

Before: I was not able to participate in fun activities.
I have tried fun classes and activities outside of home. I took ice skating and horseback riding lessons and some computer classes.

Before: I did not waste any energy.
After: I enjoy wasting some energy at times.

Before: I did not do any extra movement.
After: I have used some muscles for the first time in years. Sometimes they hurt, but at least I deserve it.

Before: I would try to avoid having to go to the basement or upstairs for just one thing.
After: I can make a trip to the basement or upstairs more easily when needed.

Before: I learned to drive, but I did not have the energy to drive and do errands also.
After: With the g-suit, it is the first time I have ever driven with a brain, and it is so much easier! I can think and sit up at the same time now. I can also drive by myself.

Before: My family wanted to get a puppy but always decided to wait until my mom and I felt better.
We got a puppy. It has been really hard to take care of her and learn to train her, but it has been possible compared to what it would have been like before the g-suit.

Before: I had to focus on myself and use my energy to do what I could, when I could.
I have been able to shift my energy at times to do things for others (like my family and our puppy) when they need me.

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Before: I tried hard to have a good attitude.
After: It is much easier to have a good attitude since I am not dragging myself around all of the time.

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Before: I had insomnia - the kind where it took hours to get to sleep.
After: I often fall asleep early and easily after a "big" day at home.

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Before: I was very aware of symptoms.
After: I often have fewer symptoms and more time in between thinking about them.

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Before: So often reading was out of reach.
After: I have done some technical reading with understanding.

Before: I needed to learn about computer programs.
After: I am able to learn about computer programs more easily.

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Before: I had to drag myself to take a bath every 10-14 days.
After: I can try to take a bath twice a week.

Before: I could not take care of myself. I had not washed my face in 6-7 years. I could not eat healthfully.
After: I can take better care of myself. I started face care nightly. I can eat more healthfully and the ideas are easier.

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Blood Vessels

Before: I could not see the veins in my hands.
After: The veins in my hands are bulging often. When I went to have my blood drawn, my usual phlebotomist noticed the big improvement in my veins!

Before: I had noticed my feet turning red and purple when I stood but I did not know what that meant.
I got to see my feet change from red and purple to white (normal color) within just a few seconds by inflating the g-suit.

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