july 4. 11 days post liberation
well this will be my last post from my fave spot at my fave time of day here in costa rica. i’m sitting by the pool with the cool evening costa rican breeze and trying to reflect on the past few weeks. virtually impossible.
yesterday we had a full day adventure to the pacific coast where we spent an hour and a half in a river full of giant crocs. that will go down as my favorite part of the touristy section of my trip. just check out the pics i’ve just posted for a glimpse at the adventure. then we travelled to a tram that trook us up a mountain over a rainforest. there we saw monkeys, a toucan, 2 macaws, and a sloth. that too was awesome. and then we went to the beach and hung out there before we headed home. the place we went was called jaco (pronounced yack-o) and it was only 100 or so kms away but it felt like we were driving into an oven. if my dad were there he’d have said he was ‘rendered out’. it was stinking hot. it’s shocking how drastically the temp changes here withing very short distances. if i lived here i could easily manage san jose but not the coast.
anyway, tonight the whole gang ordered a pile of pizzas and had a little party together. it was quite a nice gathering of folks who were leaving to go home and folks who were just arriving. there are some really great people here, all of us convinced that this thing works and all are committed to lobbying the canadian government to get this in place for all people suffering with MS who will benefit from this. the stories here are quite dramatic. more dramatic than mine by a long shot.
as for me, i came here hoping for at least three things back that MS has taken from me. i wanted my feeling back in my hands, i wanted better control over my bladder, and i wanted to walk better. so far there seem to be no noticable changes in the first two and i’d be lying if i said i weren’t dissappointed about that. especially when people here are telling stories about instant relief from those two issues. one lady had numb hands for16 years and felt her hands as soon as she woke up. when she told me this i have to be honest and ay that my initial instinct was one of jealousy and i wanted to punch her in the face and ask her if she felt that too:) but instead i hurrayed and congratulated her with as much enthusiasm as i could muster. and most of that was genuine. i truly was happy for her.
as for my walking, i have without question improved but yesterday i was reminded of how far i have to go. once i got in the ocean, the waves were massive and i could not handle the back and forth of the tide and was quickly gassed by the energy i needed to get out of there. once i made it to my towel, i knew i was cooked. now again, that was the end of the day, it was 2000 degrees, we had driven a long time, and i was already tired. but i felt the exact same fatigue i am used to feeling with MS and i was dissappointed by it.
so, for me, once again i need to be patient. so many people are reportring major breakthroughs 3-6 months post-procedure and i will stay hopeful for that.
and if i don’t experience those breakthroughs, i will be ok too. i have a family who loves me and who i love back. i have so many dear friends that love and care for me and i love back (which this experience reminded me of in a powerful way). i have the best job on the planet where i get to work alongside so many wonderful, caring people as we march onward towards seeking justice for our friends on the street. and my faith in and dependance on God, the only true MS specialist, has deepened. in fact, about a year ago we began a study of the book of acts with my staff. and in the first few chapters of that book there are stories of many miracles of healing and transformation. my deepest longing when we started that was that i would have an opprtunity to see miracles too. i longed to witness the blind see and the lame to walk, and that was before i ever heard of this treatment. and God has answered my prayer as i have since witnessed first hand the lame walking again. these things aren’t ancient stories that are irrelevant to us. these are real and they can and do happen now.
so, is travelling to a foreign country for an invasive experimental surgery the craziest thing i’ve ever done? by far
was it a successful journey? partially but only as the story unfolds will i truly know.
am i glad we did this? yes, without one iota of a doubt.
so to end this chapter of the story, i will yet again end with a prayer;
“thank-you that through this journey, I drew closer to You — You are my comfort and strength. I pray that ultimately, whatever happens, You will be glorified through me.