Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Shit Happens!"

One of my favorite movies is Forest Gump. I love the scene where he is running across the United States, stepped in dog poop and said, "Shit Happens!" I don't believe that every incident in our lives has some deep cosmic significance, or religious connotation attached. Some things don't really matter; the type of house we live in, the hobbies we pursue, or the clothes we wear. To freely make our own choices from within the options at hand is the right and privilege of every man and woman; or should be. A person who is honest and forthright has my respect, the rest is eye candy.

One of the most baffling questions for those of us interested in MS/CCSVI is why is there such a great disparity in recovery among those of us who have had the angioplasty procedure? There is no simple answer, although I have some very clear cut opinions. I have addressed that topic many times. What I find interesting is why most of the members of the Liberati Club who have had superior results choose to remain less visible . I know some of them and speak to them on a regular basis.

A friend of mine from Canada has given me the most insight into what is happening in her country, and to some extent ,my own. She is not a Facebook fan, nor does she care for the internet in general. Her mother -in law, however dabbles a bit in everything, much like me. She saw my videos on Youtube and tried to contact me last fall. Personally , I thought I was one of the easiest people in the world to get in touch with if MS was part of the equation. Stupid me; I didn't realize that part of being an online personality involved a gigantic make over. I thought a "username" sounded like fun, but other than that you use your real name , bio and history. It still fascinates me how people can have a dozen different names and personas online. In any case when she finally caught up with me on Facebook, it was the beginning of a new journey for me and for my soon to be newest CCSVI buddy. Other than the fact that she is young enough to be my little sister, our MS symptoms and history parallel each other closely. I had one advantage she needed: a country where she did not have to fight to be treated. Her neurologist , if you know any of them in Toronto, was not well versed in the venous connection to MS. He refused to write a prescription for any tests to determine whether or not she had any venous issues to be concerned about. I offered to speak with him on the phone. It did not go well. In fact the conversation began to disintegrate somewhere between "Hello" and "Yes, I have had the venoplasty procedure."

Within a week my new friend came to the US and had the procedure done. Everything I had done, she did also. In addition she got a nifty little vein graft. I wasn't jealous, just fascinated. She had to stay here for almost two weeks before all concerned felt comfortable sending her back to Toronto where we feared she would have no follow up. Our fears were well grounded as she did need to come back briefly. It was great to see her again and doing so well. Her improvements were impressive. Her left hand had been curled into a ball before the procedure. Physical therapy was one of the perks she got by "coming to America." She was soon out of her wheelchair, able to care for her baby and she loved the ability to smell things again. Her peripheral vision is normal, L'Hermittes, spasticity, cold feet, numb legs and face tremors are all gone. What's not to be happy and excited about?

After dealing with progressive MS with all its hideous symptoms and side effects she was able to rebuild muscle mass, adopt a much healthier lifestyle and generally have it made. That was until two months ago when she tried to commit suicide. I am happy to report that she was unsuccessful. With her new "normal" life came the "side effects" of Liberation for a Canadian. Her husband lost his job. The details are unimportant other than to say he worked within the healthcare system. The friends she had before her procedure were mostly other members of the MSSC. Not an outgoing or talkative type, she withdrew from her associations and stayed home. A few months ago, her husband told her he wanted a divorce. Apparently he adapted well to his caregiver role, but recovery was more than he bargained for. Megahn began to find herself and wanted to take control of her life; something she had been physically unable to do in the past. There is much about her situation I am not free to talk about. She did ask that I write this for her because she feels that her attempt to make others aware of the reason for her transformation had much to do with the current state of affairs. Because of her legal disability and the "assistance" of her old neurologist, she lost custody of her baby, even though she had a good job as a school teacher and quite capable of caring for herself and her daughter.
Things are getting better her now. After much hard work, some fundraising from real friends who care about her with or without MS and many prayers, she has her daughter back. Her and her husband are in counseling and physically she is doing wonderfully.
With much restraint and tact on my part, I will leave some of my personal feelings aside. That she was treated shamefully by her MS support system is a gross understatement.
For her and her little family, it doesn't matter what the bigger picture is: shit happens. That it happens daily in Canada is no brag, just fact.
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