Hope is a wonderful thing. It pushes me forward to reach deep into my soul and find a purpose and new direction for the future. It is a guiding light and keeps me positive and optimistic. With hope your world is big; without hope it becomes very small. I always try to find hope in every situation. Therefore, it has made it possible for this journey to find healing for Monica. I ALWAYS knew that there was a person "out there in the world" that I HAD to find that could bring wellness to my daughter. I just knew deep to my core that if we found that right person it would all come together. That is why we spent every day "doctoring" pursing an answer. As you can tell from Monica's blogs our hopes and dreams are slowly becoming a reality. We came here hoping for one visible change.
So far in three weeks Monica has surpassed all of our expectations. Monica now sweats (I know how much we all hate to sweat and smell, but it is a critical function of our bodies and keeps us well) and she has not done this for about one and 1/2 years. Monica now sleeps an average of seven or eight hours per night (not jet lag, but real sleep) and has not done that for over 3 years. Monica now can stand up in physical therapy with calipers (metal braces) for a few minutes (but is very wobbily because her core and legs have atrophied) and has not stood for over seven months. Monica now can walk in physical therapy with calipers for a few minutes on the parallel bar ramp (yesterday she learned the moon walk) and again has not walked in over seven months. Her dismount is a crack up because she is in these full legged braces with several people helping her get back into her chair and then they take the calipers off. So you can see why HOPE makes all things possible. I also wear a couple of silver charms on a necklace that say: STRENGTH, LAUGH, FEAR LESS BREATHE MORE and HOPE.
Another reason for the title of this blog is that my brother's wife HOPE travelled with us to India to get us settled. Introducing Hope to the doctors and patients I always kinda joked that we are hopeful for the treatment and symbolically we even brought Hope with us. I am so fortunate that my brother married such an amazing woman! Before Monica got ill, I was lucky enough to work with the principal of my children's elementary school developing and implementing a character education program for each grade. I am always drawn to people by their character.
Hope has so many of the qualities and traits that form the individual nature I look for in a friend. She is responsible, patient, respectful, trustworthy, loyal, determined, optimistic, compassionate, dependable, adaptable, honest, has perseverance, displays gratitude and has a sense of peacefulness about her. She knew before I asked her to travel with us that it would be hard. Monica does not travel well - she has seizures, tremors and this time her hands froze into claws on the flight. Because of that I do not travel well and am so focused on making sure Monica is safe I get distracted easily. It was so comforting to know that she was a witness to our journey. It's amazing how much better I cope when I have a witness to my world and know that someone will be there if I fall. Getting supplies and just being a tourist is much easier with a third person. She made sure that I had all the comforts I needed before she left. I really wanted our room to be a cheerful, comfortable and welcoming room to be in. I wanted it to have a flavor of the country we now live in and make us feel like a "local" and not a visitor. We bought new towels and comforters and figured out how to decorate our walls. She helped me problem solve every situation to make sure that when she left we would be comfortable leaving our hospital and adventuring out in a wheelchair - honestly, as a visitor, the city looks like it has been bombed and they are rebuilding absolutely everything.
There is a slide show (that will be up soon) dedicated to her on the right hand side (future blogs will explain where we were and our experiences) and the sacrifices she made by staying with us and leaving her family (my nephews are six and ten years old). She really missed them, but stepped up and was present with us every moment. I am very grateful to have Hope in my life and as my friend. Thank you Hope for supporting us in this journey from the bottom of my heart.