Thirty Years of Living With Multiple Sclerosis Hasn’t Been A Walk In the Park.

Saturday, I walked through four parks. I did not walk alone, or unaided. My husband and son were there to give me an arm when necessary. My REI poles gave me the superpower of two added appendages.

When I first got my diagnosis, my fear of disability was entangled in a fear of losing access to wild places. I didn’t want my travels circumscribed by smooth asphalt. Give me rocks, sand, dirt trails. Saturday, all four mediums were at my disposal as we explored the Big Island of Hawaii.

My husband and I greeted the sunrise at Laupāhoehoe Point, the rocky shore where his grandfather first arrived from China.

It felt right to be there. Our son has accepted a two year position in Beijing. In a few days, he’ll be flying to his new job / ancestral home.

After visiting the point, we returned to our lovely AirBnb, a renovated temple, where our son could justify sleeping in as his preparation for Beijing time.

I unwound with some yoga.

The ocean breezes skimmed across the room and cooled my skin.

Then whole family set out for Waipio Falls.

The falls were stunning. But I forgot to take a picture. I was a bit rattled.

My husband was very keen on driving down this, the steepest slope on The Big Island, to get us to the falls. He’d rented a Jeep for the four wheel drive.

I’d imagined he’d rented the Jeep because his poor disabled wife couldn’t make it down this long perilous incline on foot. But no. Driving down a one and a half lane mountain road at 70 degree incline turned out to be his idea of fun. The road was so narrow, one vehicle had to fold its side view mirror to passu us. We made it through.

Our next stop was Akaka Falls.

The windy paved walkway around the falls gave us easy access to breathtaking views.

We wrapped up the day strolling through a lovely park in downtown Hilo.

I wish someone could have told me when I was first diagnosed that my days of access to beauty and wonder were far from over.

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14 thoughts on “Thirty Years of Living With Multiple Sclerosis Hasn’t Been A Walk In the Park.

  1. I love this! I too was worried that I wouldn’t be able to travel, hike, play or golf but I am still doing those things although I have to slightly modify them when needed. Good for you going out there and making life happen!!

  2. Beautiful pictures – thank you! I was out of commission for a bit, but just read your post and saw your photos – so lovely! Happy you were all there together!

    1. Let’s both of us stay in commission for a long while to come. So many beautiful sights to see on this planet. Always a pleasure to see them with you.

  3. This was an amazing post and I am so glad you shared it. You give me hope for the future! I will admit that walking for me causes even more pain, but I still do my best. Even with all of the pain I feel daily, I do try to snowboard with my husband in the winter. I only do it because he loves it and I just tolerate it!!

  4. “I wish someone could have told me when I was first diagnosed that my days of access to beauty and wonder were far from over.”… I think more people need to know this…Ty for sharing the knowledge and the beautiful pictures. Best of luck to your son on his adventure

    1. Have you ever read the book, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly? It was written by a fabulously creative man who had lost all but the ability to blink one eye. His powerful memories and imagination enabled him to maintain an expansive perspective. I am so grateful that he persevered enough to produce that book, blink by blink, and bring the rest of us along on his final adventure.

      1. His memoir was also made into a visually stunning but factually distorted movie, financed in part by an ex-wife who wanted to appear heroic.

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