On Monday she had the surgery that has been dubbed "Liberation Treatment". It was about 1984 when Deb had her first MRI and officially received the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. She had been struggling with symptoms for a number of years but no one seemed to be able to identify the source of the problems. Her balance and eyesight were both negatively affected.
Deb went through so many tests and none of them led to identification of the source - until the MRI. Since then, her health has deteriorated and she moved from being fully mobile to wheelchair to being able to move only from the neck up.
Last year, a television program entitled W-5 began broadcasting programs about an Italian physician, Paolo Zamboni who had identified a connection between blood flow to the brain and MS symptoms. Chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) was the name he gave to the condition. His treatment involved clearing the veins to reduce symptoms.
Unfortunately, there has been considerable debate in Canada about the surgery which involves inserting a stent into the vein (in a manner similar to treatment for heart conditions). Governments have been hesitant to fund the procedure which is classified as "experimental". As a result, hundreds of Canadians are leaving Canada to go to clinics around the world for what has been termed by some recipients as life-altering. Poland, India and Mexico all offer the procedure but those who make the trip are responsible for the entire costs of the travel as well as medical expenses. The whole thing could be as much as $20,000.00.
Deb is required to stay at the clinic for a week in order to be monitored by medical personnel. She and Hugh fly home on Sunday. Well, she's had it done and even though it sounds to be a little contradictory, we have been praying and crossing our fingers (faith and luck are both covered). We know that the disease will not be cured but, at the same time, are hoping that the symptoms will be reduced.
If she could even just regain use of her hands.....