The results are in and the winner is . . . TAMPA! I've been speaking with the hospital and doctor's office there and am registered! I've sent off my records, need to send one more fax today to complete the process and then I should get on the schedule. Just waiting for that ever important date.
In truth, the winner is really me. Everyone I've talked to and gotten information from throughout this process has been so incredibly helpful and supportive. The MS community is just unlike any other group. So informed, intelligent and willing to share information. (A little too willing because someone put the name of the doctor and hospital on a few internet sites and now they're overwhelmed with requests!)
One person I met through my inquiries actually lives in Tampa and sent me her phone number so we could arrange to meet when I'm there. She had the procedure done by this doctor and had wonderful results and she now wants to help others achieve the same thing. Another woman in Sarasota who had it done there did the same thing and started a group for people going to Tampa to network among each other. What wonderful women! Who does that? Who is so trusting? I'll tell you who: people with MS. All along the way in my 7 year journey with this disease the most positive thing to come out of it is the people I've met. I've made some lasting friendships locally through attending meetings and working for the society at events, and through the power of the internet I'm now in touch with MS patients all over the country and the world.
It really opens up a different view of the world. People are inherently good and go out of their way to help. They give their time, energy, knowledge and sometimes dollars to strangers in the hope that they can prevent others from the pain and suffering they've gone through. They are selfless and inspirational. I have also shared a lot of information with those who needed it and have donated many hours of my time to our local MS Society Chapter. But my efforts are nothing compared to some of the folks I've met. They are true angels here on earth and I have been fortunate to know them.
Those who know me longest know my motto: "Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle." I try to live that way each day and maybe that's why I've been the recipient of so much kindness. I'll tell you, the rest of the world could learn more than a few lessons from the MS Community.