I decided to sit down and write my impressions of my experience of a 44 mile 26 hour hike with 30 pounds strapped to my back, and connect it to M.S. (last paragraph).
My body and brain wanted to stop, but I had to push myself, or I knew I wouldn't make it. I had to give myself something to look forward to, and that was Paradise Valley Cafe. I heard about a loaded "Jose burger" that seemed like heaven. My eye was on the goal, and I was getting there.
|"Gottawalk" (67) who gave me my trail name "Wiki Wiki" (quick in Hawaiian). She has hiked the PCT, CDT, AT, and American Discovery. She is a beast and I love it!|
|Happy to have my burger.|
I devoured my hamburger and fries, and proceeded to ask for a plate of pie and ice cream. The next thing I heard was, "You better wake up and eat your ice cream." I jumped out of my dream and into reality. Did I really just fall asleep in a chair at a restaurant? There was music and loud conversations all around me. I felt exhausted, but the ice cream looked delicious! People around me laughed as I quickly finished every last drop of ice cream and pie.
The next stop was a $3 camp site in "Idyllwild" with a $1, 5 minute shower. The best 5 minute shower of my life, even though I had one 2 days earlier. At 5pm, I crawled into my sleeping bag and fell asleep. When I woke up the next morning, I started laughing when I discovered 2 hamburgers laying next to me. I was so confused, but later found out that a hiker thought I'd be hungry, so he put those next to me. Kind of random and funny to wake up to 2 hamburgers laying next to me, but very thoughtful.
This mentally and physically draining experience made me think of people trying to deal with Multiple Sclerosis. We tend to have set expectations for our friends and family. People wanted me to talk more to them, but I couldn't. Thinking straight was a mental chore that I just didn't want to do. Walking was awful, my legs were numb, and it felt like more of a hobble, but I had to keep moving. Many people with Multiple Sclerosis have these symptoms 24/7 plus blurry vision, and more! Most of the time there is no break, no getting better, and no healing. They often say, "What is normal? I don't remember." Slowly degrading with these masked symptoms, keeps them pushing for a cure. Ya, sure, cures may be hard to come by, but... What if? What if you were part of the cure discovered for M.S? How amazing would that be? Medical break-throughs are only achieved by people passionate about the future of discovery.
I would appreciate all readers to comment how M.S. affects your life (even if you don't have it), and how important and beneficial a cure would be. Examples would be great! To do something about anything, we have to speak out, and make people aware. We have to increase understanding and drive. There's no point in being timid. Let's get out there!
I'm writing everything on a smart phone, so sorry for any typos or imperfections. :-)