Life has been super busy since I got back from LA NMO Patient day. For one thing, we had a rather unexpected move. I had 3 weeks to purge and pack up our home which was no mean feat with a fractured rib. I am forever grateful to our son and my husband’s coworkers-big burly men who work in construction who came and helped with all the heavy lifting. We are mostly unpacked and settled in our new home and loving it. We now live on a greenbelt which is really pretty and quiet-it’s like living in a park. The neighbours are friendly and welcoming and just about everyone here has at least one dog, so Indy, our black Lab is right at home. I joined an MS/NMO adaptive paddling group, so twice a month, my husband and I go out dragon boating on Burrard Inlet which is five minutes from home. (I am the token NMOer.) I am taking things slowly, since my rib is still healing. So far it’s been fun getting out on the water and seeing the wild life. The first night we went out, we saw 25 sea lions on a log boom. They were just hanging out. Then these little heads popped up- there were half a dozen babies the size of well-fed house cats! It was really cool to see them up close in the wild like that. I got a dry bag for my iphone so next time we see them I can get photos. On Friday night while we were standing on the dock, I saw an eagle fly over us with a fish in its talons.
Last Sunday my son and I went to experience the Sea to Sky Gondola. I have been dying to go. The tram ride up is about 12 minutes and the view was amazing. We did some hiking up top. I took my DSLR with me and my son and I kept passing it back and forth. We enjoy doing photography together. There are two glaciers you can see from the summit that are just spectacular. I love that in an hour I can be in the mountains. Being in the mountains is my happy place-it’s the place I feel most alive.
Wednesday night, was the annual UBC Interprofessional Health Mentors Symposium. This is the program where I work with future health care providers for 16 months, teaching them about patient-centred care. On Symposium night, they have the opportunity to share their learning with the other groups. This year my students created a Jeopardy game and we gave out NMO branded prizes and chocolate. Our board was super busy and we made sure everyone who visited us went away with NMO flyers. It was a great opportunity to connect and help raise awareness. I think part of our popularity is the fact that rare=interesting.
On Thursday, the MS Society BC-Yukon Division held an MS/NMO art show that I submitted work to. It was really wonderful to see all the amazing talent we have in our division. The reception was lovely and the turnout was really great. At one point, I was standing by my art so a friend could take a photo and these two women came up to take a look. I heard one of them comment on the “longitudinal lesion” she saw which was a picture of one of my actual MRIs that was included in my art piece. So I said to her “Yes and that’s actually an NMO lesion, not an MS lesion.” They both got very excited about that because as it turns out, they were researchers from UBC’s clinic. I was really impressed that MS/NMO scientists had shown up to the art show! Rounding out the week, this past Sunday, I did a phone interview about NMO for the MS Society’s Lower Mainland Chapter newsletter. It should be coming out in the next issue. I talked about living with NMO, the NMO 5 km Walk, Run, Roll that is coming up in June, Patient Day in LA, the Guthy-Jackson Foundation and NMO Diaries. I really don’t know how long the article will be, but I gave Dorit, who is writing the article lots of food for thought. So…I am hoping May is a little bit less hectic. I had TWELVE medical appointments on top of everything else this month and I need a break. I have some art projects in progress and I actually need to have time at home to work on them. (Go figure!)