Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hope for a Tidal Change in Linda's Health

On Friday morning, Linda and I take off for Albany, New York for an unproven medical treatment that we are expecting will halt the symptoms of the multiple sclerosis that has been slowly, inexorably stealing her mobility and motion.

From Cruise
By faith, I believe this treatment will provide that firm halt, and provide a base for rebuilding mobility. God made our bodies to heal, and once the offense is ended, they will heal. The tide of her health has been ebbing. I believe that tide is going to rise!

We have been trusting God throughout the 16 years of this affliction. This procedure feels to me like His provision. But even if I'm wrong, we're going to continue to trust.

The medical community is divided on the "liberation treatment" that she will experience on Monday. The investigations so far have been inconsistent, with results ranging from substantial success to inability to replicate findings. Neurologists tend to argue against it, urging suffers to wait for definitive results.

We can't wait. In the years that it could take for more definitive answers on this treatment, Linda could be wheelchair- or even bed-bound. I understand the desire of physicians to have good science-based treatments.....but I also clearly understand the desire of patients to grasp at what offers hope.

A small band of Interventional Radiologists are offering the procedure, arguing that it appears to be helping some. When we made the arrangements for this trip a few months ago, the only USA option was Community Care Physicians in Albany, NY. Others in the USA had started, but have been stopped by their institutions, at least temporarily. A number of clinics in Mexico, Europe and India have been providing this service for many months now, with good many good reports. Hundreds and hundreds of MS sufferers have now undergone the treatment worldwide. Some have reported spectacular results, others a little bit of help, and others....nothing.

Briefly, the treatment involves threading a catheter into the veins that drain the brain and repairing kinks or constrictions. The point of this is to allow better blood flow. It has been known for over 100 years that MS sufferers have deposits of iron around veins draining the brain. The theory is that constricted drainage leads to iron from blood hemoglobin crossing the blood/brain barrier, killing sensitive nerve tissue. The condition has been dubbed chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI).

It appears that Linda is being attacked by secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS). In this variation, motor control is progressively lost. Drug therapies are generally modestly helpful, if at all, and there are a number of serious side effects associated with them. The effects of SPMS in her have been devastating to her ability to walk. In the 2001-2005 time period, she and I walked over 1,000 miles while we lived in Uppsala. Today, she can only walk with an electric nerve stimulator that lifts her left foot and using a walker for balance, and then only for short distances. Her left side is particularly affected, but there are deficits in her right as well. Albany we go. If you remember of us at 9 AM (Alaska time) on Monday, September 20, please pray for good results. No....don't pray for good results....pray for amazing results!

Thank you for your love, your concern and your prayers.


  1. Linda & Dave,

    Trina and I will be praying that God richly blesses you.

    In his love,


    May you find comfort in the poem I wrote for Trina:


    A thorn appeared in my side
    I saw it there and wondered why

    God would allow such a thing to be
    The purpose of which I could not see

    Forbidding me from being my best
    It caused my soul not to rest

    I tried to remove it time and again
    I would ask my Lord not why but when

    When would it be gone from me
    when would the thorn let me be

    The answer that came, I did not want to hear
    thou time did pass, my mind became clear

    His answer was the best for me
    the answer was to rest in thee

  2. Linda,
    We love you and are holding you in prayer. Pat Verdugo

  3. Hi folks,
    We are all waiting anxiously to hear how things went & how you are?

    From the old Fairbanks AG gang!!