Monday, February 18, 2013
by Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza
February 18, 2013
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
I was really weak before and I was not even able to stand on my feet. So since 2006, I have been undergoing physical therapy sessions at the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC). Thanks to my therapists, I was soon able to stand up, find my balance, and take little steps, until I was ready to use a cane, with assistance.
During the therapy, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit envious whenever I would see co-patients, especially those who started their rehabilitation with me, walking on their own with minimal help.
“Bakit sila? Sana ako rin,” I often asked my mom. Maybe it’s because of my poor balance. Maybe it’s because of my tumors. Maybe it’s because of my spinal column. And then I realized that maybe if I work harder and practice walking regularly, I can definitely walk by myself.
Later on, I stopped going to POC because Quezon City is quite far away from Mandaluyong where we live. My mom, who has been accompanying me to therapy sessions, is also undergoing her own therapy (traction). So I told her to just have her therapy without me as I can do my exercises at home. My friends, the GYA Peeps, were more than willing to help, assist and join me. But then, they became busy and I was too lazy, so I stopped doing my exercise routine.
THE JOY OF WALKING AGAIN
Then one day, I was contemplating and thinking that maybe I should get back to walking and exercising again. That afternoon, God answered my unheard prayer. My cousin and best friend Michelle told me, “Let’s walk and exercise again!”
Although Michelle is so busy with teaching kindergarten, doing lesson plans, going to doctor’s appointments, and reviewing for the board exam, she still finds the time to go to our house and help me every day. I feel lazy most of the time, but she continues to convince me to get up on my feet and walk with her. She is indeed a teacher with a lot of patience and great convincing powers. I’m so lucky to have a personal teacher, cousin and best friend like Michelle.
When we learned about Daisy’s (our other best friend) wedding, we practiced even more so that I could walk with the entourage on Daisy’s special day. Luckily, I did it. But even after the wedding was over, we continued to walk about 66 meters every day.
One day, when we were fooling around while walking, I told her to let go of my hand and see if my almost paralyzed left hand can hold on to her. But while I was holding her arm, it felt like I was drifting away since my left hand (whole left body part) felt numb. I jokingly told her, “Bumibitaw ka naman eh,” although my grip on her arm was actually so tight. So I let go of her hand and teasingly said, “Ayoko na nga!” Then, I took a step pretending I’m walking out on her and took another step to make it seem more real and we were both surprised. I was able to walk on my own without someone holding me, with just a cane for support. We were both so amused that for every few steps that I made, we uttered “Wow!” in unison.
After almost eight years, I am now able to walk all by myself! It really feels so great to walk on my own again. It had been hard and really exhausting, but I finally did it! Until now, I still couldn’t believe it, and I get so amused every time I finish three whole rounds, which sum up to about 66 meters in distance.
My walk isn’t perfect yet, and I still need someone to look out for me while walking because I might fall. But I haven’t, so far. I just need to keep on practicing, and with diligence, hope, faith and a lot of patience, I will be able to walk, jump and run in God’s perfect time. I know I will. To a new physical therapy program, here I come! This time, I’ll have it at the Mandaluyong Medical Center which is just a few minutes from our home.
I keep on sharing the good news that I CAN WALK BY MYSELF ALREADY not because I want to be noticed, but to show everyone that if I, a sick and weak person, did it, then so can you!
This verse in Hebrews 6: 11-12 (NIV) perfectly summarizes what I feel. “We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”
Keep hoping. Be patient and diligent. Never give up. Hold on to your faith. God helps us when we show Him that we are willing to help ourselves.
I have a couple of news to share. Mark Salazar, the child with Biliary Atresia, recently had his most-awaited liver transplant and is now recuperating at Chang Gung Hospital in Taiwan.
Baby Gabrielle Pacana, who has a congenital heart disease, is going to have her open heart surgery today. But her family still needs to raise funds for her post surgery needs. If you are willing to help in whatever way you can, it’s not yet too late. You may contact 0923-9156355 or 0915-2859990. Please continue praying for these two brave kids.