Written by Kelvin Lord
“In times of sickness the soul collects itself anew” Latin Proverb
I arrived at the medical center this morning a little before 10:00AM with a slight headache , because of the drive, and because as a former-perfectionist, I hate to be late. My plan was to get there by 9:30AM but Baku, my cab driver from Senegal, was messing with his GPS and we didn’t take the most direct route. He was such a charming fellow I didn’t get out my map or complain. I did learn, however, that if it comes down to trusting a GPS or asking a cop on the street what is the shortest route somewhere, I’ll take the police officer’s word every time.
Gwen greeted me in her scrubs with her usual beaming smile, and in less than 2 minutes had me seated in the infusion room. Seated next to me was a wonderful woman who was just finishing her “drip” as I was arriving, who spoke so positively and eloquently about how much improvement she’d had on Ampligen, that I was finding myself feeling a strange emotion- hope!
For the purposes of confidentiality I won’t detail much about her, other than to say, timely words like this that come from other patients can really boost one’s soul and spirits. As a “rookie” just starting out, hearing her describe how far she had come, and how much of her life had been restored, was in itself like therapy! As usual in this community, in less than 5 minutes time we were “friends.”
I was discovering at that moment that my “treatment” was about more than just getting Ampligen. The whole process of moving here, committing to it, and meeting people was part of my healing as well.
I joked to Gwen after the “angel” had left: “OK, tell me the truth, do you guys plant ringers like her in here on purpose, just to boost the outlook of new patients like me?”
Gwen said, “It could seem that way, but honestly, I’ve seen the transformation in her, and what she told you is the truth.”
After noting my vital signs, Gwen then inserted the needle into my vein in about 4 seconds, adjusted the line and drip rate, and sooner than you could spell “myalgic encephalomyelitis” I was being infused.
“Wow, that was fast!” I remarked.
“Yeah,” Gwen replied, “I saw the vein I wanted on your hand when you walked in, a big sucker, and I knew I just had to have it.”
She made it sound like she had a personal relationship with my body parts, and I realized at once that was part of her secret.
She had actually scoped out a number of good candidates on both my hands and arms, left and right, the last time, and had a photographic memory. Then with her gloved finger, she actually drew her battle plan on my hands- noting how she would move up, and then over, switching from left to right each treatment day so as not to damage the precious veins. Amazing.
After 45 minutes I had finished off the 200ml of Ampligen, and after telling Gwen I had no affects or side-effects to speak of, other than feeling extreme hunger, I was ready to go.
“Lots of people early in their treatment find their appetite returning” Gwen remarked, as she noted that little tidbit in my chart.
I left feeling good- having not only received a good dose of the medicine I needed for my body, but a nice portion of medicine for my soul as well.
Then I saw Baku in his cab, fooling with that infernal GPS again.
“Can I give you my map, Baku?” I asked, smiling.
“No man, I know the way now. Don’t worry friend!” he said, grinning broadly.
“OK” I replied, now understanding that even “Baku” and his GPS were part of my therapy.
Follow my journey on “The New Ampligen Diaries” with thanks to Mary Schweitzer for paving the way.