Thursday, July 19, 2012

Explosions and immigration.

Today (Friday) Brian was up bright and early, bathed and just about ready when the doctor showed up with his troupe of nurses. We're trying to get him ready before they come by. Almost made it today. Brian is scheduled to get his first stem cell injection on Monday. Yesterday we had asked about getting some physical therapy for Brian, just to make sure he doesn't lose any of the mobility he has regained over the last three years. They said they would arrange physical therapy for him today. This morning, after the doctor's visit, Michele asked if we were ready to go to physical therapy, but then a few minutes later, she came back to inform us that all the patients' treatments had been cancelled today. "Immigration is coming" she said, and we are not allowed to leave the building. In fact, we have to stay on the same floor of the building. She also took our passports for immigration to inspect. 

So today is a day of rest for Brian and all the other patients here. Not much going on. We're not sure what is involved with a visit from Immigration, but evidently it's a big deal. Perhaps it has something to do with the periodic explosions we've been hearing all morning. For about 3 hours today, every few minutes would be a series of explosions from very nearby. One of the other patients' families assured us it was fireworks or the nearby bullet train passing. Since nothing has apparently been destroyed, we're going with that. Although why there would be fireworks at 11 am escapes us. I'll attach a recording I made of the explosion sounds; hopefully it will get posted on the website.

Brian is in a great mood today. He's a bit nervous about "the unknown," but who isn't? None of us really know what to expect in the days ahead. But Brian benefited greatly from talking to Juan, who is from Colombia. His daughter Gaby is here for stem cells for cerebral palsy which was acquired from a heart attack she sustained at only one week old. Juan encouraged Brian to have "patience and faith." He related the story of Carlos from Spain who left just before we got here. Carlos had his second stem cell treatment here for a massive brain injury that left him utterly paralyzed and non-communicative. Now he can move, stand with assistance, and communicate by pointing out letters on a board to make words!

Ignacio is another patient here from Argentina. He's about 3 and has a left-sided weakness from a brain injury also. His left arm was contracted and pulled tight against his body. After only his fourth stem cell injection, he can move his arm and lift & stretch it on command. Brian was greatly relieved to hear about the positive results that others have seen with the treatments, and is looking forward to Monday. 

We're planning another run to the supermarket later on. No doubt it will provide us with some interesting photo opportunities!
More to come!

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