About six months ago WalkAide was just a nifty new device that I had researched years ago that was finally being introduced to our family. Even after trying it out for an afternoon we still saw it as something completely unreachable no matter how hard we dreamed about it. Then I watched the video of my husband wearing the WalkAides and something stirred in me to pursue it at all costs. To Jim, the higher cost was pride as I asked our friends for help. The amazing end result is we own two WalkAide devices for Jim, one for each leg. He received them on October 23rd and it's been something close to a miracle for me to experience.
It's actually hard to put into words how it feels. And that's just my feelings, I dare not attempt to speak for Jim. Jim and I have been together for ten years. Our first date started with me asking him why he was walking funny. Yes, I did. It was the first cold night of the season and we'd been meeting in a small group inside. Cold weather pretty much freezes up their muscles so when he got out of the car for our first date I thought he was just trying to be funny. I had not noticed his HSP in our meetings. After swallowing my foot and some dinner, I learned a bit more about his disorder and well, the rest is history. Somehow he saw past my rudeness and found a way to love me. So that was just the start of things. Through the years, there have been falls, trips, a few limitations, scrapes, bruises, aches and pains. And there have been SHOES!!!! I've had the same brown shoes for four years and the same black ones going on their third winter. Jim's shoes do well to make it two months. After getting the WalkAides he bought a new pair of shoes. There's very little wear on them. You can't HEAR him when he walks. And you can't SEE his entire body forcefully walking. Now we're only a month in and there's a lot yet to be seen, but what we have seen has been so promising. We are so hopeful for the long-term effects. He's working through some fitting kinks and getting used to being shocked with every step or the unexpected shock after sitting. The great thing about Jim is he's going to let this thing work and do what it needs to do without complaining about a shock. He's using muscles that have never been used...can you imagine? My body feels that every time I workout and that's just from working out the day before, this is 38 years we're talking about! Needless to say, he's had some soreness and tenderness from that. We're hoping those issues will work themselves out with longer wear.
This dream from a few months ago is now a reality. God tells us to have faith and to ask in His name and we shall receive it. Without being cynical or sounding hypocritical, there have been many times when the answer was no or not right now. With your help, the answer was a resounding yes. God used our loved ones and your faithfulness to make a dream come true for our family. With every donation that came in and every baked good request, we praised God and you for making this a reality for us. I have been moved to tears so often throughout the past month just thinking about your love and generosity for our family. I hope you all have the chance to see Jim walking with it one day. One of my volunteers at church saw him this weekend and said, "I saw Jim walking in front of me today. That thing is amazing." Yes, buddy, it is. God is good, all the time, God is good.
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