Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Vacationing... NF Free


It is nearly impossible to ever truly go somewhere and not think about the fact that I have Neurofibromatosis of Von Recklinghausen.It's not that I want to forget or pretend I don't have it, it's that people don't let me forget. That is because people tend to gawk, point, or look at me with pity; so it is impossible to live without acknowledging that I have NF.
However, the older I get, the easier it has become to not let the gawking, the pointing or the pity to weigh me down. I used to think that that was because I was with loved ones that did not let me be affected, but I recently discovered that I am the only one that can stop the ignorance from affecting me.
So, for the first time in my life I did something adventurous and did not consider what role my NF would play. In April I went on my very first cruise with my cousin, Maria Camila. We both needed some R&R from our hectic lives that seem to never slow down. I not only spent time with my soul sister but also managed to do a lot of self-discovery and healing.I made a silent pledge to myself as I walked onto the ship that I would not let my insecurities ( and trust me, I have plenty) stop me from having fun or trying new things.
I thought to myself, I am going to be safe; If I were to get all gloomy and start shutting down, Mari will rescue me and bring me back to life. I knew she would save me.As it turned out, I ended up saving her! My cousin and I decided to explore Cozumel and visit one of the many beautiful Mayan ruins.We decided to visit this specif ruin because we were able to climb it all the way to the top.
We climbed Cobá, the tallest Mayan ruin in the Yucatan peninsula, measuring 137.795 feet with 120 steps.Half way up my cousin began having a hard time getting her footing and feeling comfortable on the ruin. We were unable to turn back because we had people behind us that were pushing and rushing us to get up. She kept doubting her ability and willingness to climb this majestic ruin.
Once on top, we were able to get our bearings, we realized that we were essentially in the middle of a stampede. People were constantly reaching the summit and rushing down with no regard for others. My cousin started having a panic attack right on top of the pyramid. To be honest, I too was freaking out. There were too many people in the same confined area, people were pushing others to take pictures or to get down. There were a few risk takers that would walk on the ledge or just sit and soak up the sun.

We, on the other hand, had to figure out a way to get down safe to meet our tour guide. I asked my cousin for our backup and I slowly coached her down the pyramid. People on either side were rushing by us, failing to realize that the drop could kill. Nonetheless, I was able to have my cousin focus on my voice and two simple commands, breath and move. We moved slowly but we got back down... only to realize that our tour guide had LEFT US!!!

After we got back on the ship, my cousin told me how thankful she was that I was there to help her through her panic attack and to guide her back down. I didn't think twice of what I was doing. After all, we needed to get back on our bus to get back on the ship.

Mari, however, had an entirely different perspective. Her take on out little adventure was that I ended up rescuing her, that if it were not for me, she would not be able to go down the pyramid. She reminded me that just because I have NF or see from one eye does not mean I cannot rescue someone in need.