My parents could tell early on in my development that something was unusual. Much of my childhood was spent bouncing from one doctor to another performing tests and x-rays. According to them, nothing was wrong with me.
It wasn't until I had a short conversation with a distant cousin, Pauline. She shared the same stories of pain and inflammation with me, but she had found a hospital with specialists who understood her condition. She introduced me to Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Cincinnati OH. Patients come from around the world to seek treatment, many in worse conditions than myself. Although surgery was inevitable when they explained the harsh realities, a 50% survival rate, it can make you think differently about your life.
AVM is so abnormal that every site has to be treated individually according to how involved it becomes within the tissue and bone. The malformations sat and eroded away until a hole formed in the bone of my knee causing it to need replacing. I was told this was one of the top 5 worst knees the surgeon had ever seen.
Because of Pauline's referrals, one year later I was prepping for a knee replacement. So, on August 10th, 2012, they placed a filter below my heart and lungs in case a blood clot would dislodge, then wheeled me back to the operating room.
During surgery, I lost 50% of the blood in my body. Which meant they only had time to break both bones, replace them with metal and resurface the underside of the kneecap. The malformation that was causing all the pain would have to wait for another day.
It took 5 horrible months to recover, and I never wish to go back, but since my knee will only last 20 years it will need to be replaced again.
During recovery, I was so blessed to have friends and family surrounding me during the healing process. And this verse was helpful too. Psalm 91:4 says “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” No matter your struggle know that the Father of Creation is on your side.
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