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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Living with Amniotic Band Syndrome: How One Doctor Gave Me Hope For My Scars

Sometimes when we least expect it, God surprises us. Yesterday at my doctor’s appointment, I received the surprise of my life. I went to the doctor because of my elbow pain. Six weeks after my fall, it still hurts and my range of motion is limited. So my primary care physician scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic specialists. 

Yesterday morning, before my appointment, I prayed that the physician would have compassion on me. So often they take one look at my scars and assume that my every ache and pain is caused from Amniotic Band Syndrome and dismiss me with the standard, “I’m sorry, but there is nothing we can do for you.” 

After the doctor examined my elbow and took a few more X-rays, he concluded that it was fractured, but healing well. No cast. No surgery. He did, however, encourage me to start moving it as much as possible, and said that it should be completely healed in another three weeks.

He then moved on to my scar on my right arm caused from Amniotic Band Syndrome. He examined it and then asked me to tell him about my hands. He wanted to know what kind of problems they cause for me. When I told him that it’s hard for me to write, drive, and type, he rolled his chair over to me and asked to see them. He picked them up and took pictures. After a few minutes, he looked and me and said, “I believe I can help you. Do you want me to fix your hands?”

It just so happens that the elbow specialist is also one of the greatest hand surgeons around. He specializes in congenital hand deformities and nerve reconstruction surgery. I will never be able to express how I felt in that moment. No doctor has ever given me that degree of hope before. Usually they tell me that nothing can be done to help my hands, and they will continue to get worse. 

After he reviewed my X-rays he talked to me about what he could do for me. He believes that he can separate all of my fingers on my right hand, and give me a thumb on my left hand. The difference that this will make in my life is astounding. He believes it will eliminate most of my pain. 

One of my concerns is that I will not be able to tolerate pain medication after surgery, since I’ve had so many allergic reactions in the past. Perhaps I can do it without any medication. I’ve lived most of my life in pain. I’ve had a fractured elbow for six weeks, and I’ve not taken one drop of medicine. I also know that this is something my Lord can help me through. 

Yesterday, as I sat in the room and listened to the doctor explain my options there was such a peace that filled my heart. I felt as if I was right where God wanted me to be, and this is just another part of His plan for me. 

This morning all I can do is cry. To receive this type of gift is priceless. God has seen my every struggle, He has heard my pleas for help, and He has had a plan for me all along. Through my darkest valleys, when I didn’t think that I could possibly take it another moment, He always encouraged me. When people or my circumstances would threaten my hope, He would always give me a glimpse of a better day. And I could never fully express what those little glimmers of hope have meant to me. 

My God is so wonderful! When we go to Him with a broken heart, He hears our prayers, and He bottles them up for just the right moment. 

Psalm 37:4-5 (KJV)
Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Whatever your struggle, don’t give up on the Lord. He has grace for our every need, and He knows the desires of our hearts. 

Have a wonderful day!


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