Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Miracle That Is My Mom: Chapter 1

This is my hero. She is my mom.

My mom is the most amazing woman I have ever known. Here is her story...

Mom married when she was 18, basically, to leave an abusive father. She dropped out of high school, and began her marriage in a tiny second floor apartment.

Two years later, I came along, her first child. Six months after I was born, she suspected that something wasn't quite right with my legs. The pediatrician told her I was fine, attributing her fears to those of a new mother. Mom wasn't satisfied; her intuition being strong. She decided to take me to an orthopedist. Dr. Robbins was his name.

Dr. Robbins was an incredible man. If memory serves, he had been in some sort of electrical accident and lost one of his arms, to his elbow. In its place was a sort-of robotic arm, including fingers. Dr. Robbins continued practicing, and even conducted surgery! This was in 1963!

He discovered that I had congenital hip dysplasia, i.e., I was born without a hip socket on the left side. The only treatment at the time was to place me in a full lower body cast. The cast encompassed my entire left leg, to the ankle, and my right leg to the knee. He cut out an area between my legs to facilitate relative ease in changing diapers. Still, I needed to be recast every 2 weeks for hygienic reasons. This treatment took 18 months, with no guarantee of success.

For those eighteen months, Mom had to hold me, almost constantly. She was encouraged to place me on the floor so I could develop some sort of crawling. My father handmade a tiny seat with a desk-like tabletop so that I could sit up by myself and play - similar to today's baby walkers, only without wheels. This gave my mom some relief from the discomfort of the added weight of my cast.

At age two, my cast was removed, and I had to learn to walk. Every six months for several years, I returned to Dr. Robbins for xrays and a checkup. Finally, at age 10, it was determined that, against all odds, I had developed a normal hip socket. I have never walked with a limp, and now only suffer arthritis - but hey, I'm getting old! Dr. Robbins said it was a miracle - he had always told my mom to expect a severe limp and multiple lifelong problems.

This is only one tiny chapter in The Miracle That Is My Mom.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you with all my heart!