I have a very visible but unusual disability. All three feet of me has recovered from ongoing fractures, sprains, loose joints and random pain.
People with Osteogenisis Imperfecta are an outspoken lot. It seems although we may not meet our physical milestones on time there is nothing wrong with our early onset ability to boss people around. This is a genetic thing that I seem to have passed on to my son.
I was taking a public access test with my, Canine Companion for Independence, CCI, dog, Havan on the fourth of May. They say a bad case of nerves will travel right down the leash and I can tell you I was anxious about this test. The trainer had come all the way from California. We are generally tested on safety, manners, cleanliness and ability to cope with random situations.
Havan came to me with the extra benefit of being able to pull a wheelchair. This is a difficult task and Havan does it well. My first mistake was to try to show this awesome skill going from inside a store to the outside. I forgot about the effect of a downhill slope and a nervous handler. Havan pulled and after some rim rubbing, we picked up speed. We nearly plowed the trainer and before I could even think about it, we were smack in the middle of the parking lot. With my free hand I reached to stop our momentum by grabbing the wheel.
This is how my finger became involved in the spokes and lost the game. We passed our access test and I am far more cautious about where to show off a skill.
Now, it has been more than ten weeks since this event. I have had more fractures than I can count, so what is the big deal with a finger? I got a drug store finger splint and laid it out straight. After a while I could handle the wind blowing on it and the swelling went away. But, it seems to be behind its neighboring fingers in movement, it lists a bit and still aches.
Yesterday, at last, I went to see an orthopod, a hand guy, a professional in the art of fixing contrary bones. I took my son along, mostly so he can learn the finer art of self advocacy in the medical environment. He has had far fewer fractures but it can’t hurt to see his mom in action.
First thing, this Doogie Houser aged doctor enters and after hearing part of my complaint asks, “Are you an Achon?” (Achon is a very popular type of dwarfism, many of the little people on the real life television shows have it.)
It was right there in my chart, along with my name, I let it go and told him I have Osteogenesis Imperfecta. He had me open and close both hands several times to demonstrate my problem. Then he sent me for x-rays.
Wow, this was a digital x-ray machine, even if the doctor didn’t know his Achons from my pinki finger, he had some nice equipment. He must have had a chance to google me as the x-rays were sent to his lap-top.
Back in the smaller room, he appears at the door to announce that my bones were very ratty looking but there didn’t appear to be anything wrong. It was at this point that my son couldn’t stand it anymore.
He chimed in, “That’s it, this is all you got? We waited, we sat here. We paid for it.”
The doctor replied by offering to show us the x-rays. There in on the computer was three views of my hand. He pointed out the non-displaced fracture that had healed and he added to his description of my bones as being “ratty and moth-eaten.”
So, there it is, my finger still aches, it lags and lists and it will be a long time before I go back to see an ortho about anything.
Thanks for taking a moment to read this post and as always, feel free to comment.