Our house has been crazy.  My son has a bad summer cold, cough and pink eye. He is also getting his last two teeth so he’s an uncomfortable drooling machine. Imagine doctor appointments, a needy toddler, screams over eye drops and frustrations over missed work {my husband gets the gold medal this time, since now he’s behind}.  I’m sad to report there is more. My mother-in-law had her knee replaced today. I received an entire year’s worth of contacts in the wrong prescription which led to phone calls and hassle.  My brakes are being redone after a verbal wrestling match over a bad attempt at round one of replacing them.  Oh, and I squeezed in an orthodontist appointment over lunch. That’s life and it’s only Thursday.

A few days ago I saw a bunch of Facebook posts about a kitten diagnosed with AMC. At first I giggled, it is kind of funny and bizarre. 

I got the link again through web alert searches I follow. In the past I read something about Arthrogryposis being called Curly Calf Syndrome but never gave it much thought. Once this link crossed my path again, I actually took the time to read it.

This sounds weird, but it made me really grateful. I am glad to be human.

We have doctors, therapists, family, splints, braces, casts, and the world cheering for us to succeed.  If this Tiny Tim critter crossed our paths, many would just say, “ehh it’s a cat, put it to sleep.”  I will confess that I would struggle with the same thoughts. I’ve watched a lot of episodes of Hoarders with crazy pet owners. Sometimes it’s best to let them go before they end up in the wrong hands, living in filth and found under a pile of junk. Cold, I know. I’ll blame TV for my icy heart.

Thinking about animals with AMC made me think of past operations and the fantastic care I received at Shriners Hospital in Chicago. The hospital staff taught me when an operation made me miss school. There was always someone around – perhaps a nice nurse, a friendly Shriner or maybe a crazy clown, someone to make me smile when I missed my mom and wanted to go home.

They let me pick out my favorite scratch-n-sniff sticker to stick inside my mask that would put me to sleep for an operation. The examination room ceilings were decorated in happiness. I can close my eyes and still see colorful posters with rainbows, horses and big fluffy cats.  I would lie on the bed and gaze at the posters while the vibrating saw cut off my cast. I remember it looking like a pizza cutter spinning super fast. It was not scary though. The doctor would show me how it wouldn’t cut my skin, reassuring me that it stops when it touches anything soft. The time they took to address my fears made me strong. Taught me to trust.

My memories of surgery, hospitals and therapy are happy. I was drenched with love, compassion and the riches of people eager to use their talents to better another life.  Remembering my childhood makes my bad week seem not so bad. Life is really good.

For those of you who have experienced an operation, therapy and/or the world of casts, braces and more…what’s your favorite memory?

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