A Special Story...

    March 10 1997 I was diagnosed  with AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation) of the lower spine. I have a lot of bad blood vessels that are wrapping around my spine like spaghetti. This is very rare and it took the doctors a while to decide how to treat it. This disease is usually found in the brain, and there are only a few cases of it being in the spine. It is to big to do surgery, so they decided to give me a treatment called embolizations. This treatment consists of them shooting through a catheter super glue from France to clot off some of the  bad vessels. I know it sounds strange, super glue, but yes it is true I have medical glue in me. My parents had to write a letter to send it from France via Canada to my hospital in Atlanta. The scary thing is they know what vessels they need  to straighten out, but they really don't know the risk or the immediate outcome. After my second embolization, I was completely paralyzed from the waist down. Through physical therapy I am now able to walk on a walker, but I still needed more embolizations.
    Two months later I entered the hospital for pain control and they decided to do another emobilization. I found out it was scheduled for the next day through an anesthesiologist I didn't even know. Having many different doctors is hard, and they don't communicate very well. I was scared and confused. I was crying most of the afternoon. Then the night shift nurses came on. My nurse was Michelle McBride and her best friend was working on the floor that night too. Her name was Jenna Pragle. Michelle and I  teased each other so for the first half of the night the three of us had a prank war. We ate pizza together later on. My mother didn't care if I stayed up late because I was going to go under general anesthesia the next day. Late that night we had a "girl talk". At 3:00 o'clock in the morning we watched toy story.  About 4:00 AM I was getting tired so I went to clean up my mess before I went to bed. All of a sudden it hit me of what was going to go on the next day and the chance of being completely paralyzed again.I broke down in tears. These two ladies sat down and talked with me seriously and relieved me of any worries I had. By the end of our talk I was all better.I went to bed about 5:00 AM.
    I had my emobilization with no complications. After I got in my room I was awakened with their bright faces. I was not assigned to either of them that night, but they were in my room more then the nurse I was assigned to. All through my hospital stay, they were there for me. They made something scary into a great night I will never forget. These our my two heroes and they gave me wings to fly through the surgery. With having this disease I look at the good things that have came to me. One of the the most important things is meeting these two remarkable people.