Four years ago the mystery of the bump on my arm was solved when my AVM was discovered, and an aneurism, as well as a fistula were removed. The ball of spaghetti, known as an AVM was removed from my left wrist/arm and I was left to recover. I was told that eventually, the AVM would grow back and surgery would be needed again, but I didn’t believe it. My arm was never the same again. Living in Northern Maine, I drove all the way to Boston to see a team of vascular surgeons, who told me that frequent surgery was my only option.
A month ago, the AVM came back with a vengence, out of nowhere, and hit me like a sucker punch. The pain was so terrible, and it has only gotten worse. I am taking pain medication, trying not to use that arm at all, and waiting for my surgery date to come up, where they will open my arm from the wrist to the elbow. Again, my arm will never be the same again. I’m told that it’ll only get worse from here. I guess I can’t deny it anymore. That’s why I joined this support group. I don’t even know how to answer people when they say “what is wrong with your arm” and I think I hear that ten times every time I leave the house. I just feel like hiding in my house forever. I feel too embarassed to wear my sling, but my arm hurts too much not to.
Yesterday I saw a therapist to help manage the pain and the depression that is beginning to set in. I am entering my senior year of college and I don’t even want to think about going to work. Not now. The therapist wants me to file for disability. I am sure that at some point I’ll adjust and find a job that works for a one handed person. In the mean time, I just don’t know. SO many people thrive with one arm. Maybe they were born that way and don’t know any other way, or maybe they’re strong enough to adjust. I feel like filing for disability is like giving up, but both my husband and my therapist want me to file. I doubt any doctor would support that deicision, though.