when i was a little girl i usually stay out late at the streets, playing. i love, love, love to play specially when we do the ‘it’ game and the “patintero”. i was a fast runner then. i would race with my brother goin’ up and down the road on our street. and damn! i was really good in jumping ropes, Chinese garters and other kids games. I can say i was an athlete way back then. i can run faster than anyone my age, jump high that no one can beat me. i like those times…
and when i got into high school, i had so many extra curricular activities, i was really an active student…back then.
i joined the choir, pep squad (but then they let me chose one so i left the squad), even tried taekwondo,volley ball, and i even joined the COCC (like a high school military training). i was sooo alive!... , enthusiastic!.. then i had my first surgery when i was at my 2nd year in high school, that was year 1998 of november.
surgery that time didn't scare me. i just went to the hospital, got operated, experienced pain, then got out of the hospital and back to school again. i think it was just 2weeks then i recovered so fast. some of my school mates thought i got it from a fight in taekwondo (well i'm not even in the team that time), some were saying that i had cataract surgery (for heaven's sake! my eyes are not in my foot), well that's high school. kids says the darnest things they say. well i thought i'm all good after that surgery. i came to visit my Doctor from time to time and had my xrays every 6months. i'm kinda like a fragile kid actually then, every year there's no chance that i don't get a bed in the hospital and stay there for a week. when i was on my final year in high school, principal even suggested to my parents that i stop my school first so i could rest (coz i always get sick then). but i didn't quit school. :)
college....oooh! there're so many people that i met. many, different people. i started my college as a music student (well its what i love the most. MUSIC). i'm living a normal life. mingling with people normally. i had a good self esteem. i'm living a good simple life then. but then, i had to leave what i love doing and let go of it for better, for practical reasons. and so, i transfered to other school and took up nursing instead. it was never in my dream that i'll be a nurse someday, it didn't even hit my mind when i was in high school or even younger. but since during that time the world needed nurses so bad (that now nursing profession is over populated here in the philippines, and most of the nurses don't work in the hospital), i started accepting my fate. taking up nursing wasn't as bad as i thought, it was actually fun and challenging. i was on my 3rd year when i started doing clinical duties, that's handling real patients in the hospital. and it was the same year that i had my 2nd surgery..
i thought i was only imagining the symptoms that time. xrays didn't show any growth of mass on my right foot, but it's my foot right? so i know my body and i can feel if there's something wrong. then they had me to undergo MRI/MRA. there its showed everything. it was there, affecting half of my foot. i wasn't diagnosed yet with AVM that time cause my first diagnosis was cavernous hemangioma. i was living with pain all these years. it was already part of my system that pain actually is normal to me. i thought having pain as they say during cold months is normal for an operated person, so i thought i was still ok. then i started noticing discoloration on my foot and its really warm to touch. and when i step or stand with my heel on the ground, i just can't hold longer and it hurts.. i was still under the same doctor that time (orthopoedic surgeon), and he had a vascular surgeon to join his team for my surgery. we talked regarding my case, he explained what was in the MRA. he said that my hemangioma recurred. they gave us two options, embolization and surgery. me and my family went to see the radiology team for the embolization, since its not yet that well known to me (not even discussed during lectures in my school), and it's really expensive, we asked my doctor what are the better ways to do it.. since we cannot afford the embolization, i ended up into surgery. here's what they say they did to my foot; since my mass is supplied by blood, they needed to cut that supply or the feeding vessel as they refer to it. it was just a small slice near my ankle. they said that eventually my mass will shrink since they've ligated the feeding vessel. but moths, years passed by and nothing happened. i just had another ugly scar with a bulging vessel on my right ankle and a swelling foot that is still warm to touch and the discoloration is still there with a excruciating pain whenever i 'm standing or walking for a long time. and so i live my life with pain.
after i had my failed 2nd surgery, i started going to different doctors. i had so many opinions. but mostly just said that it would be better if i just leave the foot as it was then, coz there's nothing that they can do. one even suggested to have my foot amputated (isn't she a nice doctor). and so i tried to live my life as normal as i can. i graduated with a Bachelor's degree in nursing and passed the licensure examination for nurses. that day of my board exam was a roller coaster day for me. it was actually all going well when i started it, but after my exams on that day (board exam lasted for 2 days), when i was walking home on the overpass and i was going down the stairs, it just happened so fast. the next thing i knew was i was at the ground of the stairs and near the street with the vendor and i'm actually helping him to fix his stuffs coz i almost knocked it down and it was like a numbing pain on my foot and i was alone i don't know how to cross the street with that kind of pain and there's no one to help me (no one knows i'm in badly hurt). i really don't know how i managed to cross the street and when i got hold on the railings of Mc Donald's, i was like pulling myself just to move. good thing the guard opened the door for me and good thing i have a boyfriend waiting for me there. when i finally got a chair in front of my boyfriend, i started crying with pain and i know that people were staring at me but i didn't mind that time, all i know is that i'm in great pain and it's really killing me. so we called my parents and my boyfriends parents if they could pick us up and go to the nearest hospital (we can't get any cab that time so we ended up calling our families). at the emergency room they asked me what happened and so i told them with great pain. they had me xrayed, gave me pain medication and a cold pack on my foot and i stayed in the hospital until 11pm. when i got to my boarding house it was really late and i was preoccupied with pain and the exam for the next day.
i didn't sleep well that night, and i woke up early the next day to prepare for my exam. i prayed and asked for forgiveness to the Lord before i left the house. i was limping and i needed my brother to assist me to get into my examination room... then after that, months passed and results came out and i passed. i'm now a registered nurse!
i liked being a nurse and i love caring, nursing people. i started working in a hospital, ignoring the pain i'm having every single day. i'm enjoying and loving my work but then it came to me again, that pain that i cannot manage anymore. so my parents decided that i leave work and have me checked again and so i can rest as well. i missed working. and so i insisted on working again.
i was really good in my field. patients liked me. they thanked me for taking care of them. i didn't have problems with my colleagues. and it felt very rewarding and fulfilling for me. it felt so great! having those people, knowing them. it was perfect for me. i'm having what i can call a life of my own. i'm living my life. living a life that is independent and humane. but then, here comes the rough road again. yes, i am living with pain all my life now, i accepted that already and i'm supposed to be doing ok. but why is my old surgery wound having leaks?--
after that ligation on my foot it left me a scar with a bulging vessel on it and a hyperpigmented one too. that's where the leak started. i wasn't bothered at first coz it wasn't a continuous leak, and was just like exudates that was leaking on my ankle. then after some time it started to form scabs. so every time it dries up i remove it. then summer came, we went to the beach and had fun. then i felt a stinging pain on my ankle and then BOOOM! there, i had a wound. the scab that covering my old surgical scar got all soaked and fell off from my skin and exposed what was under that scab..
i didn't return to the beach nor the pool after that. i put some band aids on it coz it's already a wound now, not just a scab. i thought it would close after a while, but it didn't. it will form scabs then fell off but fresh wound is still there, i even had cellulitis once. so i had it checked by a vascular specialist from the hospital where i'm working. she advised me not to wet or any unsterilized contact with the wound, so i covered it. we cleaned it every other day. we actually did wound debridement cause the wound won't heal (i don't have diabetes). we do that every other day for almost a year. i was again trying to adapt to a new routine in my life. i thought to myself that i had to live with this, non-healing wound and pain that won't ever go away.
even with all of these hindrances with me, i still wanna live a normal life. like with no pain, no limitations, no non-healing wound. i wanna feel that i'm a complete healthy normal person. i continued working, i even learned how to ride a bicycle (it was only then that i learned since i was a kid), and i really loved it. it makes me happy and i felt completely fit after i do that, but i also have a problem after that. i'm limited on doing things you see, after cycling my foot got a lot of pressure and it started to bleed. so what i did was after bleeding is gone and it looks like its well again, somehow, at least not bleeding, i will go cycling again. but it won't really work that way for me, i really needed to see a doctor so i went to see one. this time it was a thoraco-cardiovascular surgeon, a real specialist for my case.
i was referred to this doctor by my doctor friend. i consulted to him, i did the CTA and showed it to him and he was actually shocked with the result...