World Health Day 2021

World Health Day 2021

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World Health Day 2021   

Rick Waines

 

I was born with an inherited bleeding disorder, hemophilia VIII deficiency. My phenotype is severe, so I need IV therapy every two day to keep from hemorrhaging. This prophylactic therapy wasn’t available for the first 20 years or so of my life and so I bled a lot, and mostly into my ankles, as a result by the time I was 40, they were in need of repair. Ankles aren’t common joints to be replaced, so my left was a full fusion, which sounds medieval, but has meant I no longer have any pain and can walk on it all day. A few years ago, I realized that my right would need to be done, but this time a replacement. As my ability to get around on this ankle diminished, and the waitlists for surgery grew, I knew it would be some time before I would get it addressed, all the while becoming less and less able to walk. And then along came Covid which I was certain would affect my timeline, and why wouldn’t it be. But somehow, our underfunded but very resilient health care system found a way to get me in on schedule. I am very grateful for the extraordinary lengths my hematolgist, surgeon, physiotherapist, and myriad nurses went to help me maintain my ability to go to the park with my family. I am now 6 months’ post-surgery and beginning to see the light at the end of the recovery tunnel, now if only the light at the end of the Covid tunnel would only hurry up.