I'm sure that if you've just stumbled upon my blog and don't know anything about me, you're probably thinking, "Titanium Woman?? What's that about??". Well, sit back, relax, and let me tell you my story.
I have congenital scoliosis, meaning that I was born with the condition. I came out of the womb with a crooked spine because of a vertebra that did not fully develop. This type of scoliosis is rare and more difficult to treat than the idiopathic kind, which develops during adolescence. If you're interested in learning more about the differences in the two, please follow this link. My back was monitored until I was around 11, when doctors began to worry about what the progression would do to my body as I continued to grow. At this point, several specialists recommended surgery - placing 2 Harrington rods in my back, then requiring me to wear a body cast for 9 months. God, however, had other plans. He placed me in the care of a doctor who told my parents to simply wait. His reasoning was that the curve might stabilize as I reached puberty. If that were the case, I might not need the surgery. My parents and I prayed and God affirmed in our hearts that we were to wait.
Fast forward about 10 years (during these years, I had no real problems with my back & the curve stayed the same). In my early 20s, I began to experience pain that worsened and became chronic over time. My doctor didn't see any changes in the curve, but he decided to monitor things once more. After a year & a half of this, I went in for another x-ray and the curve appeared to have shifted by 9 degrees. This sent off major alarm bells, and I was carted off to more specialists.
Where I live, there are no surgeons who specialize in this type of surgery. I'll spare you all the boring details of ignorant referral nurses and insurance nightmares and just tell you that GOD had His mighty Hand in all of this and, amazingly, I wound up in the right surgeon's office in Atlanta, GA at just the right time. He looked at my x-rays and found that the "specialist" I had been seeing had been measuring my curve wrong from the get-go. My curve had shifted to the dangerous level of 45 degrees long before I'd even seen the other doctor. I also had kyphosis, 2 degenerated discs, and nerve damage. He predicted that if I didn't have surgery as soon as possible, I would be confined to a wheelchair by the time I was 40.
I needed 2 surgeries, which would be spaced a week apart. My first surgery was on 9/11/01. Yes, you read that right! I was in surgery when the planes crashed and the world changed. As I neared the end of the 2nd week in the hospital, I contracted a horrible staph infection. I had a temperature of 105 and was rushed around the hospital for various tests. That night, when the doctors did not know what was wrong with me, I felt as close to death as I've ever known. But, my God came near. He was there with me in the darkest moment of my life. He gave me a peace and strength that could only come from Him. I praise Him for healing not only this infection, but also my back. After a 3-month recovery, I was better than ever!
I came out of that experience a new person with a different kind of faith. God had scooped me up and literally held me IN HIS HANDS. Through this trial, I gained a deeper level of trust in Him. I know now that I can endure anything as long as He is with me and I will go wherever He leads me. He is my Shelter and my Rock. And, I am His "Titanium Woman"! He gave me a spine of titanium and injected His rock-solid strength into my heart. I am no super hero, but I am a child of the Most Powerful One and with Him, I may just fly!