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Annie's Handicap
Annie's Handicap Middle School The Fax More of the Story

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My Daughter's Physical Handicap

Annie1.jpg (4703 bytes)In order to understand the story, I feel that it is important to know my daughter's handicap. Although Anna's handicap is not life threatening, it is still a handicap, and as UCLA told me, a disability. Whether it will be a big problem in her future, still remains to be seen. However, our belief & the way Anna has responded to her latest treatment is a good sign that it will get better.

My daughter has a Vascular (Venous) Malformation. It was at one time diagnosed as an intramuscular hemangioma, as the growth is all throughout Anna's foot muscle. However, it is actually a Vascular Malformation. Hemangiomas & Malformations are easily misdiagnosed, confusing one for the other, but they are not the same. A vascular malformation fills with blood & drains. Things that upset my daughter, getting her blood pumping, affects her foot. Exercise affects Anna's foot, and when she has her menstrual cycle (hormonal changes), illness, something as simple as stepping on it the wrong way, her foot flares up.

Anna's malformation extends from the back of her toes to her heal in her right foot. It is uncomfortable for her to walk on, and the muscle gets irritated easily. When the muscle is irritated, and the foot is swollen (even involving her ankle from the pressure), the best treatment for her foot is ice, elevation, crutches, Advil or Motrin, and staying off of it. It is hard for people to understand, although it is simple to us, as we deal with it daily. It is like living with diabetes, or other handicaps, you learn how to help your situation. What is so hard for people to understand, especially students at my daughter's school & administration, is that Anna would be on crutches one day & off the next. Educating oneself in things they do not understand, is the best way of learning a situation before passing judgment on someone. We do not ask for sympathy, as we are so very thankful that it is not worse. However, we only ask for understanding, and not have judgment passed as to whether someone is faking a situation or not, when this handicap is totally out of our control. I blame the school district for not educating Anna's classmates of her condition, as they should any handicap, but allowing also for classmates to scrutinize & make comments. This is one of the hardest things that a parent has to go through, when they would like to save their child from people's remarks.

I can only hope that these one's who are so full of themselves will not have to ever deal with this themselves. Because, a handicap is always one breath, one wreck, one birth away. It may not affect us personally, but we never know when it will affect our other family members, or our grandchildren, friends or neighbors. Anna's doctors have shied from operating on her foot. The problem with a vascular malformation is that it is fed by numerous veins, that with surgery, Anna could loose much blood, endangering her life. To operate, is not what her orthopedic surgeon is wanting to do, as a lot of times when surgery is performed on a growth such as this, it is unsuccessful, as there is more bleeding in the growth, it is hard to take everything out, and good tissue gets removed (which in Anna's case would be muscle). So, the doctors have decided to perform injections of alcohol solution in her foot, to kill off veins, hoping that it will shrink the growth. To best explain the growth--Imagine looking into a bucket of nightcrawlers. Although they are in one big mass, they are all individual sections. That is how my daughter's foot is. There are a lot of growths fed by a lot of veins, but are in many different areas.

If you have ever seen strawberry birthmarks?, imagine having a large/thick one growing all through the muscle of your foot you walk on. Anyway, that is what Anna has. By knowing the situation,
it will help you to understand my story, and why I am so frustrated.

Bookmark the page if you want, as it is a long story, and unfortunately an ongoing one & will make it easier for you to read when time permits. I hope that you will tell everyone you know about this page & pass it on--ESPECIALLY all of you that are in the school district. If you want to help us, you can help by letting as many people on the net and in public know about this page & it's address as possible. This is not an isolated incident that I speak of with problems in our school. I have spoken with many parents & know many students who have stories to tell. We are not alone...
To Anna's classmates, if you want to show support & help another student that may go through problems, call us, e-mail us, mail us, as together we all can be strong.

Call Anna, and show you care! Copy our banner, and put it on your own webpages in support. No one can stop you! I'm sure you all have heard students being told to shut up in school, or have personally seen what my daughter has gone through & some of her other classmates in the class I speak of in our story. If you want it stopped, you can have an effective roll in this, and not even have to have anyone know your name. We are here for you, as we hope you are here for us. We will respect your right to privacy & will not release names unless you want.

Thank You for listening.
On with our story.....

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Last modified: August 31, 1999 02:18:27 AM

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