My name is Ashley and I’m 29yrs old. My mother was told I had DDH (both hips) soon after my birth. Being a female and first born to a very small young mother I was at high risk for this medical concern and was able to have the problem addressed very early. I was in a cast for the first months of my life followed by “double diapers” as Grandmother called it for the time up until I was potty trained. Doctors told my family I would most likely need assistance walking, but not to expect any normal development and to feel blessed if i walked at all. I began walking at 7months amazing the doctors who with hopeless attitudes told my mom she should feel lucky to have a child that walked and not to expect any sports or running of any kind in my future. I played basketball, volleyball, ran track, did power lifting, even took Karate…and did quite well if I can say so myself.It seemed that exercising and a healthy diet, along with early treatment changed my prospected outcome. The only problem is very important and the reason I’m sharing my story.

I managed to stay healthy until other medical problems I was unaware of began to pop up. I had put my “hip problem” out of my mind and have grown to deeply regret that decision. After breaking my hand and injuring my knee at 26, I had reached a point where I could not continue to lie to myself. I had been through a lot of medical problems before the knee injury that weakened my body and brought old problems back. I have an optic tumor, tied to a nerve disorder still undiagnosed and all my other issues stacking up. My sons birth at 25 was an awesome and special time for me so I tried to ignore the multiple issues that were triggered that day. I felt extreme pain in my legs during delivery but due to poor medical attention by my doctor who had told me I should expect a baby no larger then 7lbs. My pain was put off as just pressure, you cant feel anything I was told, you’re numb. 28Hrs later I was being rushed in for emergency c-section, kept awake just long enough to say hey am I suppose to feel that blade cutting me. I had given birth to a healthy 9lb 11oz baby boy. Because of my tumor and DDH things should have went very differently. Now I’m finding keeping up with my soon to be 5yr old is becoming more and more difficult. As other mothers might agree we tend to put ourselves last a lot…and we forget to take care of ourselves like we should. Along with being a mom I also am the wife to a husband battling mental illness. So I have filled my life with plenty of reasons to not pay attention or give to much thought to how often I was in pain or the fact that the limp in my walk had become an everyday thing. Now I am like most Americans unemployed and uninsured. I have no idea where to start, i havent been to the doctor since I broke my hand and when injured my knee…over three yrs ago and even then I just hand my hand operated on, no time for knee surgery or follow ups on optic tumor, I had to hurry home to change diapers and continue breastfeeding my new baby. I find myself so overwhelmed, in pain and no clue where to go.

My family feels blessed to have a roof over our heads and food to eat…what am I suppose to do? I want to enjoy the next adventure we approach but I am held back by the increasing pain and stress caused from my medical problems. Even though I have worked in the medical field for almost 10yrs, I have no where to turn. I had looked to my primary doctor who was also my boss, for help before the birth of my son, but he was so overwhelmed with the idea of having a sick pregnant women working for him, he did what all wonderful people who have less then 15 employees would do. He fired me, lied to unemployment, and then refused to release my medical records. I found myself hitting dead ends everywhere…What now ? I am so lost.
I hope that the start of story can be used as inspiration to parents with children who have DDH. Never believe in anything more then the impressive spirit and will of your child no matter what anyone says. To the adults never forget what you overcome it made your future possible. My biggest mistake is not taken better care of myself as an adult, and needing more help then I ever expected.
Before I finish Thank You to all the people who posted their stories. I feel a little less alone in world of pain….and thank YOU for taking the time to read my story, this is the first time I have shared my personal battles.

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