I was diagnosed between the ages of 5 and 6 with Perthes. Perthes is a condition in children characterized by a temporary loss of blood supply to the hip. Without an adequate blood supply, the rounded head of the femur (the “ball” of the “ball and socket” joint of the hip) dies. The area becomes intensely inflamed and irritated. Part of the treatment can include immobilization and rest. Various treatments for me included being in a wheelchair for over a year, and at one point, having a leg cast and at another time a body cast. This was only the beginning of what would be a lifetime of physical trials for me. However, those trials gave God many opportunities to display His work in my life!
At 17 years of age, my knee was injured with a half torn medial cartilage. The doctor told me that it was the worst knee he had ever seen. By the age of 25, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis that would typically be seen in a man twice my age. Despite physical ailments, I was able to hold down a job at Dacotah Paper and led a fairly active lifestyle playing racquetball. It wasn’t long after a racquetball injury to my knee that I went to a prayer service and the pastor prayed for the healing of my knee. The pain went away for a few days and returned. Then another dear friend prayed for me. The pain never came back. In 2000, I experienced an on the job injury as I was hit by a forklift. God protected me from what could have been much worse and I spent the next five years still walking and even golfing! Psalm 147:3 was very real in my life: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
I began experiencing many problems with my knee (but not really pain) so went in to see an orthopedic doctor. He was shocked at what he saw! In 2005 I had a full knee replacement. The damage and problems with my knee were so bad that the doctor couldn’t believe I wasn’t in pain and that I was able to walk for all those years with bone spurs and osteoarthritis. He asked me why I hadn’t come in? I told him because I hadn’t been in pain. The recovery for me was especially long – over four years – yet the doctor confirmed for me what I had thought all along. I was a walking miracle!