Joseph Herrin (05/05/2021)
Back around 50 years ago I learned that I had Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bone disease. I had a mild case of it, but it still affected my life. I broke my first bone at age 7. It was my thumb. I had got it caught in a T.V. tray that was used as a sewing machine support. Osteogenesis Imperfecta is called a childhood disease because the bones firm up when one gets into their teenage years, but it is not perfectly attuned to childhood. I had 12 broken bones by the age of 14. Then I spent a some years without any broken bones. When I was around 30 I broke my leg and tore my ACL. When I was 51 I was in a motorcycle accident and did major damage to my left leg. I had a compound fracture (bone goes through the skin) of my left ankle. I chipped the tibia and had major damage to the fibula. It required 2 titanium plates and more than 20 screws to repair. The doctor said it was the longest fracture he had ever seen. I am not sure how many breaks were in the bone. The amazing thing was that it didn’t even hurt, which is not part of the disease.
Besides the fractures I have had so many dislocated shoulders that I can’t remember them all, as well as sprained legs. All of this was enough to keep me out of sports in school. I lived near a library and started going there by myself when I was about ten years old. I would check out about half a dozen books a week, and the next week I would be back and do the same. I read hundreds of books in this way. I was a very good student, and I made mostly A’s and B’s. In college I took the Regents Exam to graduate. The Regents Exam was sent to three different professors throughout the state for them to grade. All three came back with a perfect score on the essay portion of the exam. I was given an award for this. Broken bones helped me to prepare for a ministry of writing in later years. A large number of kids with O.I. refocus their attention on scholastic pursuits, and do very well.
As a child I had a large number of cavities in my teeth, which required numerous fillings and root canals. I did not know that this was related to my bone disease until I was about 40 years old. Then I heard the term Dentinogenesis Imperfecta, and I learned that this was a common problem for all those with Brittle Bone Disease. Around this age my teeth started breaking fairly regularly. I had a number pulled and some partial dentures made about 12 years ago. Today I have need of 4 broken teeth pulled, as well as 3 of the whole teeth. This will leave me with 6 teeth, and a set of dentures. I am not able to chew with my current dentures, and I have been getting down to fewer and fewer foods that I can eat. Some soups, meatloaf, meatballs, spaghetti, etc. are all that I am eating. For the past six months I have gotten down to this state.
I have not had any debt since 1999. Not even a penny. Because dentures and pulled teeth are expensive, in excess of three thousand dollars ($3,000) I have been waiting to get the money on hand before contacting the dentist. Recently a sister in Christ was talking to George Young and she asked about any needs I had. I have not written anything about my dental problems, so she was asking him about my needs. He told her about my issues and she wrote me a check for $3,000. What a blessing this was to me. I received the money unannounced when I went and got my mail one day. I praise Yahweh for He is faithful.
I went April 30th for my first appointment. They took x-rays and determined what to do about my teeth. They did impressions for the dentures, which will be ready when I go back to get my teeth pulled on May 28th. Then I will be back to eating normally again.
The dentures and teeth will cost about $3,190. My daughter has sent me some money to help me out, too. She sent me $500. She said it would be “a cool and unusual gift” to buy me teeth on my 60th birthday, which is this Friday the 7th of May. Praise Yahweh!
In the meantime I have been able to pay some of my other bills, which are due at this time. My car and RV tags, my car and RV insurance ($560 for 6 months), my phone bill ($43 per month), my rental fee to park my RV ($200 a month) and gas and food. Yahweh is so good. Thank you all for all you do.
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
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P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063