As a child born in the mid 1980’s I grew up being a huge fan of Michael J. Fox. Yes, he is a talented actor however, I am even more of a fan of how he lives his life in spite of living with Parkinson’s disease. I grew up admiring him as he paved a new path after telling the world of his disease and watching his bravery as he shared his challenges with the world. As a little girl who herself was battling her own challenges of Turner Syndrome it was inspiring. He once stated, “Acceptance doesn't mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there's got to be a way through it.”
That is how I look at living with the rare genetic disorder that is Turner Syndrome. I was diagnosed at birth so living with this is all I have ever known. I learned at an early age to accept that it would take me twice as long to do my homework as my friends and that would mean that I often was unable to go to the near by park and play as much with my friends as homework always had to be done first. I also knew at a young age because of my height, I would never be the leading point guard for the WNBA.
I learned to accept that because of my health issues I would miss some school field trips and knew my M.D. by his first name. Due to both my parents working full time it also met that I would often spend those sick days at my grandparents home and those memories of my grandma making me soup or my grandfather joking and sharing childhood stories are some of the best memories I have of my childhood.
One of the hardest issues with accepting Turner Syndrome is infertility. I was told at a very young age that having children of my own was very unlikely. This is not easy to accept and at times has often felt downright heartbreaking. But I will find a way through and hopefully adopt when the right man and time is my life comes along. I know those that are diagnosed, this is the hardest part of accepting that you have Turner Syndrome and you often feel alone. Believe me I get that, and I have been there. When I was told about my infertility I cried for hours and felt as though my life was going to be unfulfilling. All I wanted as a little girl was to be a wife and mother.
I still want to be a wife and mother, but I learned by accepting my infertility to focus on the blessings I have already been given and realized that God has paved a different path for me. I learned that with Turners you have to let go of the things you can not control and put your focus on living life each day as it is a miracle because living with TS is the miracle and enjoy the moments that matter. Like seeing my Nephew graduate high school this spring or celebrating my father’s 70th birthday those are the moments that matter. If I spent my time focusing on the issues I cannot control I would miss these moments. Just like I Would have missed those stories my grandfather shared or instead of being mad I wasn’t able to go to the park I put that energy in graduating top half of my high school class and getting into college.
Instead, my choice was acceptance. Now, that does not mean I don’t still have some down days, but it just means on those days I have too focus a little harder. We all have days like that, but it is important to know that you are more than Turners and that it does not define who you are and what you can become. I was told by a high school teacher because of Turners I would never be able to attend a four-year University. Well not only did I attend, I graduated in 4 years with a double degree in political science and journalism. I decided to not let it define me and to focus on what I could control. I studied hard and put my energy in achieving my goals. That is my message for this week’s blog and to accept that although you have been thrown a curve ball you can still make your life a home run.