Madeline Franklin Dean’s Story

Hey guys, I’m Madeline, and I guess I’m going to be sharing my experience with Turner Syndrome. When I was two months old I was rushed into open heart surgery to repair a coarctation of the aorta. It turns out this is an extremely common problem in girls with TS, but we didn’t know that at the time. We visited doctors every now and then trying to figure out what had happened until I was 6, when I was finally diagnosed. I started taking growth hormone. Young kids are not that judgmental, and at that age everyone needs help reaching things, so the Turners didn’t really affect my childhood besides a lot of extra doctors appointments. I stopped taking growth hormone for a little bit in middle school because of issues with our insurance company, but I started taking it again when I was fourteen. I am now growing at the same rate as average teenagers according to charts, but I’m still really short. At 16, I am 4’6. I enjoy being short most of the time, but it made getting a car really hard. We found the perfect convertible from the 70’s, and though I had trouble reaching the petals I fell in love with it and named it Sophie. We got the petals adjusted and stuff but there’s only so much you can do to a 40 year old car, and it was not working. My dad told me one day I was getting his car, which was new and very adjustable, and we were selling Sophie. I have never hated having Turner Syndrome so much. It still makes me sad to think about it, but now I am just grateful that I am tall enough to drive at all. You have to focus on the blessings. When I was a kid they were sure I was going to need a second heart surgery during college, but now they don’t think I need it at all. I can’t have children, but I’m looking forward to adopting one day. I believe the trick is to not let the bumps in the road you get with TS affect your happiness. After all, short happens 🙂

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