A few days ago, I connected with another blogger via Twitter, and whilst browsing through their blog, I discovered a new medical condition that I knew nothing about. If like me, this is your first time hearing about Turner Syndrome, this guest post by Charli Dee should hopefully be a good starting point for you.
Introduction by Charli Dee
The year I graduated from middle school was quite a year. I was about to leave one school and start attending a new one. I welcomed a new member to my family. It was also the year I was diagnosed with Turner syndrome. Don’t know what Turner Syndrome is? Neither did I when I was diagnosed, which is not surprising. Turner Syndrome is a relatively rare condition, and not very well known.
What is Turner Syndrome?
Turner syndrome is when a girl is born with one of her X chromosomes partially or fully missing (boys generally have an x and Y chromosome, while girls generally have two X chromosomes). Turner syndrome occurs in around 1 in 2,000 to 2,500 live female births (Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center). Around 99 of pregnancies where the fetus has Turner syndrome end in miscarriage (Stanford Children’s Health). I suppose that makes me a bit of a miracle baby, or so I like to think.
My Turner syndrome diagnosis didn’t come as a shock to me. Short stature is generally a symptom of Turner syndrome, and I have always been quite small for my age. Also, when I reached my teen years my female peers were already growing out of training bras and getting their menstruation. I had yet to show a single sign of even beginning puberty, another sign of Turner syndrome. My parents and my doctor started getting concerned, and my doctor took some tests. The rest is history. I may not have been surprised with my diagnosis, but I was disappointed. Growing up, I couldn’t wait for puberty. I used to read all about the changes my body would eventually go through, and couldn’t wait for them to happen. When I was diagnosed I found out I would not be able to go through puberty without hormone replacement therapy. I felt like an incomplete woman, having to take medication in order to get my body to do something most women’s bodies do naturally. To top it all off, I was told that women with Turner syndrome generally can not have children naturally, and I was likely no exception to that rule.
A Woman’s Worth
Beautiful was never really a word I used to describe myself. In fact, I’ve been called the exact opposite growing up. Needless to say, I am happy I’m an adult now, and past the bullying days. However, they say if you’re told something long enough, you’ll eventually start to believe it. In other words, what I was told by some of my peers, and the way I was treated by them, affected how I viewed myself, and still does in a way. Learning to embrace who I am has not been an easy journey, but I am improving my self-image one day at a time. I’ve learned that a woman’s chest and hip size do not determine how beautiful she is or her worth. I’ve learned that having to take hormones and being infertile does not make me a failure, or less of a woman.
Who knows why I was part of that small one percent of babies with Turner syndrome to make it through pregnancy? I just know I’d like to think that right now my purpose is to spread awareness and help all women feel comfortable in the skin their in. In a world where many people feel the need to change perceived imperfections, everyone deserves to know that they are perfect just the way they are.
About Charli Dee
Charli Dee is a blogger based in the United States. One focus of her blog is to share her experiences as a woman with Turner Syndrome. When she is not blogging, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. Please click here to visit Charli Dee’s blog.