Well, I'm studying genetics at the moment at Sheffield Uni, and enjoying being a student bum!
I live in a house with 3 other students, and the occasional slug, eww! (for those who don't know, student housing isn't
the greatest!) I'll take that opportunity to inform you that I do very well at school. I came out of GCSE's with 6 a*s
and 4 a's, and A-levels with 4 B's, one of the A-levels being in Maths, so it just goes to show that although I don't deny
a lot of girls with TS struggle with Maths in particular, don't take it as standard, because it's not always the case so believe
Anybody that knows me will tell you that I am a little strange (in a good way I hope!) and
have a very bizarre (and sometimes sick I'm afraid) sense of humour. However, I hope they will also tell you I am a very loyal
friend and very laid back and non-judgemental, and that my strangeness makes me unique and a lot of fun to know!
I'm into all sorts entertainment-wise, but to list a few of my obsessions: Greenday,
Muse, Kaiserchiefs, Queen, Radiohead, REM, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys (and many others that I can't be bothered
to include) any cheesey retro pop particularly 70s, musicals, especially anything Andrew Lloyd Webber, Grease/Saturday
Night Fever or Rocky Horror Picture Show related, The Simpsons, Friends, Red Dwarf, Scrubs, House, Doctor Who, CSI, Hollyoaks
and Neighbours (getting help for my obsession with those 2, I promise!) going out to Flares (a 70s nightclub,
fantastic fun especially if you're nice and drunk!) and going out with friends in general, Harry Potter, various
films (love all sorts of films really and have hundreds, so it wouldn't be wise to start listing them on here.
When I can be bothered I'll list them on my msn space though!) And playing the piano and saxamaphone (played sax in
a big band at one point, got quite good if I might say so myself, but I don't play either nearly as much as I should now,
so my skills are gradually declining!) Strike a conversation about any of the above and I'll be happy!
About My Experience With Turners Syndrome
As a child, I was always very short for my age. Although
I was usually the shortest in my class by a long way going through school, and often teased about being so, neither me or
my family gave it a second thought for a long time, especially since my mum and dad are both on the short side themselves.
We assumed that once I hit the right age I'd shoot right up and that would be that. However, as I went through my years at
senior school, everyone else around me seemed to shoot up and the height difference between me and my peers seemed to increase
all the more. At the age of 15, I was a mere 4 ft 7 and showing very minimal signs of puberty. We knew something was wrong,
so we decided to see a doctor and find out what.
After some tests, it was concluded that I had a condition called Turners Syndrome. When the doctor told me and my mum this
news, it meant nothing at first. We'd never heard of Turner's Syndrome and didn't have a clue what it meant for me. As soon
as the doctor went on to describe the symptoms, however, the alarming reality of this condition I'd never heard of started
to kick in. He told me that it meant I would not go through puberty naturally, and that a major growth spurt was unlikely
(in other words, I might be staying at 4 ft 7) and that it was unlikely that I'd naturally be able to produce children of
my own. I left the doctor's surgery feeling numb. It was all so much to take in. At 15, I didn't have a clue what I wanted
to do with my life. The only thing I was absolutely sure of was that I eventually wanted a husband and a family, and at the
time it seemed like all that had been taken away from me in one horrible blow. As I was at a very image sensitive age,
I questioned how I would find a man if I was going to look like this all my life, tiny and with no figure, and if so how would
we ever be able to deal with the difficulties we would encounter if we wanted children. It all seemed so unfair, and I spent
the next few weeks unable to think of much else, and frequently breaking into tears, often accompanied by my mum.
A few weeks later, I returned for a followup visit to the doctor. He informed me that I had a very rare karyotype of Turners
Syndrome that meant my ovaries ran a strong risk of becoming cancerous, and since they can start going that way from the age
of 10, mine might be already. He advised that I have and operation to have them removed. The reality of the fact that
this meant I would never be able to have my own children really hurt and, understanding the implications, I was terrified
we'd left it too late! It was time for more tears, but I didn't question having the operation. My doctor assured me that
my ovaries were 'useless' anyway. I understood that having them removed would be far less painful than risking developing
such an agressive form of cancer. I had the operation weeks later, and it was all a success.
Over the first 2 years of being diagnosed I went on growth hormone and oestrogen treatment. The effect these have had on
me is, in my opinion, nothing short of a miracle! Over 2 years I shot up from 4 ft 7 to just under 5 ft 2 at the point of
coming off the growth hormone when I turned 18! I have grown from from a young girl to being as developed as any woman, and
it has worked wonders for my confidence.
When I first found out I had Turners Syndrome, I was distraught. I worried that it would hang over my life and prevent
me from getting the things that I wanted in life. It seemed like it would have a negative effect on just about everything
I wanted to do. However, I realised that I'd never been unsuccessful or unhappy in my life any more than the next person before
I found out I had it. I was known in school as being 'the square one' that was always top of the class, had an above average
flare for music (I've played the clarinet, piano and saxophone since I was quite young) had friends, and was generally happy,
so what made my life any different now? I realised that although I would undoubtedly struggle with some aspects of my life
because of this condition, I also had qualities that a lot of others don't, and made a vow to make the most of what I had
been given. I am the first to admit that I have my moments, and that most of these have Turners Syndrome at the route. It sometimes only
takes something extremely small, a slight negative comment towards me or an everyday task I'm struggling to
do which I can blame on Turners Syndrome, to make me break down and feel very insecure (for instance, I get unreasonably
emotional if I lose something like a purse or mobile phone, or forget to do something, as it is a symptom of my TS inherited
scatterbrain!) However, in general I'm as happy and fun-loving as the next person. The way I see it, I might have
greater problems than some people in this world, but I'm also a great deal luckier than some!
It also really helped me to meet other girls my age with this condition. As well as making some of the best friends I have,
I can see that we all have our own strengths and personalities, and it has helped to show me just how little Turners Syndrome
says about me. Anything we do have in common only seems to be positive. Without exception, all of the girls with Turners that
I know are the most genuinely good-natured and caring girls I know, and if I'm half as good a person as that then I'm glad
I have it!
These days I am a student at Sheffield University, studying Genetics. I am enjoying my time at University and at the moment
I hope to either go on to become a genetic counsellor or do a medicine degree. I no longer feel like I can never have the
family and husband that I desired at 15, and am confident that when the time comes I will find the right man for the job.
For now I'm happy to enjoy the fact I'm finally developing the confidence to have some fun after a good few
missed years! I have come a long way from the little girl who thought her life was over at 15, and things can only get