In the next few posts, I will go back in my past and tell my life story up to this point. Some of what I am going to say is a secondhand account. Either I have know memory of some of the events or I have blocked some of it from my memory.
My parents had been married for four years when my twin sister, Jennifer, and I were born. Both my sister and I were declared healthy at birth and were sent home. However, I was not healthy at all.
My first few months of life was spent in and out of hospitals. My mom took me back to the hospital because of an irregular heartbeat after being home for a few days. At a month old, doctors finally figured out that I had a hole in my heart that did not close on its own as it should have. Doctors wanted to wait until I was a few years old before doing surgery to repair the hole. This did not happen though.
At three months of age, I had a scary incident that alerted my mom that I was seriously ill. One day, I threw blood up all over her and stopped breathing. She rushed me to the hospital at which time a procedure was done that determined that not only did I have a large hole in my heart, I also had a blockage in my heart. In short, I was in heart failure. Without immediate surgery, I would soon die.
The odds for my survival were very slim. The doctors only gave me a ten percent chance of living through the surgery. But as my mom has told me many times, if she and my dad did not consent to the surgery, I would have died anyway.
I can’t even imagine how my parents felt when they signed those consent forms and when I was wheeled away into surgery.
I did have complications on the operating table in which the doctors lost all of my vital signs and they had to bring me back to life. During the surgery, the surgeons patched the hole in my heart, and were able to remove the blockage.
My medical complications did not end there. As a result of being on a feeding tube for such a long period of time, the passage to my stomach closed off. For a while, I was only able to be fed in small amounts. I had to be taught how to eat again at three months old.
I went home at four months of age. My parents have had to watch me closely for much of my life. I have had to see cardiologists often in my short life to make sure that everything is still fine with my heart. Now at age twenty-four, I have no further complications. The fact that I am alive today is a miracle. To this day my mom calls me her “walking miracle.”
Now you might be asking how my vision impairment comes in to all of this. My mom could tell by looking at me when I was born that something was wrong with my eyes. The doctors told my parents that I just had a lazy eye. It wasn’t until I was nine months old that they learned that it was something else. Finally at eighteen months, doctors were finally able to tell that I had a severe case of a disease called Coloboma. Coloboma is a disease that causes deformities in the eye. My retina is misshapen and my octave nerve is damaged.
I am going to end this post here. All of what I have written above has had a huge impact on my life. There is more to my medical history that I will get to as I tell more of my life’s journey in the next post.