Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Artificial Woman

The following is a work of fiction, but based on my 42 years of "research" as a girl with Turner Syndrome:

She seemed like every other baby, a little smaller than average, but not by enough that it raised any red flags for any of the doctors. Her parents named her Rainbow, because it was a popular name in 1967, the year she was born.

One thing the doctors did comment on was Rainbow's toes. They had unusual creases in them.

Like any other baby, Rainbow was loved by her parents, Bob and Kay Yebdog. And her parents received many congratulations from their friends. Rainbow was the second--and last--child for
the Yebdogs. Two years previous, the Yebdogs had been blessed with their first daughter, Lynn.

Mrs. Yebdog says that as a baby, Rainbow didn't so much crawl as slither like a snake. And while Lynn learned to walk at nine-months, Rainbow was about 14 months when she started to walk. And although Rainbow talked a lot, she didn't potty train until she was ready--sometime between two and three years of age.

The problems began shortly after. Rainbow wasn't growing or eating much. Doctors accused her mom of not loving her enough. This, of course, was wrong, and today, wouldn't be said by a doctor.

Then there were the ear infections--one right after the other it seemed--usually combined with nausea and vomiting. Rainbow, being an anxious little girl, didn't like going to the doctor to get treated. Mrs. Yebdog, would try to stealthily call, but somehow, Rainbow knew. Rainbow would cry to her mother for hours, "Am I going to get a shot." And usually she would--of an antibiotic. It seemed possible the Rainbow might lose her hearing because of all of the ear infections.

More on that later.

Another issue was Rainbow's vision. Sometime in pre-school a screening was done that revealed that at the tender age of four, Rainbow would need glasses. At the time this excited her, thinking glasses were a cool fashion accessory. She went to a special eye doctor, and picked out a pair of glasses she called "Cupcake Spice Brown." Eventually glasses would earn Rainbow the nickname "four-eyes".

She didn't know then that there would be other, more cruel names she would be called before she graduated high school.

Despite the problems with her eyes and ears, still no major red flags were raised with respect to Rainbow's health. Everyone, be it friends or family, noticed that she was a rather hyperactive child. This amused many, but sometimes frustrated her parents. be continued........

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