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Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Do We Go Too Far?

For those who don't know, I have Turner Syndrome. While I won't get into the details of it here, it has brought one larger issue to the forefront of my life. You see, from the time I was ten until I was 14, I took daily growth hormone injections. While I understand why my parents made the decision to have me go through this (they simply wanted what they thought was best for me), I personally don' t agree with treating short stature as a disease.

I've actually been planning a post on this topic for quite some time, but there always seemed to be too much that I wanted to say on the subject. First off, with regards to the injections, there is no way to know if they truly helped me grow or not. I might have grown to my current five feet on my own, then again, I may not have. Second, does it really matter? Would I have been any less of a person if my final height had been under five foot? I know it might seem silly to suggest this, but then again, isn't that the message the medical field is sending when prescribing several years of daily injections for a few inches of growth?

I'm tired. I'm tired of being treated like a medical curiosity when, in reality, what I have is simply a genetic disorder that randomly occurs in one out of 2,500 live female births. It shouldn't be such a mystery (and there are still a lot of misconceptions). There have always been women with Turner Syndrome and there always will be as long as there is a Human Race. We've come a long way in becoming more tolerant of other ethnicities, races, life styles, religions, customs, etc. In some respects, we've come a very long way; in others, we may have gone too far. That aside, I don't think that anyone will argue that we've made any real progress in accepting physical variations other than the color of one's skin. It is still socially acceptable to discriminate on the basis of height , weight, physical deformities, etc (it just isn't as apparent). It is one area in which acceptance and understanding can go a long way. The article below makes a very valid point: we need to work on changing the social stigma of short stature, etc. It is only then that we can get away from trying to make everyone "normal."

Can you imagine how boring life would be if we were all alike? Personally, I'm glad that I'm different. I'm glad that I'm not a cookie-cutter Barbie doll! Everyone has a challenge in their life; everyone has a personal struggle. Just remember that next time you are tempted to judge someone before he or she opens their mouth.

Essay: When Medicine Goes Too Far in the Pursuit of Normality


PS - Brian, if you ever read this, I want you to know that I wrote this in part for you. I know all too well what your feelings are on the subject!

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At 10:30 PM, Blogger rudy2 said...

I agree. I know at the time, parents were told something by a doctor, and thought the doctor knew best.

But what is normal? What is perfect? Nobody. And who has the right to decide who needs to be altered?

BTW, my mom is under 5',and I'm just barely over. It never stopped either of us from doing what needed to get done.

At 11:12 PM, Blogger russelllindsey said...

Thanks for the comment. The whole issue really frustrates me.



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