I Define What Turner Syndrome Is by Caitlin Sullivan
Hi all! My name is Caitlin Sullivan, and I am a 25-year-old woman with Turner syndrome (TS) from Massachusetts. I can honestly say I love having TS. Having Turner syndrome has given me some of the greatest blessings in my life, including life-long friendships, an amazing support system, and a community I truly feel connected to.
I have also learned through the years that Turner syndrome does not define me; I define what TS is. Yes, TS has a medical definition that people can Google search. One will find various definitions with medical jargon that makes absolutely no sense and can scare people. If you ask me to define Turner Syndrome, I will say that it is a genetic disorder that happens to make up some of the most determined, caring, kindhearted, empathetic, and stubborn group of individuals you will ever meet.
My experience with this condition and those characteristics that I used in my definition are what inspired me to become a nurse. I knew from a young age that I wanted to help people because of my experiences with nurses and doctors in the hospital. I wanted to be able to provide comfort, quality care, compassion, and a listening ear to patients and families. After many late nights, lots of studying, copious amounts of iced teas, and countless frantic phone calls home saying I could not continue this nursing school thing, I made it. When deciding what specialty of nursing to go into, I made a list of my strengths. Those would be that I am determined, caring, kindhearted, empathetic, and stubborn.
After doing research on what specialties of nursing played into these strengths, I decided to go into hospice care. I am an on-call hospice nurse, which means I am the 911 of hospice. I always tell families, “Instead of calling 911, you call me”. I love my job. My favorite part of my job is being able to walk into a patients’ home or facility, assess the situation, and see what I can do to make my patients more comfortable. I love being able to listen to the families’ triumphs and struggles while navigating the world of hospice while guiding and supporting them through their journey. So, here’s to Turner Syndrome Awareness Month. Everyone stay safe and healthy!