I Found Happiness with My TS, and So Can You! - by Randi Rodgers
Hi I’m Randi! Here is my story. I was born in 1986 when my mother was 34. My father was a Vietnam veteran, and he was 36. Mom already had given birth 3 times before. My sister Allene was still born. My older sister is Shelli, and my second oldest is Niki.
The beginning of my life was happy and carefree. I had lots of loving family. My whole family was around 6 feet tall. We’re all stocky from German and Norwegian ancestry. We are all born and bred American, though.
Like I said, my growth and development was normal until I was in 4th grade when I stopped growing. My mom asked the doctor a few times why I wasn’t growing, but no one cared to dig into it. This was the 90s. I grew up embracing my shortness and my dad, stepdad, and family always told me to never let anyone tell me I was too small to do anything. I took it to heart.
Fast forward to high school. In my freshman or sophomore year I began telling my mother that something was wrong; my body was trying to do something, but it just couldn’t. Throughout high school, my mother told me not to worry about not having started my period and that that our family started our periods late. I kept telling her no, please something isn’t right.
I turned 18 in May of 2004. I told mom to take me to the doctor; times up! I went to see an OB/GYN and he said he had a hunch about what might be going on with me, but he didn’t want to scare us in case he was wrong. He said he was referring me to another doctor to see if he is right. I’m sending you to someone to see if I’m right.
Well, that day came it was an endocrinologist she had sent me too. He walked in, looked at me, and said yep, and walked out. He told mom and he thought I had Turner syndrome. A million blood draws and tests later, I learned I had mosaic TS. I went home with my mother’s that night and cried forever, my life was over, my dreams crashed. Remember, I was a teenager still, everything was the apocalypse to me. I tried to continue to see an endocrinologist at first, but no one knew what the heck they were doing. I started birth control, and at 18 I finally went through puberty. I gave up by 19 and largely ignored my TS; I didn’t accept it.
I did tell anyone I was going to date immediately. I wanted no surprises later in the relationship. Other than that, I was a nurse assistant working and lifting better than most. I was careless and reckless; I didn’t care. Then at 23, I joined the Army.
My TS did not exist for those 4 yrs. My husband and closest friends knew and that was it. When I got out of the Army, I went straight to nursing school. I was still not taking care of myself. I still had Army doctors, so I still refused to acknowledge my TS throughout nursing school.
Mind you, from 18 to 34, life was so hard. Hormones made me crazy, literally. I would cry to my mother, often begging for the crazy and depressed feeling to go away. Just when I thought I could control them, I went nuts again. At 33, I moved to Kentucky. I had to go to the OB/GYN to have a pap smear because the VA requires it regularly.
I decided that when my primary care doctor sent me, I wanted the OB/GYN to know that I had Turner syndrome, so I asked my primary to include that information in the referral. I also requested behavioral health services. My OB here is amazing, I love her so much. She has researched TS very thoroughly and has me on estrogen and progesterone, and my behavioral health team has me on a low dose of Wellbutrin, Buspar, and Effexor.
During my first appointment with my OB/GYN, we had a heart-to-heart conversation. I have fully accepted my TS finally at 34. I am part of 2 Facebook groups with all my TS sisters. I love them so much! I am now loud and proud of my Turner syndrome.
The moral of my story is that even though I thought my life was over, I finally found peace and happiness with my Turner syndrome. So can you! I love all my TS sisters and I am here for any and all.