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Therapy is Helping Me Work Through It All - by Daneene Hewitt



I suppose my story actually began when I was about 2 and the doctor told my mom I had a problem with my heart and referred us to the children's hospital. I had a narrowing of my aortic valve in my heart and it would at some point need to be replaced. They guessed I would need surgery sometime in my elementary school years.


Fast forward to the age of 9, and a student doctor noticed my size and barrel shaped chest and suggested I have some testing done to see if I had Turner syndrome (TS). I was sent to an endocrinologist who ordered blood work that confirmed I had Turner syndrome. My only memories of my entire experience was being told by a nurse who was probably about 7-8 months that I would never have children on my own, and would have to adopt if I wanted kids.


The rest was basically long waits in a narrow dark hallway of the basement to see the doctor for maybe 5 minutes. I was started on hormone therapy around the age of 13 or 14. I would have cardiology appointments with testing about every 6 months to a year.


I did have my first surgery at the age of 23. I chose a mechanical valve that required a strong blood thinner called Warfarin. I found it hard to manage and control my PT/INR they used to measure the thinners/clotting of my blood and did have a bleed in my brain.


I found out I had recurring stenosis in my mid 40s and chose a different type of valve so I only had to take aspirin. A few years later I'm realizing how I blocked so much out mentally that I didn't deal with my depression and feelings of inadequacy and loss. I also realize now how much those feelings and the nonverbal learning disorder (NLD) I now believe I have affected my schooling and social life growing up. I am in counseling now and am working through all that.

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