I'm Alexis, Who are you?
Alexis the editor

Hi there, I'm Alexis, and I'm happy that you've come to visit. There are a lot of things that "make me tick", and I guess I'll tell you about the medical ones first. I really AM a webmaster, but I'll tell you about that later on! OK, here goes...I've got four medical problems. That's right, not one, not two, not three, but four of them, and if you know what they mean, you are one smart kid!

Here goes...

#1, I've got cerebral palsy, the athetoid type. People were talking about that way before I could even say the words. What they mean is that I have a tough time controlling my muscles. When you think, "I want to run", your legs get the message and off you go! When I think the same thing, my legs say, "so what, it's amazing that we can even walk for you!" The neat thing is that they not only learned how to walk--they've learned how to dance and ride horseback, too! What do you think of my cute tutu?

Tough to see, but this is ME!

#2 When I was in the fourth grade, just four years ago, I had a terrible flu, and I had all kinds of tests to see why I wasn't getting better. One of the tests, called a kidney biopsy, showed that I had a disease called lupus. Once the doctors knew what it was, then they could give me the types of medicines that would make me feel better. I was sure happy about that. Lupus is a strange disease, because it has about 100 different ways of behaving, so it's tricky, and hard to figure out. One of the ways that it showed up in my case was through my joints. They hurt and they puffed up, and since I had to be in the hospital for a long time (most kids get out pretty quickly), my doctor suggested that I keep a journal. Well, I did when I felt better, and that started my career as an executive, and as a webmaster, and as a lot of other things. Here's my first journal!

My first journal!

#3 Oops, I got ahead of myself. I wanted to tell you about the medical parts of the story first. The third problem that I have is called scoliosis. Have you ever heard of that? You know how your back is pretty straight? Well, mine is curved. That's what scoliosis is...a curve in the back, sort of like the letter S. I had to wear a back brace that I hated!!!!! The first one was hard plastic and steel. Later on I got a soft vest, but I hated that, too!!!! The doctors decided that my back was just too curvy, so I had an operation to try to fix it. And, to top things off, or I guess to "bottom" things off, I had to wear braces on my feet! I hated those too!!!!! Here's a picture of me in them. 

here I am in those awful braces!

#4 I was born with a problem called sickle cell anemia. Do you know how your red blood cells pick up Oxygen from your lungs and carry it all around your body? Well, my red blood cells sometimes have a hard time doing that, because they're not as round as yours are. Round ones can swim along smoothly through blood vessels (remember the little tunnels all over your body?), but mine are not round, so sometimes they clump together and get stuck. Which means that sometimes I don't get the Oxygen that I need, and of course, that would be a problem for anybody!

Send Alexis a letter Fly away home Come to my next page 

Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468

Last updated: November 14, 2004