|Hello. My name is Brianna, and I am 5 years
old...almost 6 since my birthday is in April (Actually, that was in 2000, so you can imagine just how old I am now!). First I'll tell you about
what makes me tick, and then I'll tell you about some pretty rare medical
problems that I have to put up with, OK?
Here goes. I like to play with my Barbies, and I love my doll house, even though my mom won't buy any more things for it. I also love my kitties, Molly and Shaggy. Shaggy is HUGE...14 pounds and I can't even pick him up! Molly is tiny. She is only like 3 pounds (at least that's what it seems like). My cats are both grey with black and white stripes, but Shaggy has long hair, sort of like me! One time I tried to brush out his tangles with my hair brush. My mom had a big fit about that one! She also didn't think it was such a great idea when I used my no-more-tangles on him. Moms!
I like to ride my bike, though I still ride a tricycle since I can't balance on a two wheeler yet. There are some other things I can't do, too, like running down the street. Now that is NOT because I don't run fast. I do. It's because my doctor is worried that if I fell, there would be tremendous problems. That really makes me mad, because I want to do so many things that I can't! Sometimes I jump up and down on the couch. At least my doctor said that couch jumping is OK. My mom feels differently, though. You should see her face when I do that! She says she's going to have a heart attack if I keep it up...she just doesn't get it!!!!
I like it when my mom and my "da" read to me. My favorites are the Little Critter books. I am learning how to write words in school, and one day I will write a long letter telling everyone in the world that just because my body is different than theirs doesn't mean that I can't play or go to school just like they do!
You're probably wondering about my body. When I was born, the doctors noticed that it was not like other babies'. They told my parents that I had a very very rare condition called VACTERL (the letters stand for the different problems I have). Though in all sorts of ways I'm very much like other five-year -olds, here are some of the ways my body is different than theirs.
I had a friend in school. Her name is Jasmine, but she doesn't talk to me as much as she used to, and I don't know why! I have lots of other nice friends but some of them aren't so nice all the time! One thing that I do is Daisies. That's Girl Scouts for kindergarten! All of the girls in my class are in Daisies too, and I like it a lot. We do neat stuff, like going to the pumpkin patch to go on a hayride and pick pumpkins!! THAT was a lot of fun!!!
I hope that when I grow up I'll be able to help people. In the meantime, I hope that you've enjoyed reading about me. Don't be too sad about my problems, because as you can see, there's a lot that I can do, and I have a lot of fun.
Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman COllege, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468
Last updated: November 14, 2004