|Hi, I'm Courtney, and
I'm seven-years-old, (at least I was when I wrote this in 2002!). I
have been in the hospital more times than I can count, so I guess you
could call me a pro! My problems began when I
was about three months old. My mom tells me that I couldn't keep my
down, even when they changed it time and time again. So the doctors
me to the hospital, where I met the handsome Dr. John Seashore.
He's dabomb! He has done a zillion operations on me...12 so far, even to the point of stealing my esophagus (of course I'm kidding about the stealing part, but if you happen to find it anyway, would you please let me know?)!
I've started school and most of the time it's a cheerful experience. Sometimes, though, I feel different and shy because I've had so many surgeries and scars and I worry that my classmates will make fun of me.
It's tough to have to go to the nurse's office every day to have g-tube feeds. Do you know what they are? If not, you've come to the right place because I am a true g-tube expert. See, since I don't have an esphagus (the tube that goes from your throat to your tummy), I can't swallow food or drink. Since I need both of them, just like you, the great Dr. Seashore needed to find a way to get the food from the outside of me to the inside of me. That's where the g-tube comes in. It's a small tube that was inserted into my tummy with a little button gadget on the outside. You know how a car gets gas, right? Well, I get my food through the same sort of tube, though much smaller, and the tube gets connected to the button on the outside of my belly. It is really amazing, and though of course I'd rather have an esophagus like yours, this is a great second best way to eat.
I once told a girl in my class that I wore diapers at night and she told everyone. I was so embarrassed that I cried. I bet you would, too! All the kids laughed at me. I hope that you will NEVER laugh at kids just because their bodies work differently than yours. That's why I'm telling you this story of my life...so that you will learn. Lucky for me my family was great, and they helped me to feel better.
I have two brothers, Steven and Kyle, and a baby sister named Amber. When I have to go to the hospital they feel sad, and they cry. I miss them, too. My mom and dad I love so much, and of course they love me too. They stay with me all the time when I'm in the hospital. I have two special friends, Tasia and Tiarria, and they are there for me all the time. They like me, and I love spending time with them.
I hope that someday when I grow up I'll be a doctor, or maybe a teacher. I love to cook and help my mom at home. So many choices!!!
I hope that you had a good time visiting my story. I had a good time telling it to my mom, who was my secretary, who wrote it down for me.Thanks for visiting my page. I hope that you'll think about writing your own!
Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468
Written in 2002
Last updated: July 31, 2006