I'm Natalie, and I'm eighteen years old, starting Bryn Mawr college in the Fall. Do I have a story to tell you!  It's a true one, and it's about me. Thanks for taking the time to visit and to take a peek at my life.

   Some people say I'm lucky.  I guess I am, though I have often remarked that it would almost be easier to have one condition severely than many conditions mildly wrapped into the one package that is me.  For instance, I have a mild case of Moebius Syndrome.  I can "smile" with half my face, and my speech is decent.  People say I should be glad it is not worse, but I still feel an inescapable feeling of dread when I speak.  I had a club foot when I was born, corrected after casts and bar shoes and surgery.  Unfortunately, all my cartilage is screwed up and it hurts to walk long distances.

   I do consider myself lucky in many respects, none of which have to do with Moebius Syndrome.  As you can probably tell by now, I love to write.  I find that I can be powerful through my words, and that I can earn respect through my words.  I also love to horseback ride, and I feel lucky that I am able to pursue that.  I also feel lucky to have the intelligence I possess, since some people with Moebius have some level of mental involvement.  I know I am fortunate to have wonderful and supportive parents, and a wonderful and loving cat, Seal (he's too fat, but so what?!).

   Because of the Moebius Syndrome, I have a mild case of scoliosis.  It is only about an eighteen degree curve, just enough so that clothes don't exactly hang right.  And for no other reason than my genes are just totally screwed up, I developed alopecia areata when I was 8.  Not badly, but just enough to endure 10 (and counting) years of often painful treatments.

   It may seem that I am just totally complaining, but it often takes complaining to realize that every person has many things to feel lucky about.  Let the luck flow and grow!!!!!!!!

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

Last updated: November 14, 2004