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CMT - Charcot-Marie-Tooth Channel

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Growing Up With CMT
By Laura Moquin
(Page 2 of 4)

My classmates couldn't believe I had missed the keg party last Friday. "Last Friday I had an operation," was my reply. "I was totally waiting for you to show up on crutches," I can still remember the keg party hostess saying.

Everything was slipping away... missing a week of school left me frustrated and confused. The boy I liked had moved on to someone else. The cast was so huge and the metal bars inside my toes throbbed. I was in pain, on medication, but kept a smile on my face. I joked about my misfortune and counted the days until I wouldn't be on crutches.

The worst part was that no one knew what actually happened. My teachers, principle, class mates all assumed that I broke my leg. It makes complete sense if one of your 16 year old students shows up on Monday in a cast that you assume she broke her leg and move on.

It felt different than when I had my fifth grade left foot tendon transfer operation, where my eighteen other classmates all knew there was something wrong with me. In high school, I didn't have my mom telling my teachers exactly what was wrong. This time, I didn't need my mom telling everyone my business. When she asked if I spoke to my teachers, I lied. I almost told a guidance counselor once, but I felt the tears building up in my eyes and didn't want anyone at my high school to think that Perfect Laura could cry. The Student Council President of her class shouldn't be in the guidance office crying.

When asked directly I would explain that I had corrective surgery on a foot problem, but as I mentioned earlier, most people moved forward on their assumption. Truthfully, I reveled in the fact that they all thought of me as normal enough to just break my leg playing sports over the weekend.

I had so many flimsy cards stacked up that one was bound to slip...

The first was my grades. I couldn't concentrate on school anymore. I was simply so tired. The medication made me sleepy; I put all my energy into getting through the day with a smile on my face. My grades went down to B's and, I got a note about the possibility of losing my full scholarship to my private school. I needed to get my grades up. I was desperate. I tried but my brain felt like a brick wall that repelled new information. Perfect Laura, who could remember an entire chapter of text now simply couldn't retain.

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