My webbed fingers aka syndactyly!

So as some of you know, I was born with a condition called Syndactyly, a condition where my fingers were “webbed” when I was born. I find it really fascinating and unique, my friends all say that they should have left them webbed so that I would be a really good swimmer, I hear that one every time! We all have different things that set us apart, and for me, I have my hands! I really don’t care at all when people say that they look ugly or gross, it’s a part of who I am, and I’m proud of it! Here is a little more about my condition in the words of my mother, since I don’t remember a lot of the details because I was too young to remember most of it. 

“Here is some info on the type of syndactyly that you had.  The bones in the tips of your fingers were fused together and the ends of your fingers were overlapped. Your hands were very similar to this. (note: this is not a picture of my hands, but it’s very similar to what mine looked like.)

The Plastic Surgeon would only divide one finger at a time on each hand in case there was damage to the blood vessels or veins. If you lost the blood supply to your finger on one side then you still had the other side so it would be OK. You had your first surgery at about 8 months to divide your middle fingers from the others. Then when you were about a year old they separated your baby fingers from your ring fingers. They took skin grafts from the inside of your thighs for both surgeries. So you had to learn to crawl with casts up to your elbows on both arms and learn to walk and balance yourself with casts on both arms.  When you were about three they went back and released some scar tissue. You had your last surgery when you were around ten or eleven to release more scar tissue and increase the space between your fingers. When you were about three you stopped talking and that’s when we started going to a program called DDI VANTAGE Early Intervention Program. They provide services for children who have developmental delays and disabilities by offering a full range of services to meet their individual needs. Your teachers name was Cozzette and she is the one who started using sign language with you so that we could communicate again. Luckily you started talking again.”

I vaguely remember being young and having casts on my hands and having to deal with that. I sort of remember when I quit talking, I’d just keep to myself and not say anything. I’m not sure why exactly I quit talking. I remember during that time going to a few doctors and such. I  remember going to a school just up the street from where we lived and learning sign language there.  I remember spending hours in my Mom’s lap facing a mirror and signing back and forth to each other; mostly fun signs and food signs and such. I remember my older sisters teaching me new words and signing to them when I wanted something. Eventually I opened up and started talking again.  I remember getting the last surgery when I was about 10-11, my mom and my grandma looked at my hands and said that there was some scar tissue on my middle fingers that prevented them from fully flexing. So we went  to the hospital and I had surgery to remove it. I remember going back to school with these huge bandages on my middle fingers, it was really awkward and the kids teased me a bit, I didn’t really care what they said and I laughed along with them. When I went to high school I decided to take ASL (American Sign Language) as my language class.

I never really put it all into perspective until I received my Patriarchal Blessings. It said that I was chosen specifically by my parents in the Pre-Earth Life. Later when I was talking to my parents about it and I realized that I was chosen to be born with this condition, and that it would just be one of the many things I would have to face in this life. I knew and my parents knew that I would be born with syndactyly, but we all accepted that anyways. Me personally I love it, it sets me apart from everybody else, makes me unique and helps me remember that we are all different and special on our own ways. It helps me understand the big picture in life! Who could have guessed at the time that I would later be called as an American Sign Language Missionary in the New York Rochester Mission.

Heavenly Father has a plan and a purpose for each and every one of us. We all have our differences, being different is nothing to be ashamed about.  Who cares what the rest of the world says about you, cause guess what? There not perfect either! Be proud of who you are and what gifts Heavenly Father has given you, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5: 14-16)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Inner West LIVE
  2. Barbara Lemmon
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 03:31:03

    Those are the sweetest merry mitts I have ever seen!!!


  3. Katie Lemmon
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 05:51:50

    I will never forget teaching you all those signs. One reason that I took sign language in high school. I met some great friends and from there I found my chosen calling to be a special education teacher! You are one of the coolest brothers I have!!!


  4. Irina
    May 27, 2011 @ 03:27:28

    Thanks so much for this post, I have a blog and would like to add your link to mine.


  5. Trackback: Blog post by an adult who was born with Syndactyly « Ania's Syndactyly

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: