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I was born 3 months prematurely and now I am almost 20.
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Anon_231438 posted:
I am a male, 19 years old and this is my experience from a survivor, so
I really don't know what to talk about, but I will talk about the struggles that I still have and the complications that I went through. Pretty much my life.

I was born 3 months early and weighing only 1lb and 12 ozs. I had to undergo 2 heart surgeries for the patent ductus arteriosus because the first one failed. From those surgeries I have a almost a foot long scar on my back to my left side of my ribs. One of my ribs was moved and it seems like it got pushed outwards and my left shoulder blade protrudes a lot. I was told by my parents I stayed in the hospital for more than 4 months before I was released.

I know that I learned how to walk very late and speaking even later. I was taught Chinese first and English second and that caused me to do even poorly in school. I know for sure that I have a learning disability and a speech problem. Throughout Elementary school I was put in many various programs to help me become a "normal" student. I was taken away from all my fellow classmates and put in a room with a specialist. I was in ELA,speech cass, and another class that I don't remember throughout Elementary school. I did very poorly in school and my level performance was considered a second grade level when I was in fifth grade.

In middle school all the support that I had in elementary school was gone. I was considered a "normal" student and nobody knew about the learning/speech disabilites that I have. I struggled through middle school, but I was proud with my 3.0 gpa. Socially, I made friends, but it was difficult because with my poor speech in enouceating and I sometimes stutter/mumble and overall just nervous and shy.

High school, the most difficult subjects were math and chemistry. Overall in high school my gpa was a 2.9 unweighted and weighted was 3.4 and a ACT score of 23 scoring 24 in math and 28 in reading.

College, this will be my second year this coming fall at uc denver struggle very challenging on myself. I can't pass basic math classes after numerous tries and it is very discouraging no matter how hard I try, I can't comprehend it.

Problems that I have due to being born 3 months prematurely:

-learning disabilities especially in math/science
-speech disabilities - stutter,mumbling, enounciating
-socially/school - I am very quiet, I don't participate in groups/class,fear in public speaking, anxiety, I consider myself beingaHSP (highly sensitive person) which is a big part of why I have a kind of social phobia.
-Allergic to many perscription drugs that treats pnumonia/pain killers
-I may have glaucoma

Lastly, I am not a parent and hoping that someday I will be and wont be in the 75% who can't have a child due to being extremely premature born.

For the parents, I would like to say,love and protect your child like it was the first time holding your child after birth.

Also, to my parents whom cared for me since birth till now and eventhrough thesuffering that they had to see and to endure. I truly appreciate and love my parents for the support that they have given me.

To those who took your time to read this, and I know there are many grammer/sentence mistakes.

Thank you
Reply
 
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sampsonl responded:
I forgot to add, I weigh 147 lbs and I am 6 feet tall.
 
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PunkyK responded:
Dear Young Man,
To me you are a successful young man who has done well in your life to overcome so many obstacles. Many children would simply have sunk into their own world because of their speech issues due to embarrassment and shyness and might even have given up on their school work because of the challenge of it. You, my friend, made friends, continued to work on your grades, you know TWO languages, and you have entered college as an adult. I am sure that your journey has not been easy due to the difficulties you have described, very well, I might add. You are obviously fully capable of expressing yourself, very organized in your thoughts, and have the determination to get what you want to say, out, even if you have to fight your body with your brain, a little.
And one thing about the mis-spellings and grammar. I am very lucky to have been born without disabilities, yet, my spelling is horrible at age 47. I've always struggled with that. Spell check in Word is my best friend, even when writing by hand because I keep it up on my screen so I can check before I write a word I'm not sure how to spell. Even though some of your words or grammar might not have been technically correct in your story about "you", you were very organized and clear in your communication. I will share with you something my son's 2nd grade teacher told me when I was struggling with helping the children with spelling!!! She said, "How well we spell is not a measurement of our intelligence." That was over 15 years ago and I have never forgotten it.
The fact that you chose to share your story from the 'adult' preemies perspecive shows that you also have a big heart. You can joke with others that your scar proves that!
I think, as a mom and as someone who appreciates the struggles and work you put in to overcome your disabilities, that you can be anything you want to be. I am sorry that your support system was taken away once you hit Jr. High. But, there is some support in the college system. If you have not sought this help, please do so. It's up to you to ask. Start with your counselor, student affairs, or with a favorite professor. Your counselor will be aware of what is available on campus (federal funding) in addition to what is required by the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. There might be monetary sources including grants and scholarships offered by outside organizations or the private sector, that you may qualify for to help pay for classes and living expences. Some colleges have more resources than others. If your school has medical programs such as Speech pathology, etc., you might be able to help yourself as well as others. You learned how to deal with" it " on your own when your public school resources were removed in your early teen years. So, now learn how to ask for what you need and be creative and assertive. College is all about learning how to manage your life's journey on your own, so it's up to you to ask what resources are available and express your special needs.
Get involved in student activities. You are a newer student so now is the time to jump in and just take the plunge. It will help you be more comfortable with your speech issues and others will be accepting of them and will even be willing to help you feel more confident about verbal communication. You don't have to explain why you have the issues you do off the bat. You can just say, "I've had these issues since I was a baby." Some might leave it at that and other's might want to know more. This may be the most challenging for you, but you have already shown that you have a can do attitude, and after all, college is suppose to be where you push yourself beyond your own expectations. I think you might just be more of a people person than you thought and that might be the direction you choose to go in your career choices. Plus, people skills don't require math!!! Good luck
 
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tkiaas responded:
hey dude that story is very touching me and my wife are proud parents of premature twins a boy and girl due feb 9 but came nov 16 he was 2.4 and she was 1.14 now today he weighs 19.2 and she is 15.5 she also went through surgery we are very touched by your story we pray they dont have to go through the struggle you have had to endure but at least now we have a bit of knowledge for what could become thank you and it looks like our boy kiaran may follow ur steps i am short mom is avarage ht he is huge for his corrected age lol take care keep up the good work
best of luck ken and amanda
 
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Kyle_Snell responded:
Hey,
i was also 3 months im just wondering is there any health problems i should be looking for im extremely healthy expect im short thats the only thing it did to me thank god btw im 18.
 
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Sarbar responded:
I was born only weighing 15 and 1/2 ounces and have eexperienced some of these same issues. I understand..
 
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kat1221 responded:
Hello,

I too was born a pre-mature baby. I am now 22 years old. I was born at 1 pound 8 ounces at 24 weeks, I lost my twin brother and had open heart surgery at 3 weeks old with no anesethia, I had chronic lung disease, and was on steroids for one year. I a student at the University of Washington and a volunteer and council member on the UW Med. Center NICU unit advisory board, the same unit I was in the care of as a pre-mature baby. Your story is inspiring, I am interested in learning more from other pre-mie babies for research projects I am conducting as a pre-med student.
 
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sfc31 replied to kat1221's response:
Hi! What an amazing story! I was born 1 lb 13 oz. I am very thankful to be alive and healthy! I am 34 years old and I currently teach 1st grade. I have been very interested in learning more about preemie adults. Hoping to learn more about our preemie experiences into adulthood!
 
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nathan97457 replied to Kyle_Snell's response:
I was also born 3 months early. I 22 now a lead supervisor at my job. When I was born the doctors told my parents that I was not going to survive. I had to be flown to the the bigger city due to the fact that the town I was born in could not support my issues. I had to have a blood transfusion. I spent many month in the hospital. Complication after complication I was not getting any healthier. The doctors kept saying do not get your hopes up every day due to the fact that I was not supposed to survive. However after many months of struggles I finally got slightly better. However to this day I have sever heart problems. My lungs are not as strong as they should be. My immune system is not that strong, I am always getting sick. A slight learning disability. However my heart problems to concern me due to the fact that they are getting much worse with the years that pass. I am currently attending college to earn my PH degree in Criminal Justice. We all come from a battle that most people do not go through, We fight a batter each day due to out complications. But always look on the bright side we are here. We survived and are alive and healthy for the most part. Most people have health problems due to being born early but we all cope with them in our day to day life.
 
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nathan97457 replied to sfc31's response:
Hello, I was born 3 months early. I was born in a small town and had to be flown to the city due to the fact that my town did not have the equipment nor staffing to help me through my problems. The doctors told my parents not to get there hopes up each day because I was not going to live. Each day my parents held out hope for me getting better. I had to be hooked up to many ventilators to help me breath because my lungs were not strong enough for me to breath, I had to have a blood transfusion. Many ivies were stuck into me an I have a hole in my arm because it would not heal. I am 22 now and am going to college and a lead supervisor at my job. However, I have many complications still into my adult hood. I have heart problems and with the pass of each year they seam to be getting worse, I have a learning disability, I stutter, repeat, and mumble over all my words. Which makes it difficult to speak in some instances. I have really bad anxiety at times. And can not hold my attention to most things. I also have sever image issues. However, I am a strong adult doing very well in life. Yes, I may have some sever set backs due to all my complications from being born early. But, I am here in this world making my own path in life to better my future. We all over came out obstetrical and adapted to them to make the best of what we have in life. I hope my story finds you well.
Thanks for your time,
Nathan


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