Welcome, reader(s)! Today, as promised, I'll be discussing the medical issues that make me more or less unique.
I covered my thoughts on high school in general in the last post. But, I realized that I failed to mention that I was an alcoholic for my last two years before graduation. Before I get put into a stereotype, no, I didn't drink because it was fun, and I certainly wasn't pressured into it, as most of my drinking was done alone. I drank to forget, and here's why:
It was junior year of high school. I hadn't been to the dentist in roughly 4 years, and my parent decided that I was way past due for a cleaning. So I went during the afternoon, to a college dental program- because it was free, apparently. The cleaning itself went well, but they found a lump in my jaw that could be felt through my cheek. I had noticed it before then, but hadn't thought anything of it. They decided to do some X-rays, and that's where my story begins.
As it turns out, the lump was actually a cyst in my jaw. The X-rays also found two more: one in the center of my lower jaw, and one up in my right sinus. My dad knew an excellent oral surgeon, so I met with him and we all decided that I should have surgery to essentially see what we were really dealing with. The surgery went well, but the surgeon found that the cysts, while too large to operate on at the time, were both benign and special. The types of cysts that were in my head only really materialized for certain people. My dad brought me to a geneticist for some tests, and after a while, they found exactly what was wrong with me.
Nevoid basal-cell carcinoma syndrome, more commonly known as "Gorlin-Goltz" Syndrome,
was evidently my issue. It is an uncommon syndrome, and not many people have even heard of it. There are lots of possible symptoms for it, and I was lucky enough to not have all of them. For now, my symptoms include:
- Far greater chance of developing cysts in my body compared to other people.
- Far greater physical reaction to sunlight (I get a certain type of skin cancer very easily)
- Abnormal height compared to others (I've been over 6 feet tall for 7 years)
- Children I have will have 80% chance of dying within a year, or may be severely disabled.
The majority of people who have the syndrome are mentally or physically impaired, if they live past infancy. My only symptom until the cysts were discovered was my abnormal height, so I consider myself relatively lucky. Anyways, the cysts were shrunken, and I was okay. I won't go into detail of it, but it was traumatic, and was part of the reason I drank a lot in high school. The second surgery, where the cysts were removed, went well too. Since I was super vulnerable to the sun, I started visiting a dermatologist to check for skin cancer while all this was going on.
So that's my story! I'll have to think of what to talk about for my third entree.