So you want to know more about me? Well, you must be bored, huh? Nah, I think I have had a pretty cool life so you reading it doesnít mean you are bored or desperate. Just interested and that is great. Anyway, I canít tell you everything about me, because we would be here forever and I want you to buy the book. *L* I am 24 years old and I am engaged to a wonderful man, Troy. You can hear more about him later on. Right now itís all about me. LOL Anyway, I live in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. It is a cool little city that I have lived in all my life. I used to live on a dairy farm with my mom and dad, but then in January of 99 Troy took me away from all that and we moved to an apartment downtown. Itís kind of strange for a country girl like me, but I have adjusted just fine. I do believe I was meant to be a city girl. *L* I have a large family. How large you say? I am the baby of eight kids. I have 4 brothers, 3 sisters, 11 nieces and 9 nephews. I have a new baby nephew; he was born August 17th. What a cutie! Holy Cow, huh? Kind of big, but I love it especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas. *L* What a nut house then. I also have three nieces and a new baby newphew who was born on the 21, on Troyís side. That is why I donít need any kids, because I can deal with everyone elseís and then when I get sick of them I can send them home. *L* I love being an aunt just for that reason. So you want to know what I look like? Why? Didnít you see my pictures? Just kidding. *L* Well, if you havenít gotten there yet I will give you a sneak preview. I have shoulder length (I just got it cut, it was almost down to my butt) light brown hair with red tints. I have greenish-blue eyes, which I have been told are very beautiful. I am average looking I guess. I am 4 foot 2 inches tall. Yep, you read that right I am 4í 2Ē. Why am I so short you ask? Well, I am one of the lucky ones out there born with a brittle bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta or OI for short. It is a disease that makes my bones really brittle and makes me short. I donít know why it makes people short for sure, but I think it has something to do with all the broken bones when I was young. I mean, when most kids were busy growing I was busy healing from a broken bone. Anyway, I wasnít diagnosed with OI until I was 9 months old. I went to bed one night and woke up with a broken leg and my mom and dad took me to the hospital and the doctors and nurses were accusing my dad or my brother of abusing me. The one doctor had put me in the hospital and said he did tests on me and I was normal and someone was abusing me had forgotten to do the tests, but he didnít forget to bill the insurance company. Got that? He was a Ö something of a doctor, but thankfully my mom took me to the family doctor and he took one look at my teeth and said I had Osteogenesis Imperfecta. This doctor put me back in the hospital and actually did the tests and I was diagnosed with OI. I suppose you are wondering what this OI thing is all about now, huh? Well, while I was growing up I could break so easy, just by jumping or getting scared. I hated being around balloons. *L* I used to walk all the time when I was younger. I would break, have surgery, go through physical therapy and then start walking again all the time. Now as I am older I can walk, but I use a wheelchair most of the time, because it is a lot easier on me and safer I think. I can walk enough to get around places that arenít accessible. I donít know how many broken bones Iíve had in my life, but I would break 4 to 6 times a year; give or take one or two. I had surgery almost every time I broke, because they would have to straighten the bone and re-align the rod. They would place metal rods by the bones to keep them straight and a little stronger. I went to the University Hospital in Madison until I was seven years old and then after that I started going to Shriners Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota until I was 21. I guess you can say that was my second home. I actually enjoyed going to the hospital when I was younger. I hope that doesnít sound too crazy. They were so nice and there were so many kids there that understood what I was going through. Of course, I didnít like the broken bones or surgery, but if I could just go to the hospital every few months to visit that would have been cool with me. *L* So do you want to hear about some of my broken bones? Well, I mostly broken my legs when I was younger, but I did break my left arm a few times and my wrist when I was a baby. One time when I was about four or five years old I fell and broke my leg and my dad came over to pick me up to take me to the emergency room, like he would do every time I broke something. I told him to hold on a second I had to make my leg stop hurting. He just kind of looked at me and let me go about my business until I was ready for him to pick me up. Well, I grabbed my leg and set it in place, because I knew it would feel better if I did it and I knew someone had to do it and why not me. My dad could barely believe what he saw and I barely remember it, but I think I remember it, because it was so traumatic. I guess when you have to deal with something like that you just do it? Then there was the time I fell and the rod came right through my leg, when I was about 10. You would think I wouldnít want another rod put in me, but I know they made me stronger and able to walk so I had surgery to replace that old rod. As I have gotten older I have gotten less fragile. I would crack my bones a lot when I was a teenager. That would suck, because they wouldnít put me in a cast and I always felt safer in a cast. The bone that hurt the most when I cracked it was my shoulder blade. I can say that I have been very lucky and havenít really hurt myself like that in years *knock on wood*. I pull muscles here and there, but that is not that big of deal compared to everything that I have gone through. Oh yeah, there are different types of OI. I think I have a mild type 3, but I have never been typed. You can learn more about the types of OI by checking out some of my links below. I do know I am not as bad as some people with OI and I am a lot worse than others with it. I am kind of in the middle. Now, what? So you want to know what was my worst surgery ever? Well, I have to say, without a doubt that would have to be my back surgery. I have Scoliosis that is curvature of the spine. I had a metal rod put in my back on February 14th, 1991. Happy Valentineís Day to me, huh? *L* Well, I was 15 years old at the time and I got admitted to the hospital January 11th, because they wanted to put me in back casts to see if they could straighten my back more before the surgery. So for a month, every week I went and had a new back cast put on. That sucked big time, but after I had my 4th cast on I was kind of used to it. I got good at picking things up with my toes. *L* Anyway, I had the surgery and I was in so much pain and I vowed that I would never have another surgery, but I did. Anyway, I was out of it for about four days, but then I felt good enough to get into a reclining wheelchair for a little while. A few days after my surgery I was pretty much back to normal; except I could only sit at a 30 degree angle for a month. Then after a month I could sit up, but I couldnít stand on my legs. That sucked, because I felt great and thought I could do everything I did before, but they wanted me to take things slow. After a few months I was walking with a walker a little bit and then I even started using crutches. Anyway, I was in the hospital this whole time. I was in the hospital a grand total of 127 days, from January to May. I donít know how I did it, but if it wasnít for my friends and family and having a good sense of humor and a glass half-full outlook on life, I wouldnít have been able to handle being in there that long. I finally got my back cast off and I got to wear a back brace for a while, until I got sick of it. *L* I do have to thank Shriners for everything they have done for me. Thank god they took care of me and we never had to worry about a medical bill, because Shriners is completely free. They take in all kinds of kids with various disabilities and give them complete medical care for free. To learn more about them check out my links. Well, what more can I say? I canít think of anything else so I think I am going to let you go on to looking at the rest of my page. I sure hope you enjoyed my story about my OI and stuff. If you would like to e-mail me and learn more about it that would be great. I would love to hear from you. Any questions or comments are welcome. Thanks.

Want to learn more about OI and Scolosis? Check out these links.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation, Inc.
Shriners Hospitals
OI Mailing List
Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Scolosis Mailing List
What is Scolosis?

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