(Read the After the Growing Years Intro- first- if you have not already done so....so that this makes sense.)
In late May of 1996, my daughter reached the height of 5'3. She was only weeks away from her 16th birthday and had been looking forward to being off of growth hormone shots for almost 11 years. The doctor said---"your bones are almost completely closed and you can stop taking growth hormone now or go a little bit more...it is up to you."
HUGE GRIN! Needless to say- she JUMPED at the chance to stop the shots. It was a HUGE day of joy and celebration for the entire family! Finally....FINALLY we were finished with the nightly battles to take a shot...the huge costs...and the numerous trips to doctor. She was full grown and healthy! YAY!!!!!
The medical treatments were successful. No she was not a huge person, we were only hoping for "normal". Nor was she a super athlete (I do NOT support the abuse of this med- AT ALL!) Rather, she was an honor roll student, beautiful (had boys jumping all around her), and most importantly she was healthy! As a junior in high school she was on her way to a full scholarship at the Air Force Academy because it was her dream to be a US Air Force officer and jet pilot.
After school was out for the summer, we took a trip to France for 2 weeks in celebration. It was a great trip but she developed a weird rash that looked like little spots of measels. The "spots" itched and scabbed over leaving scars....They seemed to go away and so we just ignored it and pressed on with life.
In July she began an Air Force ROTC boot camp of sorts. She loved it. There were classes, trips and physical training. She did great but noticed that she was feeling a bit tired and out of it. She began spending a great deal of her "down time" on the couch which was WAY out of character for her.
On July 23rd I took my youngest daughter and her best friend to The MAGIC Foundation's Annual Educational Convention in Chicago. The trip was great and the girls were so excited to be with all the families. We got in around 1:00 in the afternoon. At 9:30 pm I received a phone call saying that my oldest daughter (GHD) was being med-vac'd to a hospital with suspected liver failure. I couldn't get a flight out that night and it was a HORRIBLE night of panic and worry. The next morning we were all 3, on the 6:00 a.m. flight back home where we would then begin our 2 hour drive to the hospital.
I raced everywhere. Where was she? Would she be alive when I got there? Cell phones were not allowed- so I could not reach my husband...and I was just sick to my stomach with panic. Finally-Elaine and I got to the hospital and truly jogged everywhere to get to Missy's room ASAP. When we got there....she was drinking a milk shake and laughing!
I was confused! Is she ok? She has tubes and wires all over her head, chest and both arms but she doesn't look like she is on her death bed.... I gave her a huge hug and just said....ok give me the update.