Enjoy this piece by Michael Greilsheimer and celebrate his courage. He was born with jejunal atresia, a birth defect that led to an intestinal blockage and required surgery in order to save his life. (Click the link at the end of this post to read more about his life and how he copes with this condition.) His story below shows how creative children are and how important it is that they understand the truth about their early scars and experiences.
I had surgery on the 1st day of my life. I was ignorant to the medical myth babies don’t feel pain and a whole lot of other things back then. Scars were something I always had. I never knew a time when I didn’t. As a result of the surgery, I have a large horizontal scar on right side of my abdomen as well as a bullet hole looking scar on the left side of my abdomen and a scar on my forehead from tubes used during three-month hospital stay. I was told I almost died and was lucky to survive. I wanted more answers. They didn’t come for many more years till I did research on the Internet.
I was curious as a child why no one else I saw had scars like mine. I would feel insecure about it sometimes, not knowing really what to say or wanting to answer questions on what happened. Other
times it felt cool to have the scars. It was a sign I survived some serious stuff. Even if I really didn’t understand, I was still curious would seek more answers or thoughts on it.
I started to think different about scars or as I sometimes called them marks. Some would be temporary, like from sleeping or sitting on a chair. From this I came to the conclusion that there was a Mark Man, the same way there is a Tooth Fairy. So scars or marks must come from that. I would annoy my siblings when I saw that the Mark Man came. My family thought I had an imaginary friend. I didn’t. I never saw Mark Man. It was just how I decided that marks or scars came from as a kid.
For more info on my birth surgery/rare disease, click this link: https://www.rarediseaseday.org/stories/6109