Hi! My name is Abby and I’m 13 years old. I was born with ABS on my left hand and my right foot. On my left hand, my index finger is a little nub. The rest of my fingers are full, but the skin looks kind of weird. It isn’t too noticeable. On my right foot, my big toe is a nub. The rest of my toes are perfectly fine.
My mom always tells me that when she found out I had ABS, she cried the whole day I was born. The doctors reassured her that it would’ve stop me from much, that I’d learn to cope with it. Later in the day, a nurse told my mom about how there was a little boy, Jackson, that wouldn’t get to go home with his parents because he had passed away.
Every day I try hiding it. I’m not ashamed, I just don’t like feeling different. I get made fun of pretty often, being in middle school. I’ve been called “stubby” or “nub”. Therefore, I try hiding it. I keep my hand in my sleeve whenever I can or I cover it in some way. I only have to hide my foot when I wear flip flops. I’ll stand with my other shoe over my right foot. I get uncomfortable talking about it. My parents have never really talked to me about it. I’m not ashamed that I’m different. I just don’t like to tell people about it. I worry about what they’ll say it if they’ll just stop talking to me.
My teachers have noticed that I hide my hands. In 3rd grade, my math teacher noticed it. She confronted me about it. It was hard to open up. I was scared that others would hear about it. I didn’t want to be different. Most of my friends still haven’t noticed it to this day, even ones I’ve known since I was 6. I worry about what my husband will think when I get married and he goes to hold my hand or put a ring on my finger. It sounds stupid. I sound ashamed. But I’m not.
Other people have it much worse than me. I understand that. I’m proud of who I am. Currently, I am on a volleyball team and sometimes it’s hard to set. But I’m learning how to get better. Also, I’ve learned to play the ukulele, guitar, and clarinet. I’m proud of who I am. Even though sometimes I wish I was normal, I’m proud. I wouldn’t want to change for anything in the world. I hope that anyone else with ABS is proud too. Right now, I’m deciding whether or not I want surgery to make my hand look better. If anyone has an opinion, please let me know. Thank you!