Katie’s ABS Story

My name is Katie, and I have nine fingers. I have about 1/4 of my middle finger on my right hand. I’m right handed, though, and the missing finger still makes it hard to write, which slows me down a bit at school sometimes.

After reading so much on this site, I consider myself one of the lucky ones. One missing finger and that’s it. The amniotic band wrapped around my whole right hand, and I still have marks from it on my other fingers, but my middle finger is the only one gone.

When I was younger, my mom and my sister tried to teach me to not be embarrassed of it. When I painted my fingernails, I’d paint the top of my “missing” finger, even though it doesn’t have a fingernail.

At my old school everyone knew about it. I was with people I had been with forever. Back in elementary I was left out of everything because of it. People didn’t want to go near the “freak.”

I hate to say it of course, but I am still quite embarrassed of my missing finger. I wear long sleeves and sweatshirts in 100 degree weather. I constantly tuck my hands in to my pockets, and do everything to prevent people from seeing my right hand. It usually works, but I was forced to announce it to my choir class. They wanted goofy hand gestures and wanted everyone to use their right hand to put two fingers (index and middle). So I had to pretty much announce it to everyone in the room.

I constantly wonder if there’s anything I can do about it. It doesn’t really cause any problems, other than me being depressed about it and people asking way too many questions. I just don’t want to have to think about it anymore. I still type 90 words a minute, play piano, and it doesn’t keep me from writing, even though it makes my handwriting look terrible.

There are very few people I’ll let see or hold my hand, and it makes me feel bad. My best friend is “freaked out” by it. I’m just sick of the depression, sick of all the questions.

However, I know that some people have died from ABS, and I’m extremely lucky. It could have been a lot worse for me.

And I’m very thankful for the fact that I survived with just a missing finger. I’m one of the lucky ones.