Hey everyone my name is Lauren Esposito ! I was born on Feb 1 1952 in New Haven, Connecticut . My Spina Bifida was a total surprised my parents and family as there was no method of prior detection back then. Although my lesion is L1-L5, my parents were told I would most likely be severely mentally challenged, and would require total care IF I survived.
My chances of survival were no better than 50/50 according to the doctors. My lesion was closed the day after birth and I spent about a month in the hospital. My development was normal, except that I was unable to stand or walk, and was incontinent.
The first major hurdle came at age 5 wjen it was time to enter school. The Bd of Ed flatly refused to place me in a typical kindergarten class and demanded I be placed at a local school for Special Ed students. My parents and doctors refused, since I don't have special needs cognitively, only physically. They won, and I was given homebound instruction through grade 8.
The homebound instruction worked great and I was always ahead of the class I would have been in. The main issue was lack of socialization with peers my own age Finally, I started high school in all college level classes, and loved it all 🙂
(I went on to college and got a BA in Spanish and MS in Billingual Education. Enter my next hurdle...employment. Employers were too focused on what I can't do, rather than what I can do. I did work at several jobs over the years but they were primarily entry level clerical jobs. I'm now on Disability.
Well right now, due to a wound on my butt, I'm not allowed to be out of bed a lot. Also, even prior to that, I have limited transportation options in my area, from 9 am to 4 30 pm M-F. Nothing much to do during the day except maybe a trip to the mall, or get a haircut and get lunch etc. When I was able to, I enjoy traveling to out of town events like concerts, zoos etc. (Giraffes are my favorite wild animal) For now, thankfully many zoos have webcams which allows me to watch the giraffes activities..births etc. I also have a kitten named Squeakers and a parakeet named Sparky who is about 8 months old to keep me occupied when I can’t get out of my house .
My number 1 to goal for my future is to solve the leaking catheter issue so I can proceed with surgery to close my wound. It's the only way I will get my life back.