I Have A Hand Difference
I am Tahlia. I am seven-years-old. I live in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria. I live with my Mum and Dad, an older sister, older brother and a cheeky little sister too.
I was born with Poland syndrome. When I was born, I didn’t have all my fingers on my right hand or a pectoral muscle in my chest. My forearm bones were fused together too.
My right hand has a really little thumb and four even smaller nubbins. This hand is a lot smaller then my left but it is really kind of cute and little.
I haven’t had any surgery on my hand but I did on my chest last year. The doctor took some of the muscle from the back of my shoulder and moved it to my chest so both sides are even. The best bit about hospital was the starlight room and cruising around in my wheelchair.
I was nervous when I started school but I made friends quickly. Some of my nervousness was because I wasn’t sure what my new friends would think about my little hand. At first lots of kids asked about my hand and why it was the way it was. This was sometimes annoying.
To make this better, my Mum helped me make a story book ‘All about Me’. I showed this to my class with my teacher for my first ‘’Share and Learn’’ (or Show and Tell).
The story book had photos of me doing the things I loved like bike riding, climbing at the park and swings, as well as telling them I was born like this and that it didn’t grow when I was in Mummy’s tummy. It doesn’t hurt and that I can still do everything they all do but sometimes I do it in a different way. Although I was nervous to do some things, It was great because after I did it, my friends didn’t ask as many questions and just played with me instead.
I love to do monkey bars, rollerblading, basketball, bowling, hopscotch and gymnastics. I’m now learning to be a Cub Scout too. I love going to Latitude, which is an indoor climbing centre. I did the obstacle course, tower pole climb and the wall climbing all the way to the very high roof. Abseiling down from all of these was so much fun too.
I’m really good at the flying fox, drawing, singing, rollerblading, being a good friend and the monkey bars. I have learnt my own way of doing the monkey bars by swinging and using my feet over the next rung and I’m good at it now.
The most frustrating thing about not having two big hands is that I can’t do the monkey bars the same way as other kids. Sometimes I get annoyed that I can’t hold my food to eat while I’m doing something else.
I think it’s good for people to understand that I can still do everything. But sometimes they need to be patient and give me more time or not stop me from trying and doing things because they want to protect me or they worry too much.
My mummy and daddy tell me I can do anything I try, so when I get to try new things I remember that and don’t feel so nervous anymore. My little sister makes me feel better sometimes when she tells me she loves my little hand and kisses it or I hear her tell mum she wants a cute little hand like mine.
When I grow up I am going to be a singer, dancer, doctor, nurse, teacher or a chef.
Aussie Hands is fantastic because I get to do lots of different fun activities every time. I get to meet cool people and there are other Aussie Hands friends that have little hands like mine too. This helps me feel better because sometimes I feel like I’m the only one like this. When I first went to Aussie Hands, I had Mel to look out for me and help me feel good there. At Aussie Hands we have lots of fun like meeting Kate and Jess and going to Bounce together too.