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Tara's Story

I am a 31 year old female that had the Tracheal Esophageal Fistula done in 1975. I am experiencing a few problems mainly from the surgery vs issues with my esophagus.

I was born in 1975; I have a twin sister that was born 5 minutes after I was in Midland Michigan. It was about 4 hours after birth they discovered that I could not swallow my milk, I admitted to Ann Arbor Michigan State Hospital at 3 days old where I had surgery the next day. According to my mother, the upper part of my esophagus was connected to my lungs and the doctors took a part of my small intestines to build the rest of my esophagus. I was cut from the middle of my back to the right side of my “side”, so about 12 to 14 inches long (now) and I also had a drain tube just below that approx 2-3 inches long. I had my records sent to but it doesn’t indicate they used my small intestines. Anyway, my surgery went fine, I had several check ups by my pediatrician, where they stuck a tube down my throat to make sure I was developing correctly. Throughout my elementary years, the school nurse thought I had scoliosis, but the curve was determined it was caused from my surgery. In 1990, soon after going into the 9th grade the scar from my drain tube was buckling under. My mother took me to a plastic surgeon where he said the scar tissue is connected to my ribs so as I grow it is causing some discomfort; they did surgery to release the tissue. In 1999, I gave birth to a handsome little boy. Of course some peoples breast tend to get larger well mine almost doubled. So from 2001 – 2003 I did physical therapy, I even had an MRI done on my upper part of my body where we found the slight curve right between my shoulder blades and that my ribs on my right side, where the surgery was done, were close or squished together. In 2003 I had a breast reduction done to relieve some of the pain. In 2005, I had another surgery to release the scar tissue again on both the scar and the scar from the drain tube. This doctor placed skin between my ribs and the scar tissue so it doesn’t re-attach. Today, 2006, I am trying to exercise to strengthen my upper back to keep the pain level down, along with massages(when I can afford them) to help with kinks and help straighten out my shoulders. I lead a normal healthy life other than I have been prescribed muscle relaxers to relieve the tightness in my right shoulder. I was told I would need them to continue to exercise, received massage therapy and muscle relaxers to relieve the pain and discomfort.

My family and I always joke that my sister ate my esphogus because she was slightly heavier than me.

Tara May