Abundant Pathology in One Family: A Thalidomide Daughter Asks, Where Is the Long-Term Follow Up?
by Michelle Green
My mother was given thalidomide when she was pregnant with me.
I have Hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto's (autoimmune disease). My symptoms can be debilitating and I am not improving with T4 only synthetic hormone. I also have treatment resistant Depressive Illness. My P450 Enzymes are abnormal & I do not respond to medication except at high doses. My peripheral nervous system was damaged causing me pain throughout my body. I am also ADD which was not picked up until I was an adult.
My eldest daughter is Dyslexic & has had fertility problems related to Endometriosis. She also suffered several miscarriages before conceiving with IVF. My youngest daughter spent the first week of her life in the Special Care Unit because she would stop breathing & turn blue. She also has hypothyroidism. My son is 'on the spectrum'. He was diagnosed with ASD when he was nine years old. He is intelligent but struggles meeting people & expressing emotion appropriately He is a gifted guitarist.
No idea where that came from as he has had no family influence at all.
There should of been a follow up on the long term health of ALL children affected by thalidomide, not just the 20% who showed physical damage. No disrespect to those who suffered malformations intended. You have my deepest respect.
(This post was submitted to Prenatal Exposures Never Die, a predecessor blog to this one.)
Jill Escher, Escher Fund for Autism, is a California-based science philanthropist and mother of two children with severe autism, focused on the question of how environmentally induced germline disruptions may be contributing to today's epidemics of neurodevelopmental impairment. You can read about her discovery of her intensive prenatal exposure to synthetic hormone drugs here. Jill is also president of Autism Society San Francisco Bay Area.