Wow, that is a lot of good, honest, heart-felt stories/testimonials. Thank you to each of you for opening up and sharing with all of us your emotional and personal issues. Now, I'd like to take a little bit of time to share with you, my story. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.
My name is Darren Pierazek (Peer-zack). Originally, I'm from Riverside, CA. Born and raised down there, I've got an older sister and an older half-brother. The two of them were born just fine n' normal. Me,....I was born with what one dickhead doctor referred to as, 'numerous unexplained complications'. Let me elaborate. I was born with epilepsy although mild, a damaged/under-developed 5th cranial nerve (it controls the nerves & muscles in the hands and jaw), as well as hyper-active salivary glands that faced forward instead of facing the throat. That all sounds terrible in and of itself in its fancy medical wording, but I'm about to tell you what all that really meant. My mom once told me that I was kept in the hospital for two weeks after birth and fed through IV because I didn't have the muscular ability to suck, thereby breast feed. Lets fast forward a few years to elementary school. I hated, loathed, dreaded, going to school as a child. Not because I didn't like school, but because it was 8 hours, 5 days a week that I was forced to put up with kids making jokes, calling me names like 'The Eternal Fountain', or 'Look, its Slimer from Ghostbusters! Hey Slimer!' Why would they say these things? Because I drooled almost constantly, and had little to no control over it. As a normal, everyday thing, I would pack 2 or 3 extra shirts in my backpack because typically, within an hour or less, the chest of my shirty would be soaked with saliva. A wet spot the size of a cantaloupe, to give you a visual. Ya know how if you go swimming too long, your fingertips get all pruney? Yah, well...that's what my chin looked like majority of the time. At home, my sanctuary, when my mom would call me to the kitchen for lunch or whatever, I'd sit at the counter in my favorite chair. Although this chair just so happened to be lined directly in front of the microwave. This wouldn't normally be anything special, 'cept it bothered me to no end. Before I would start eating, I'd ask my mom to open the microwave door so that I wouldn't see my reflection while I ate. I hated how I looked when I ate. I'm sure all of you are aware that when you are hungry, or have food in front of you, your mouth waters. Yah, well that is your brain sending a signal to activate your salivary glands, to produce saliva, which helps break down the food. ....and then there's me. I too have the same thing happen, except my glands are point forward and hyper-active. So the whole time I'm eating, there is pretty much a constant string of saliva dripping/hanging from my chin. On the rare occasion my mom and I were eating out somewhere, I would ask my mom if she would ask the waitress if they had a corner table available, so that my mom could sit with her back to the rest of the people, so that nobody would see me or watch me, eating. I could tell you a crap-ton of related stories, but I'm gonna wind it up here. Around 6th or 7th grade, I had a reversal surgery done to my salivary glands. In theory, it would send all the extra produced saliva down my throat, and the glands would be facing the correct direction. Well, it didn't exactly work out that way. I still salivate a bit, however the surgery did reduce it by like, 97.5%. That is my own figure, not official. I'm 40 now, and I just gotta say,...everybody has their own story, and everybody's story is 'the worst', because it happened to them. Remember to be kind, compassionate, and understanding with people, especially those you don't know. You don't have to like them, but at least take the time to understand them. Thank you.
Darren "Scratchy" Pierazek
Albuquerque, New Mexico