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I still hate the term “late bloomer”….

May 1, 2017

Even at the ripe old age of 46 I still hate the term “late bloomer”.

I was stuck with this tag as a teenager. I had to watch my friends and class mates develop into young adults while I was being left behind both physically and emotionally.

Up to the age of 13 I was a fairly normal boy I thought. Not very good at sports, reasonably ok academically, did all the usual things kids did at that age.

Then it all changed, slowly at first, but it did become increasingly apparent I was being left behind. Part of this was my fault as I did not feel the same as everybody else as I had not started puberty. I was invited to the normal teenage parties at first but I kept making excuses about not wanting to go as I felt so much different than everybody else. Eventually the invites stopped coming. I was being left behind both physically and emotionally.

At first I thought, fair enough we all start at different ages, but once you got to 17 or 18 and still had not started puberty it was obvious something was not quite right. I was sent to the doctor by the school nurse but the doctor just dismissed me as a “late bloomer” and told to wait and see.

Even as a 19 year old at University I was being told I was still a “late bloomer”

It was not until I started my first real job after University at the Royal Free Hospital in London that I eventually found out what was wrong with me.

I went to see one of the endocrinologists there. I did not have an appointment, I just went to his office. The first question he asked was “did I have a sense of smell”.

23 years of age and no doctor had ever asked that question before. I said I had never been able to smell. This lead to the diagnosis of Kallmann syndrome.

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