I'm a dwarf AMA(35 Posts)
I have dwarfism, I'm just over 4ft. Feel free to ask anything
Are things in your house lower down? Thinking things like the kitchen sides etc
do you have to get clothes altered or can you find your size on the high street/online?
Would you mind if people call you a dwarf, or are they supposed to say ‘person of reduced stature’? Not sure what the correct terminology is.
How is most polite to speak to you, should I bend down to your height?
My house isn't altered at all. My husband is 6ft 3. I have a DS and he doesn't have dwarfism.
I'm not fussed what people refer to me as, medically I am a person with dwarfism, I'm not keen on little person but I never take offense.
Definitely never bend down to talk to me.
My clothes are all from the average shop, h and m do short dresses that don't need altering and I'm fortunate with skinny jeans that they are easy to tuck up without being altered.
What do you finding are the advantages and disadvantages of being so short?
Have you always fancied very tall men? I wonder that because I’ve noticed a lot of very tall people who partner up with very short people.
Are your calorie needs much lower than someone of average height and, if so, is it hard to manage your weight? (I know this is a ridiculous question, but is the kind of thing I wonder about!)
Do you find people patronise you or think its a joke
Advantages to being small are you can hide, I can always find clothes that fit even if I have to have them altered, living with a tall husband I actually think things are more difficult for him than me.
Disadvantages is people being shits, some days I can't take it, just being called a midget or laughed at, and the worst is strangers taking photos, especially if I'm just out with my son trying to do every day things, that really pisses me off.
I have always been attracted to men over 6ft and would never date someone else with dwarfism.
A stranger has once picked me up, but it was for my own safety, I was in a nightclub and there was a massive brawl, someone picked me up and moved me right out of the way. Thankfully that was the only time.
Also funnily for the first time last week someone spoke to me in a really odd way,like I was a small child. I found it funny rather than offensive. Life is easier if I laugh at these things rather than be offended.
My childhood was great, I wasn't ever bullied and I was really quite popular at school. It's been harder as an adult and I haven't seemed to have been able to make friends as easily as I did as a child. Adults are more awkward and i feel my height is often the elephant in the room (unfortunate phrase).
How do you manage “parenting without lugging”?
That probably makes no sense....
A year or so ago I hurt my back and for a few weeks had to be really careful with lifting etc. And I realised just how “physical” my parenting is - lifting toddler in and out of places, picking them up when they cry, them climbing up on me, being able to forcibly move them if necessary (eg to get them out of danger), carrying to bed when they fall asleep somewhere random.
How does it work if you can’t do that?
DS has learnt to be independent when he's with me, and in some ways I've just been very lucky.
He's older now so I don't need to pick him up or carry him. He learnt from a young age that I wasn't going to run after him if he went off, and unfortunately he's watched me too much and is a bit of a problem solver with using things to climb.
He still falls asleep in the car and if it's just me and him I either have to wake him up or just wait.
We didn't use a cot because I couldn't reach into it to get him out so he's been in a bed with a bed guard since he was a baby.
He's been able to outwalk me since he was around 3, and before that he could easily match my distance so never needed to be carried. Occasionally I have employed someone for big days out so they can help if he needed lifting or was likely to get in danger but so far they've been a back up rather than a necessity.
I do feel sad for him because he's definitely had to grow up and be more responsible because of me.
So I am very aware that my 6yo DS stares when he sees people who look different. I do tell him not to but he’s curious. Do you find it rude when children stare as I am mortified at the thought that he’s being rude.
Absolutely not. Children are curious, my son is the same, he's used to me but when we go to the conventions he will often point out the people who are shorter than me and ask about them.
Although sometimes if they ask I just tell them I didn't eat my vegetables when I was young!
Hi op, thanks for starting this AMA. I think it will be really interesting.
I read Warwick Davis's autobiography recently. It was such a bittersweet read. Davis is someone who has experienced both the positives and negatives of dwarfism. I'd highly recommend it if you like autobiographies.
My question is: do you feel more comfortable around other dwarfs? Like, is there an affinity there that you don't have with non-dwarfs?
are you involved in any sports for people with dwarfism?
do you suffer from any health problems that are common with dwarfism? (if there are any)
how did you and your husband meet?
One of my childhood friends had dwarfism, she is still very close to me. I never grew up thinkng anything aside from that she was extremely cute, and so were her parents. None of us had seen reasons to pick on her. I never knew it was a condition until I was mature and older. Love her to bits.
She just had a baby girl. I would like to know if, childbirth is harder for dwarfs than average height people ?
Hi OP, thanks for starting the thread
Are there additional things to consider when it comes to pregnancy?
Warwick is great, he and his wife Sam helped me a lot when I was younger. I guess that's another advantage, I got to be friends with them!
I guess I feel more comfortable, there isn't the awkwardness that I get with people of average height, and I'm far less self conscious. But at the same time I feel the same with my closest friends who don't have dwarfism.
If it was a choice though of a room full of strangers who had dwarfism or a room full of strangers without, I'd definitely pick the room full of people with dwarfism, so I guess there is something.
I'm not and have never been involved in any of the sports, unfortunately my parents wanted to keep me away from others with dwarfism and forced me into living life as normally as possible, I didn't meet anyone else with dwarfism until I was 12 and that was only because they happened to be in hospital at the same time.
There is many other conditions that go with dwarfism, hydrocephalus which is fluid on the brain and why some dwarfs have larger heads, I don't have this fortunately.
Arthritis, I do have this and it's made worse by all the corrective surgeries a lot of us have. For example many will go through having their legs straightened because eventually the pain is too much, this involves breaking the legs and resetting. Some will go through limb lengthening which takes several years of incredibly painful surgeries and the outcomes aren't always successful.
Spinal stenosis is another common condition that goes with dwarfism, this is where the discs start to trap nerves and compress the spinal cord, again more surgery is needed for this and is usually a spinal fusion involving metal rods.
A lot suffer with sleep apnea too.
And as someone asked earlier it does get difficult to control your weight, as we get older especially because of the above conditions restricting our mobility.
I have arthritis and spinal stenosis, I've had over 18 operations now and need another 3 but at the moment I don't have the time to recover from them so it's easier to live with the problems.
I met my husband through a mutual friend. We've been married 10 years.
So many buggies now have really low adjustable handles. We managed to find at least 3 that both me and my husband were able to use.
My pregnancy was wonderful, the hormones actually made the pain I usually have far better (so much so my consultant recently recommended I have another baby because it's better than more surgery)
I did have a CVS test as I wanted to know if my baby would also have dwarfism, sadly at the time I don't think I would have continue if that test came back positive.
I had my son by c section as I believe most women with dwarfism do, I'm not sure a natural birth is physically possible but I may be wrong. It was also done via general anaesthetic as the epidurals aren't advised because of back problems.
My recovery was as normal as anyone elses and I was back to doing the usual things within 3 weeks.
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