22-year-old conjoined twin sisters who are attached at the torso and share a reproductive system have revealed how they manage everything from driving and dating to agreeing on what to wear and who to be friends with. Continue Reading>>>
Carmen and Lupita Andrade, who moved to the US from Mexico when they were two and now live in Connecticut, recently answered some of the burning questions that they often receive about being conjoined twins to the Today show.
‘If we had separation surgery, either one of us would die, both of us would die or we’d end up in the ICU and never get out,’ Lupita said.
When they were born, doctors told their parents that they would likely only live a few days – but they have defied all odds and are now thriving. Continue Reading>>>
As babies, they spent years in physical therapy learning how to sit up and work together to use their legs – and when they were four-years-old, they took their first steps together.
Now, 22 years on, they certainly haven’t let sharing one body slow them down – and the two of them have expertly adapted to living life with one another.
Both of the sisters have two arms but only one leg each, which means that Carmen – who has control of the right leg – has to do the driving.
‘We go to movies and concerts (sharing one seat) and we travel on airplanes,’ Carmen explained. ‘Last year, we went to California and we’ve also flown to Texas.’
According to the twins, they have even found ways to ensure that they get much-needed alone time despite being stuck together 24/7.
‘Sometimes at the end of the day, we’re just exhausted and we don’t want to talk,’ Carmen admitted.
‘That’s when we’ll go on different devices and do our own thing. I have my laptop to do schoolwork, and Lupita will put on headphones and listen to music or go on her phone.
‘We’ve been conjoined our whole life, so it’s not like we miss our independence. It’s all we’ve ever known, right?’
While they insisted that they’re ‘happy just the way they are,’ they did admit that it’s ‘not all rainbows and sunshine.’
One difficulty that comes being conjoined is finding clothes that fits their body – but a neighbor has been sewing shirts and dresses for them since they were five.
And luckily, agreeing on what to wear is easy since the two women ‘have the same’ sense of style.
‘We have the same style, but we’ve tried to have our own distinct looks. We don’t usually have our hair the same length,’ Carmen revealed.
‘When we went to the ophthalmologist, Lupita chose completely different glasses than me, and she has a piercing on the side of her nose. I have a septum ring.’
They’ve also faced trouble in their love lives. While Lupita is asexual, Carmen started looking for love a few years ago on the dating app Hinge, but she admitted that she received a lot of messages from ‘guys with fetishes’ after listing that she was a conjoined twin on her profile.
She also said she struggles with ‘social anxiety,’ which made it hard for her to let new people in.
But in October 2020, she met a man named Daniel on the app and the two soon fell in love.
‘I knew right off the bat that Daniel was different from the others, because he didn’t lead with a question about my condition,’ she gushed.
‘We’ve been together for two and a half years, and we’ve discussed getting engaged, but we want to live together first.’
Being in a relationship as a conjoined twin has its own challenges – but Carmen said Daniel and her sister ‘get along really well’ and that they even stay up talking to each other sometimes after she falls asleep.
She added that she tries to ‘come up with compromises’ when she goes on dates with Daniel to make it fair for Lupita, who is forced to come along, by letting her choose where they go to eat or what activity they’re going to do.
While both of the women are in the veterinary field, they have different aspirations. Carmen wants to be a veterinary nurse, while Lupita plans to be a technician.
They said they’ve ‘always shared the same group of friends,’ with Carmen adding, ‘Lupita has really good intuition about people, so if she likes them, I like them.’
The 22-year-old said they share a special connection – and can often ‘feel each other’s emotions.’
‘We were recently in a store and I felt a weird stomach drop – and I knew it was coming from my sister,’ she said.
‘A man was pretending to film his daughter, but he was really filming us. I didn’t notice, but Lupita did. She’s way more observant.’
Lupita added: ‘I can feel when Carmen is anxious or about to cry. It’s that same stomach drop.’
The women suffer from endometriosis and cannot have children. They’re also on a hormone blocker that prevents them from menstruating.
The twins are very open about their story on social media, and while they do sometimes get ‘nasty comments,’ Carmen insisted that it hasn’t brought them down.
She explained that they hope that by being so honest, they can help ‘normalize conjoined twins.’
‘A lot of people aren’t used to people with disabilities setting boundaries or creating boundaries when it comes to their disability,’ she concluded.
‘We get a lot of questions about sex, and how we go to the bathroom and stuff like that. But you have to remember: We’re not just conjoined twins, we’re people.’
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