The following is my daughter’s paper for English. I am posting with her permission……
Who I Am: A Personal Narrative
At the age of 14 a lot changed for me, and it wasn’t for the better. Things started going downhill fast and I was scared. No one could help me; I was going down this road alone. It was terrifying and there wasn’t a second that I wasn’t wishing it for all to be a nightmare. Wishing to wake up and go back to my simple, worry free life. I didn’t cope well. Depression, anxiety, and paranoia constantly haunted me. Life didn’t stop for me to get my act together or to process what was going on. I had to get up and had to keep moving forward.
In August of 2014 my life was changed forever. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Being diagnosed with anything at any age is scary but there is something about being diagnosed with a chronic disease at such a young age that changes you. Having a doctor tell me I’m going to be sick for the rest of my life was horrible news. I understand it could be worse. I could have a terminal illness. I’m lucky that I don’t. Still, being told I was going to be in pain forever and that there was no cure or no medicine was gut wrenching. My heart sank, my stomach turned and I went numb. I wanted to curl up in a ball on the floor and cry and scream. I could almost taste the tears that were about to start rolling down my cheek. I wanted to shout “Why me?”, “What did I do to deserve this?”, “Please fix this!”. Instead I sat there staring at the wall. I didn’t speak. I didn’t even move. Instead I sat there thinking about all the other kids at the hospital that day and how their lives’ were being flipped around. I wondered what their reactions were. Did they cry? Did they scream? Were they speechless like me? I thought about my future. How it would be affected. Could I still have kids? What if my kids get this? Will I even live that long? What if I get worse? I thought about the pain. I knew it was never going to go away. Not any of it. All day everyday for the rest of my life I will be in pain. After that hospital visit getting tested for cancer and hoping it comes back all good was a new normal. I always think of the possibility of it coming back positive. Ultrasounds are now normal and I’m familiar with seeing the wavy lined images and hearing the beeps of pictures being saved. How I will handle it. Will I have to miss a lot of school? Will I have to quit cheer? The thoughts are always repeating through the back of my mind making my anxiety go through the roof. Having needles plunging into my skin and taking 10 vials of blood isn’t scary and doesn’t hurt. I don’t even feel it the smell of rubbing alcohol bothers me more. I’m even good friends with my phlebotomist and have conversations and laugh while she takes my blood. No matter how hard it gets everyday I try my best to keep smiling. I always remind myself of what Dory says in Finding Nemo “Just keep swimming.”
It has been a little over a year now since that day. I am coping a little better. Surprisingly blood tests, doctor visits, and ultrasounds are becoming a normal thing. Days I feel good and I’m not in pain are rare. This has definitely been a big change for me. I still think “Why me?” I think that question will always be in my mind. My life could be worse and I try to remind myself of that. Yes I might have more challenges than others but I try and stay positive. Life goes on and I need to keep moving with it.
Maddie N. 🙂