I am currently in the emergency room at Boston Children’s Hospital, aka my home away from home. Sadly (and painfully) my ribs keep dislocating and getting stuck in my spine. Fun right?
But sitting here got me thinking. . .
People who know me, or even have just met me tend to remark on my level of optimism in the face of my condition. “But how are you so positive” is a frequent question that I get asked. And to me it’s very simple, but through my life I have seen that it is not so simple to explain. So I have decided to do my best to explain it here 🙂
I pretty much had to grow up at the age of 11. My childhood was now over, gone. I started to get stress-fractures from swim team, which is weird. Like, really odd. I ended up in the doctor’s office staring at an x-ray of a 3 inch hole in my Tibia. Still being a kid, my first thought was, the hole kind of looks like a baby’s foot! But my joking tone quickly changed when I started to notice more and more doctors logging onto my case, whispering started and the stares.
Doctor’s were using words like cadaver and phrases like major surgery (Keep in mind, this will be 1 of 9, so far). I became overwhelmed with fear, my life consumed with doctors.
Flash forward another year. . . I was now in pre-op for surgery number 2.
Flash forward another year. . . I was now in pre-op for surgery number 3.
Flash forward another year. . . I was now living with my diagnosis.
To a 13 year old, syndrome, condition, and chronic illness are scary words. They all imply and emphasize the unknown. I just wanted to be a normal kid. . . but much to my dismay, I was now an adult. The inside of my body was and still is the body of an 80 year old.
I was forced into maturity. Forced into hospitals and operating rooms. Being poked, my joints were being played with by doctors. Especially the young ones, beware of the interns and early residents!
Doctors would ask to observe my procedures, I was cool and rare in their eyes. Like a medical gem they’ve only seen in textbooks.
Flash forward 6 months . . I was now in pre-op for surgery number 4.
Flash forward another year. . . I was now in pre-op for surgery number 5.
High school is supposed to be about actually being in school, having fun, and being a goof with your friends. But I had to experience this all indirectly, like looking out of a glass box, not being heard or seen or even thought of. Sure, I would text my friends and have them over after surgeries to watch movies, but it wasn’t the same. I’m a extrovert. I wanted to be in the action!
Flash forward another year. . . I was now in pre-op for surgery number 8.
Flash forward another year. . . I was now in pre-op for surgery number 9.
And this isn’t even my whole medical story. . . not even close. But even this, this is enough to prove my point.
Everyone has their own struggles, some greater than others. Sometimes, people’s misfortunes break them, for others, it makes them.
I have decided to not let my negative backstory not make me a negative person. I have have enough negativity in my life, I don’t need any more!! But don’t get me wrong, I went through a time of depression due to the low quality of my life thus far.
*Such an attractive picture! LoL
I need positivity in my life, so why not make it myself?
I start each day, thanking the Lord and reminding myself of everything that I am grateful for. I focus on small things, like waking up a little early and getting some extra snuggle time with my doggies. Or waking up without a joint dislocated. And even getting 2 hours of sleep instead of only 1 (trust me, it makes a difference).
I have to believe that each person only gets the amount of struggles in their life that they can handle. And I am hoping that all of the struggles for my life have been my life so far, and that my life is only going to get better!
I like to find humor in small things. I tend to joke about my illness, because that helps me find a silver lining of the situation.
I take nothing for granted. I know not to do that, people take walking for granted, and I’ve had that taken away from me. People take time for granted, and I’m sitting here praying for time to take a break from my body.
I take every advantage of every opportunity. Because I know that there might not be another one. Or if there is, I might not be able to take advantage, due to a number of things.
I believe that there is good in everyone. They can be the meanest person I meet, but I use strength to find a positive light in their black hole of negativity.
I know this is long, just remember that being optimistic and positive is the best thing for your life. It can change your life. . . just take it from a cripple 😉
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