Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sicker Than Your Average

It hit me yesterday...It hit me like a ton of bricks. Life isn't supposed to be like this. I had a procedure done at the adult hospital yesterday and everyone kept calling me baby or sweetie. I hate those words. In the South it' s most often seen as "southern hospitality" but I didn't see it like that. It makes me feel like I am five years old again but then when I look around the waiting room I realize I am the baby. I am the odd one out. I am sure they thought in their heads what I was even doing their in the first place. In their eyes they would just hope and assume that it was actually an appointment for my mother. We all know that when there is something that's hard to talk about like kids and teenagers being sick people just turn the other cheek because if they think that they don't see it that it doesn't exist. However, that's just not the case.
Most of the people in the waiting room were roughly thirty or forty years older than me. Their bodies are broken down by age. My body is only broken down by who knows what reason to be honest. There isn't a reason when you think about it. There's no reason a teenager much less a child should be sick. At seventeen I have seen the inside of hospitals more than I have been at my own high school. My senior year of high school started this week. We are three days in and I have spent more time out of school at the hospital, doctor's office or laying in bed trying to ease the pain. This was supposed to be my year but sadly it hasn't worked out that way yet. Being called a "baby" was yet another reminder that my life shouldn't be this way. It's another reminder of something that sets me apart from everyone else. I guess I am just sicker than your average...


  1. Hi, Michaela.

    I'm 21 years old. I have an autoimmune disorder called Crohn's Disease. Since this affects the digestive system, many people with it have a lot of the things you've had (related to food and stuff like that). I'm so grateful I haven't, but I know it could happen, and soon.

    Michaela, you've been dealt A LOT. And I can't relate to you in all these things, or even most, but in this one, I feel maybe I can a little.
    I was diagnosed when I was 15. It was right before my sophomore year and it made me understand why I was sick for 9 years. I thought that I understood and that I was okay with it, but I wasn't.
    About a week after I started my senior year of high school, my doctors told me that I had only 1cm left for things to pass through in an area of my intestines - it could close and rupture and I could die. I had to start a type of chemotherapy infusion after this.
    I started this in the children's hospital when I was 17, but right after my 18th birthday I started being infused in the adult's infusion center. The stares that I got, the looks of pity, being called a baby because of how young I was, it made me mad. I thought that I was okay with this all, but I wasn't. It wasn't how I was supposed to spend my senior year! My friends didn't all understand, and their lives went on without me. I had to miss a lot of really important things that a senior participates in. And when I missed them for appointments, the looks from the older people reinforced the fact that I was too young for this.

    I'm 21 years old now and my college's semester started today. Today should have been the first day of my last year of undergrad. But I'm at home with my parents because I just had part of my intestines removed. My friends try to understand but again their lives go on without me. In the hospital, I was looked at again with looks of pity, shock, and amazement at my age and the surgery I was going through. When I go to my doctor and everyone knows me, the older people there look at me with a sadness that angers me. Because this isn't how a 21 year old is supposed to spend their free time.

    Michaela, I am sorry that you have to go through all this. It's not the way your senior year was supposed to go. And I'm sorry. But know that through all this, you are becoming a warrior! You are going through something that people your age can't even imagine. And while it's unfair and you just want to be normal, you may also realize that you are becoming a selfless person, a person who doesn't take measly things for granted. You may be realizing that you value the things that others don't pay attention to, because it's not guaranteed. And while you have been dealt much more than I can imagine, maybe you know or have heard of someone who has been dealt much more than you can imagine. While my normal is shocking for some, your normal is amazing to me, and other's normal may be astounding to you.

    You are so strong, and this blog is perfect. It is powerful. You are being vulnerable and you are showing a depth beyond your age. While in that office you may be the baby, you are not even close. Your maturity and wisdom is remarkable, and I'm proud of you. I don't know you and I may never know you, but I will always be proud of the girl whose blog I stumbled upon tonight.

    Keep going, and know that you are a role model - especially to those old enough to call you the baby.

  2. I have several chronic conditions, I first started getting really sick when I was 16. I'm now 24. I've been to so many specialists and have been told I'm crazy, I'm too young to be on the meds I'm on (even though they're working), I'm too young for all the treatments and surgeries and problems I have. I've had doctors not listen to me because of my age, sometimes they still don't. It's so hard because, yeah, it's not supposed to be this way. I am too young, but unfortunately my body didn't get the memo. It's hard and it'll continue to be hard, but you get stronger the longer you deal with it and learn how to advocate for yourself.