Month: August 2014

It would kill me, but you have the choice.

I must preface this blog by saying any of your comments about what I have to say are your own, I respect your opinions and thoughts and freedom of speech belongs to each of us, however you are choosing to read this blog that belongs to me therefore I ask you be conscious of what you have to say.

I found myself crying myself to sleep Friday night, not for myself but for the pain I felt for someone else. I sat Friday night babysitting after I had put all of the kids to sleep I was left floating in my own thoughts, not only my thoughts but realizations. You see I didn’t sit alone Friday night, I sat with the life of a child in my hands. Yes that’s how babysitting works the children are under your control but this child was really in my hands. I looked down to see the monitor in my hands, my eyes glued to it, the monitor in MY hands that relayed to me the blood sugar of this child, more attentive than anything I’ve ever done I was prepared to jump in an instant to provide the proper care to keep this child alive if needed.  As her numbers dipped and rose I lost myself as my thoughts traveled to feelings and places I have never experienced. I fell asleep that night in tears, so frustrated at the world that such a thing was even possible, that such a thing even existed in this sweet girls body. I saw sadness in her eyes as her sisters were able to eat more popcorn but she was limited to this small amount because anymore could KILL her. I fell asleep frustrated with the human body that such a thing would live with her likely for the rest of her life. That this child that at that moment was in my dependence as her sweet body slept it was MY job to keep watch on her LIFE. I must say that at that moment I felt the most rewarding I ever have, to be able to provide and care for her and give her my complete understanding as I realized it was only hours ago we sat together comparing each others medical alert bracelets that contained information needed if either of us were to hit shock of medial need at any time where we weren’t surrounded by someone used to our care. Maybe the tears flowed that night because I understood, because I realized and saw the look in her eyes, because I too could relate to the difference of life. Maybe I cried because I was frustrated I couldn’t fix the hurt inside her and even though I saw her laugh and smile and run and play like any other child I still understood the difference in life that most don’t. Or maybe it was because I realized that as she grew up she would realize more and more that she was different than the others, that limitations would affect her and hold her back from everything others have. Now fast forward to last night as I found myself lying in the way too familiar comfort of the hospital ER bed. I was surrounded with kids of my own age (usually I am surrounded by young children who have broken a bone, or come down with a cough) but that was not the case. Last night I struggled to find comfort in my own body because of something inside me that was attacking me but these teenagers my age that surrounded me were overdose cases. These teenagers MY AGE were lying in a hospital bed awaiting their stomachs to be coated with black tar so it would force them to vomit the poison of the alcohol they WILLINGLY chose to put inside of their body in beyond ridiculous amounts. These foolish moves of these teenagers MY AGE that chose to drink, these teenagers MY AGE they ARE NOT 21 they are 16; not yet even graduated high school. These teenagers MY AGE that chose to attend a concert and then CHOSE to drink alcohol in excessive amounts. Maybe you will call me crazy and say that it’s okay to drink alcohol and not be 21, it’s just beer or just one shot. Maybe you think I’m overreacting about seeing humans MY AGE lye on a hospital bed. I completely understand that for many alcohol and substances become an escape in the lives of many but there is a very big difference between drinking for fun and searching for an outlet. And I can only hope that those searching for an escape are able to someday find it in places elsewhere because there is so much more to life beyond that and I can only imagine the pain it takes to recover from something but let this be your push to change things to begin life as a different you.  Yes I know that might seem harsh but that is coming from a person whose body will completely shut down and die if I were to chose to drink alcohol and I’m not talking alcohol in excessive amounts I’m talking about one single drink. It wasn’t fifteen minutes in the ER that a news alert popped up on my phone saying two were killed and another critically injured by a drunk driver. So relating back to the night I had spent before sitting with a child’s life in my hand I watched as two innocent people were taken away from their families because someone decided they  were “okay” to drive themselves home. Yes they might have been of the legal age to drink but they made the DECISION to drink, not only did they make the decision to drink they obviously made the decision to drink excessively, after that they made the decision to operate a vehicle (wether anyone told them it was a good idea or not the decision was still made) that decision KILLED 2 people, this was not 2 people that died because of cancer, these people did not die because of Ebola or any other medical problem they died because of another humans FOOLISH decision. I get so frustrated and have so much anger towards those that foolishly play with alcohol or drugs wether they are of the legal age or not, my body fills with such disgust because I have an illness that keeps me from being the average teenager. I have had to grow up and step up to the plate and I can honestly and will honestly say to you that if I was not sick I probably would have been there, I probably would have made foolish decisions like such because I understand the need to fit in and feel wanted but until I was faced with something in my life that will kill me if I decide to act like teenagers my age do, I had no sense of self understanding. I can say to you that I have spent nights in hospitals where I have had chemicals shoved in my body to keep me alive, no I have never been the teenager that has been in the hospital waiting for the medicine to reverse the side affect of the heroin I injected into my veins or the fluids to dilute the alcohol but I have been there with life saving measures being used for other reasons. Life is precious friends, there is so much more to life than the parties and the drinking and the drugs SO SO SO much more. I have not had the adrenaline rush that many teenagers live for but I have held another humans life in my hands, I have struggled for my own life for reasons out of my control. ALCOHOL IS IN YOUR CONTROL. DRUGS ARE IN YOUR CONTROL. Yes you might not be in full state of mind when you crash into that family going out to dinner and kill them but you WERE in control when you picked up that shot and threw it down and picked up another last Friday night at your best friends party. I know you don’t know what it’s like to struggle to breathe because your heart is working 2 times harder to catch up so every breath you take is that of a lifesaver and maybe you do but if you’ve never had the wake up call in life or you’ve never OVERDOSED like the teenagers MY AGE did last night that I was surrounded by then let this be it. Life is precious, you only get ONE CHANCE at this and I can promise you with my entire being that the party you’re going to attend next weekend with unlimited alcohol IS NOT worth it and it never will be especially when you’re behind the bears because you just KILLED 2 people because you had “fun” with your friends. Oh yeah well you might never see those people again because of the silly mistake you made as a teenager. YOU WILL LIVE WITH THAT PAIN FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. And man would I accept the pain I endure everyday over having to carry and bare that burden around with me. Life is precious you get one chance, I get one chance, the girls life in my hands that night, THAT IS HER ONLY LIFE and she depended on ME to keep her here. I can’t control your decisions but I can tell you that I wish and hope and pray you will take this and understand and consider every decision you make when you mess with foolish things. At the end of the day YOU are the ONLY one that truly makes that decision, sure your friends begged you to and bullied you to but YOU TOOK THAT DRINK, they didn’t drink it for you. Life is precious and it might be easier to understand that in a broken body when you have things to worry about and you might not understand what I’m trying to say until you are broken one way or another but there is more to life than that so take your life and run with it. TAKE YOUR HEALTHY BODY AND LIFE AND LIVE IN IT IN ENJOYABLE WAYS OTHER THAN SUBSTANCES because I know you don’t feel good the day after that party. It’s not worth it friends, it really isn’t take that from someone who has not only fought for their own life but fought and held others lives in their hands. I know what it’s like to live outside of the normal and it’s so much more precious than living up to the standards and stereotypical teenager others expect you to be, in a few years none of that will matter, those people will be gone and you will be left by yourself to pick up the pieces of what you’ve made them to be and to carry on with your life, none of this will matter in 10 years so make it that way so you will be happy in 10 years with the way you once lived. 

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A Social Brick: learning again.

I often feel like the only way for me to understand the thoughts in my brain and fully process what I’m feeling is when I can literally read them myself. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about just meeting people in general. As a lot of my life has changed in the past few months and I’ve been put in places where I would once shy from talking to new people out of my own comfort but I am now in a position where I don’t really have a security blanket to hide behind or comfort the strangeness and uncomfortableness of it all. Before I got sick I was always the very energetic, loud, super outgoing human that could start a conversation with anyone,  however after I got sick I became afraid to meet people I was comfortable hiding behind those who knew me and not going out to places with a lot of socialization if I didn’t have to. After a year of being a social brick I realize that I’ve almost forgotten how to be a human in social terms. Meeting and talking to people is a very uncomfortable thing for me, I never know what to say and am often afraid that if I open up to someone too much with my life and what it has become over the past year they will become quick to judge and form assumptions. I guess I have this fear because I now look back and see that I too always formed assumptions of people before ever speaking a single word to them. I fall asleep at night sometimes with the same scenario over and over again playing through my head: me meeting someone new and introducing myself, sometimes the dream goes well and I am able to come off as a normal human that just has slightly different medical needs but then sometimes the dream turns the opposite direction and I am judged and laughed at for having to live in such a complicated way. I’ve always said from the beginning that I’ve never wanted people to feel pity for me, my life is not a pity party by any means I absolutely love the life I have and can’t imagine it any other way. I want people to know that I do struggle and some things are more difficult than others but I’ve never wanted to be the “sad puppy dog”. My life is NOT a sad story. So I guess I struggle with the concept of forming relationships with people who have never met me. It’s very easy for me to be around people that have been in my life for years, they knew me before I was sick, they are able to catch on to when I need the extra help, they pick up on when I’m about to “fall” (literally and not literally sometimes). But for people that have never met me I feel as if sharing who I am turns me into a chore to be around and that’s not who I am, I am a very strong independent person, I am not a pity party, I am not a sad story, I am a happy person that has a body that sometimes tends to fail and hold me back from all I wish to accomplish at times but I am none the less a happy person. I feel blessed to have the small amount of physical strength I do as I continue to get stronger everyday. I think the idea I’m trying to grasp and teach myself is the fact that there are millions of people in this world and wether it’s intentional or not I will run into new people and there’s often no avoiding it but what I’ve gone through and who I’ve become is not defined by the past year of my life. I am not confined to my life of struggles, I do indeed have a life outside of the glass walls of the oh so familiar hospitals. I have been Merideth since day 1 and will continue to be for the rest of my life. Yes, I do things differently now than I might have two years ago, yes I am more reserved and uncomfortable in situations but that alone is not who I am. I’m learning to accept the differences in my life and learn to embrace them. I’m learning to carry myself with confidence. I understand that not everyone on this earth is going to get along with me, and yes I will probably be judged and second guessed more often now then I would have before but that doesn’t have to stop me. I know that truly people will never fully understand what it is like to be in my shoes and that’s okay I will never know what it’s completely like to be in theirs either but they too have something in their lives that is a struggle for them as well wether it seems smaller or much larger than my own. It will take time to adjust and become comfortable in my “new skin” around others but that’s just something I’m going to have to get used to. You would think it’s funny when I say I am more comfortable in my wheelchair than I am on my own two feet but it is very true. When bad days (more difficult than the normal day) come along I often resort to my wheelchair not only for lack of ability but also safety as it can be very dangerous when I fall sometimes. I can honestly say the stares from people when I’m in Bernard (my blue wheelchair) do not bother me at all. Did they at first? Yes of course, people look because there are no casts on my body and I seem completely healthy but over time it started to fade to the point where I just made faces back at the people who look and stick my tongue out at them. Some times I say hi which really catches them off guard. It is easy for me to be myself when in my wheelchair because it is a comfort, a crutch, to aid me in helping people understand that yes I really am not just a good story teller and I do have a crazy thing that also shares a name with kitchenware, and let’s be honest we all thought of it, weed. However when on my own two feet it’s less noticeable I blend in (which is completely what I want) it’s just very difficult to get used to and accept the comfort in myself no matter what. I’m beyond excited for the new school year to begin as always it means new people and that brings the chance for new opportunities but I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t still struggling to understand just how to balance being me but staying in tune to what my body needs at certain times. I find peace knowing that in time I will understand and that some things take patience and in time they too will be okay. I don’t share a lot of my spiritual view on here as I prefer to keep it a platform that isn’t limited or defined by religions but I often find comfort in a certain quote from the bible and I would like to leave it here and end my post with it so that maybe you too, if you are religious can take away from it and if your not well maybe it will inspire you still: “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” -Luke 12:7