UPDATE ON THE THINGS I CAN DO THIS WEEK:
-WIND-SPRINTS (ONLY A FEW, 5?)
-HOP ON ONE LEG FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME/DISTANCE
-ADDED DIFFICULTY SQUATS
-SHOWER LIKE NORMAL AND ALONE
Being here is getting more and more depressing, and the realization that the effects of the surgery will be a permanent change is pretty traumatizing. I just feel like jumping out of my own body and running away from myself and my problems. They teach not to run away from your problems, and I’ve been pretty good about dealing with problems head-on, but this time I’m pretty terrified. How do I get on with my life? My goals seem more and more unreachable and my life seems a bit more bleak. Maybe this is a good wake-up call, and I shouldn’t have such high expectations on myself and I should take my time and learn to relax a bit. Relax. That’s a word I never really understood. I always have to be doing something, and even when I was relaxing or having fun, I always had a back-up plan like homework in my backpack or something else I had to do.
Not many people understand how competitive Bethune is, or how competitive I am. They just see me working hard and they think “that girl’s good.” They don’t know how most of the school is that good (or at least that’s my impression, I don’t know if that’s the truth). Bethune is a school of mostly asians, and so was my elementary school Milliken. So we all had a lot of parental encouragement (or forcing), to do well in all aspects. Sports, competitions in academics, track and field, and whatever else, we were supposed to be good at it. Even if we weren’t, we were a disgrace if we didn’t try. I, on the other hand was really good at self-motivation. I wasn’t a very nice kid when I was young, but always very determined. That determination first was a source of motivation, but by grade 8, it was an obsession. I developed great self-control, even greater self-management, and for a 13-year-old, it was pretty amazing the amount of clubs I was in and the amount of stuff I did. However, it was also when my teachers and parents started telling me to “relax” and hold off a bit. And so I did in grade 9; had a great year with a good amount of clubs and great marks, but as school got on, I started getting back to my old habits. My old bad habits.
So when I first got my tumour, I thought I could spring back pretty fast. I wasn’t educated on what could happen because truthfully, I was scared to find out. You can imagine my shock when I woke up being unable to move my right side at all. I don’t really remember the first few days I was up, but I knew I was always polite even when I could only say yes and no and barely move. I wasn’t really aware of what was happening and what I had to go through to get myself normal again and I definitely wasn’t aware that there will be permanent effects. When you’re first admitted, there’s assessments that you have to do in every type of therapy you can think of. I had to do tests for a neuropsych evaluation lately, and I realized how much
dumber, slower I’m struggling. My memory is bad, my speech is slow and choppy, and my writing is even uglier than it was before. It was never good, but at least it was mostly legible to everyone.
Overtime, I got less polite, less cheery, and less happy, more scared, more emotional, more nervous, more paranoid, and more of an urge to give up all together. The possibility of getting back to school and being reintegrated is keeping me together. Then I begin to think, what is there at my school that is mine? My friends? No. I neglected them when I was busy in my clubs and teams and not hanging out with them. I don’t even think I can talk them now, considering my best friends found new friends and are friends with each other more than me. They have each other to care for them and for the most part I’m out of the picture (at least that’s how I feel). Then there are the people I talk to on the computer and/or in band. I think these people know more about me/understand me better, but they can’t always be there unless I’m with them in band or can always go on the computer. I could before, but now not always. All these things together, I feeling pretty alone right now. To imagine what an extra year would be like when the few friends I have all graduated and off to university is a horrendous thought. I understand the importance of good relationships especially now, but it’s hard to keep them up when you’re stuck here with bad internet that doesn’t allow everything to work!
I was also put on an IEP (Individual Education Plan). When was younger, I understood that people have different needs, and some may need assistance, but I always had judgement on those with an IEP because they always had extra help and extra time. “How unfair,” I thought. But now I realized that we can’t always help it. We can’t always control how we learn and how we absorb–we just do. And a lot of times that’s the best one can do, try. I also talked to my doctor today, the doctor here at Bloorview. He made me realize how serious the surgery really was and the possible long-term effects it may have on how I learn. It was today I realized I’ll never be quite the same as I was before my surgery. I may always need extra help, I may always be more forgetful, and I may always be slower than everyone else. Compared to always being the one to provide help, always being the one to tell others what they forget, and always being faster than everyone else, I now have to try things on the other side of the wall. The huge wall that I have to try to jump and get out of.
The doctor also mentioned how my tumour was not cancerous and how that is a good thing. He was mentioning that bad things about cancers and I got slightly upset. He brought up pretty bad memories for me, and I started to miss my grandpa even more. Even typing this I’m getting teary. I can understand how alone he probably felt, and how he had to stay strong for everyone else because he knew he was probably going to die soon. I should have been a better granddaughter, and because of this incident, it’s going to be hard to be a good granddaughter for the ones that are still here. I’m not sure exactly how I can improve myself as a granddaughter, daughter, niece, or friend, but trust me, I’m trying to learn and figure it out as fast as I can.
I’m not sure why I’m so moody, maybe it’s due to it being that time of the month for me. But I think it’s all that’s happening in general. It could be because school started and everyone but me is busy with school work and planning activities if they are in a club/committee, but it just feels a bit more lonely now than before. Though true that everyone is busy doing their own thing, it’s nice to know that at least I’m not like a passing fad that people no longer care about and just toss off to the side. I’m not always good at responding to messages, but it’s always nice to see there’s at least messages awaiting you in your inbox sometimes. Reminds us we are not alone and that there are always people that care. I know this is true, but it’s sometimes nice to get a reminder. It’s probably impossible for others to imagine themselves in my shoes, but at least they can try. Try imagining if you had my surgery-ed brain. What would it be like? Maybe you’ll learn something too. I’ve certainly learnt lots.
When I get back, things won’t be the same any more. I know that. Maybe the same isn’t better and a change is what I needed to unlock something that I didn’t have before. My new version of me could be even better, who knows? We just have to try and find out.