Shifting gears

After being sick for four months, you might think that I would be used to all the restrictions that my health issues cause me. To be honest, I thought that I had already accepted this myself, but these past few weeks have proven me wrong.

During the summer it was easier for me to ignore the fact that I could not do some things simply because my body physically could not handle it. When some of my friends went to the City Museum, played sand volleyball, or went swimming all day I could keep myself occupied by reading or visiting with other friends who weren’t busy. Being a person who used to hang out with my main group of friends every night has made transitioning to this new, constant state of rest in difficult, but I had lots of people constantly surrounding me so I wasn’t really exposed to the significant change that I am now. It’s in these past two weeks with school starting and everyone being so immersed in activities that the reality of my current situation has really and finally hit me, and forcefully hard.

Since I can’t sit up for very long periods of time without increasing the intensity of my pain, I am currently on partial homebound. For anyone who does not know, this means that I go to school for three hours of the day and the rest of my classes are taught to me at home by a teacher. Not that homebound isn’t a wonderful way to accommodate students such as I that have a long-term illness, but I have to admit, I miss school. Having to go to school for only three hours is not as glorious as it sounds: you do the same amount of work, only by yourself instead of surrounded by your friends and fellow peers. You don’t realize how great of an environment our school really has ‘til you’re forced into another one of lesser liking.

Along with not being able to attend school full day, I am not able to participate in all the functions that I used to. I am the vice president of Student Council and a senior on the varsity volleyball team. Having to miss out on most of the meetings and watch the games from the bench is one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced. I belong on the court, playing for my school and family and friends; and I belong in room 002 every Thursday morning, making decisions for upcoming events. But I am learning, forcefully, that sometimes you belong in a different place than you think you should be, and only time will reveal exactly why you are not where you think you’re supposed to be.

As some nights consist of sitting by a bucket because I am so nauseous, or others laying down because the pain in my abdomen is so bad, my social life has definitely become more limited. Through all of this though I have learned that obstacles don’t have to stop you. Just because I ran into a wall doesn’t mean I have to turn around and give up. I’m learning everyday how to adjust my life to meet the needs of my body, and with that comes some sacrifices. Even though it is hard sometimes, I am learning to accept this. I may not be able to work around this obstacle, but I am working through it everyday. And sometimes, that is all you can do.