This blog has satisfied my urge to write about life in a public way.
Sometime in my university career, I developed an interest in social health issues and so signed myself up for a degree in Health and Society at York University. In my classes we had many assignments about the medical profession's treatment of patients. We were encouraged to share our personal experiences and I've had my share of them! It was so cathartic to write about the kinds of things I've written in this blog. Before university, I felt ashamed of the medical appointments and provisions given to me. I remember one time in grade nine gym, our teacher instructed us to practice catching the football into our bellies. I told my partner that I wasn't supposed to do that. She kept encouraging me to do it anyway and asking me what the problem was. I nearly cried because I really, really, really didn't want to tell her. I didn't want her, or anyone, to think I was delicate or "special." I used to devise ways to prevent people from knowing. I told my friends that my Learning Strategies class for special education students was actually a "homework class."
I had to write many projects about my issues in projects for my Health and Society and Professional Writing programs before I felt confident to talk about everything in person. I'm not sure how writing helped me open up to people about everything, even outside of an academic context. Anyone have any suggestions?
I'm feeling guilty today. I felt well for the entire day, yet I'm sitting here writing about my issues, possibly implying that I'm not doing well. A major effect of my health issues is that they are a huge part of my life even when I'm not experiencing the symptoms. Every day I wonder how I will feel later. There is always something that reminds me of experiences I've had being sick or a situation that makes me conscious of my issues.
I was looking at a blog devoted to orchids today and it made me think of the orchids my mom brought me after my wisdom teeth were extracted. When I wash my hair, I feel my shunt and its valve. I concentrate when I go up or down stairs to make sure I don't fall. I take my pulse before and after I take my heart medications if I can't feel it beating.
A friend of mine commented that I wrote about my visits to the cardiologist, neurologist and internist very casually. It's a good point! I'm always conscious of my issues and I'm very used to going to doctors to try to solve them. Specialists have always been a part of my life. I've always needed regular check-ups with them, even if I'm well. It's so routine that until my friend noted my casual discussion, I didn't realize that to most people, a neurologist and cardiologist seem like a big, big deal! So by writing about these and not explaining the mildness of my issues, I might be implying that I am a very ill person. THAT IS NOT THE CASE! I just need to have things checked to make sure they're all okay.
My regular appointments actually make me conscious of the mildness of my issues the doctors almost always tell me everything is fine and that I only need to come back in a year. Also, doctors usually tell me that I only have mild versions of the conditions I have. They talk to me like I'm just getting a check-up for a cold, not showing sympathy for the symptoms I describe. I guess their nonchalance rubs off on me!