I promise every day is not going to be playing catch – up. I was legitimately sick last night and the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of a computer. So here we go. Confessions Day 3 and 4. Enjoy!
Day 3 – ” I’ve never seen THAT before. ”
The Christmas of 1989 was quite a dramatic one for me, as tends to be the case with most of my life. We spent some of the winter in Tucson, AZ, celebrating the holidays with both of my parent’s families. My mom left me with my grandma one day while she was doing some shopping. When she returned they both noticed I looked considerably worse for the wear. I don’t remember the entire chain of events, I was only three for heaven’s sake, but I know that not long after I had a fever of over 104 degrees and I was getting sicker. My grandma and aunt are nurses and my mom completed all but one credit of nursing school. They immediately knew something was wrong. My parents rushed me to the emergency room at a hospital in Tucson. My symptoms albeit confusing, made sense to one doctor. Kawasaki Syndrome. Yes, like the motorcycles. Kawasaki Syndrome is a fairly rare disease and was even more uncommon in the late ’80’s. I was lucky, this doctor had seen it before. I’ve done more research as I’ve gotten older and it is most common in Asian boys under the age of 6. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a Caucasian female… with no chance of any Asian ancestry. Essentially this virus weakens the vessels in your heart and thickens your blood until your heart can no longer pump blood. Then, you die of a heart attack. They caught it early enough that I didn’t have much damage to my heart. They started me on medicine and within the week I was home. I had to take blood thinners for a year and get fairly frequent echocardiograms to make sure there was no long term damage done to my heart. When I was in late elementary school they gave me a clean bill of health and sent me on my way. Thankfully I’ve never had heart problems since. I have, however, had a terrible immune system. I have a theory that whatever they gave me as a little girl forever weakened my immune system. This is TOTALLY unfounded but I like to blame that. Over the course of two years I got strep throat every two months. It continued until my tonsils were so infected and had so much scar tissue they had to do a tonsillectomy when I was thirteen. Along with that I’ve had numerous bouts with colds, fevers, pneumonia, pink eye, bronchitis, two scares with spinal meningitis, a diagnosed auto-immune disease (Celiac), and most recently a faulty gall-bladder that I had to have removed. In my 24 years I’ve been to the hospital somewhere in the ballpark of 30 times for myself. This also includes injuries… I tend to be a fairly bit clumsy. What’s interesting about all of this is that I get embarrassed that I get sick. It’s something that I’m self-concious and insecure about. It makes me feel weak – that I can’t handle life so I “cop out” by getting sick. People have teased me for years that I’m faking sick. Sometimes I look back at my life and think I’m way too weak and I need to toughen up. But more recently, I’ve been looking back at the things I’ve endured (and now laugh at) and think, I’m not weak, I am strong! I’ve had scary hard health things happen to me. I’ve been very very sick without answers. I’ve had my charts mixed up, I’ve been told I have cancer, a tumor, or an auto-immune disease so flippantly you’d think he was reading the weather, I’ve been sicker than I can ever remember alone in a city 1100 miles away from my family left alone in an emergency room. I’ve writhed in pain so intense I didn’t think I’d be able to make it another second, and yet I’ve survived. And I’ll continue to survive whatever is thrown my way. Because that’s what I do – I survive and usually have a funny story to tell from it all. Yes, the most common phrase I hear from doctors? “I’ve never seen THAT before!!” So while right now I feel embarrassed that I’m sick again, I’m starting to learn that I am strong and my weak immune system doesn’t define me. If anything, it’s part of my charm. 😉
Day 4 – I am messy.
My room is currently a disaster. I have a bunch of people coming over Sunday so I know a major cleaning overhaul needs to happen like yesterday. My sweet mother is neat and tidy. Like OCD neat. She’s made me dust the floor inbetween the rails going up and down our stairs…. who does that? Anyways, the three of us kids figured out that if we left our rooms messy for long enough, it would drive our mom crazy and she’d come in and clean it. It was a great system. Then I got to college and my poor poor roommate had to put up with PILES of clothes on the floor. I think Kelly would agree that we weren’t dirty, only messy. We’d let mounds of stuff gather and then spend two hours cleaning, organizing and vowing it would never get that messy again which it inevitably did. I’m still the same way. I think part of it is because I’ve never had all my own space. I’ve had some really great and some not so great roommates. The majority of them brought all of our dining room and living room furniture into the house. So while it was my space too, it wasn’t really. To own up to it, part of my messiness is that I can be lazy. I love the IDEA of being clean and organized. Actually, I envy those people who are. I want to be an Ikea catalogue or a Martha Stewart picture. Sometimes I think I’ll finally be a grown-up when I can keep myself sorted. But then again, maybe not.