They are the things inside our body, that keep us alive. They pump and filter blood, they fill with oxygen, and they control our every movement and decision. You cannot see them, but they are there.
But what are you meant to do, when the very things that are meant to keep you alive, are what is killing you? Major organs, failing you. Giving up. Packing their bags and leaving.
2 of my major organs, are doing just that. They have decided they have had enough, and want to go on vacation.
My heart, who is meant to keep the life souce flowing, is being stubborn and refuses to work the way it should.
And then the other things that make up the miracle of the human body. What about those?
They too, are failing me. My muscles, that are the fibre that holds your insides together, that pulls and pushes your bones to walk and move, are failing. They will not accept the fact they must work.
And now on to the spine. The very back bone of the body, that keeps you upright and stable, has failed me too.
Instead of growing the way nature intended, it curved down my back like a slithering snake.
I needed an operation to fix it. It was wrong. Spines aren’t meant to be like this, they would say. People would gasp in horror when they saw it. Thats not normal, they would say. I was repulsed by it, knowing it wasn’t they would spines should look. I have been bullied savagely. They would call me names and stare at me. They would make fun of the way my body looked, and make up cruel nick names that they would call me behind my back. But they do not have the strength that I do, because I don’t believe they could go through the things I have, and still be the same person all through it.
But I was ashamed, and I wanted it gone. The doctors decided this was life or death. My spine was growing crooked, and it was pressing my already failing lungs into my twisted rib cage. The doctors said it was a great risk, I was not likely to make it off the operating table alive. Although hesitant at first, and even flat out refusing to have it in the beginning, I decided that living life like that was horrible, and I had to give it a shot. So, they set a date for the surgery that changed my life. They told me that during the surgery, the doctors would straighten my spine, and then screw metal rods into the bone, so that it could never go back to the way it was before. I could never go back to the way I was before.
This is an actual x-ray of my spine. This is what my life is now like.
The relief that flooded through my body when I opened my eyes countless hours later, was something I’d never experienced before.
The pain was breath taking, it was so intense that I was in and out of consciousness for days on end. I had to be fed through a tube in my nose, that scrambled all the way down my insides and fed my broken body, because I was too weak to lift a spoon. I had to use bed pans, because my body was unable to leave the comfort of my hospital bed. When I was ready, I had to re-learn how to walk, feed myself, and even to this very day, I still learn new things every day that I have to do differently, because my spine no longer lets me bend at all. 3 months of wearing a metal brace around my chest, to help my bones heal. Months and months it took me to be strong again. Being showered and dressed by my mother. The pain medication left me drowsy and unsteady. Night mares and hallucinations followed.
My spine is incapable of bending, for the metal that keeps it bound together forbids it. Re-learning to do things differently has proved difficult, most things take twice as long as before. I cannot even tie my own shoe laces. Being 18 years old, I find this so frustrating. Even 5 year olds can tie their own shoe laces, so me being many years older makes me feel like such a baby. I am an adult, and I cannot do things such as putting my own shoes on by myself. Re-learning how to horse ride, something that I have been doing since I was old enough to walk, was something that took so long. Things that I could do before with my eyes closed and hands tied behind my back before, I could no longer do the same.
Most people don’t know this side of me. It’s not that I keep it hidden, I am no longer ashamed of what I’ve been through. I’m not ashamed of the scar that follows the length of my spine. To most people, it just doesn’t occur to them that someone can go through this.
I look normal on the outside. A bit thinner than most people, a side affect from my failing heart, but none the less, fairly average. The girl next door even. Even through all this, I love life. I cannot do what most people can do, but that doesn’t mean I will give up. Because I won’t. And neither should you.