The last time I posted was a normal day. The day after? Notsomuch. They day after began a whirlwind of doctors, hospitals, tests, medicines, therapies, and half-tank fill-ups, since I refuse to let my gauge get below half a tank, since even half costs me $40ish dollars and I know I’d cry if I saw the bll for a complete fill-up.
Sidebar – who doesn’t love a good run-on sentence?
So for the past few weeks, it’s been hectic. Stressful. I’ve spent a lot of time on my knees, praying for my sweet daughter. And I’ve spent a lot of time wishing I could carry her burdens myself. I’m experienced.
When I was an adolescent, I was sick. Very, very sick. In fact, between 7th & 11th grades, I missed more of each school year than I attended. You name the symptom, I had it. Hospitals were my second home. I learned how to reset my own IV alarm, since it went off so frequently. I knew exactly how many steps it was from the front door to the ER bed. And I knew that one day, I would die of this mysterious illness that no one could diagnose.
I believed this wholeheartedly, and I even wrote a will. You know, for all of my 15 year old possessions. In truth the will was more confessional, telling the secrets that seemed too big to reveal in the real life of a teenager. It was all very tragic and Molly Ringwald would most definitely have played me in the movie. This gave me an odd satisfaction.
At the time I felt bad for what I was putting my parents through. Not that I could help it exactly, but still, I’m a person with guilt. I hated that I cost them so much money. I hated that I messed up their work schedules. I hated that they worried so much about me.
After tens of thousands of dollars spent, countless specialists visited, and more invasive testing that anyone should ever have to go through, there was still no answer. Doctors began telling my parents to take me to therapy because I must be crazy. Which certainly is true, but thankfully my parents believed in me enough to know that my insanity wasn’t of the hypochondriac variety. And then one day, literally almost overnight, my problems vanished. I was healthy again. Whole again. Normal for the first time in 5 years.
We still have no definitive answer for what caused my problems. My parents didn’t move to cure me – we had no idea that was even possible – it was just a blessed coincidence. We moved to a new state and realized that my problem must have been an environmental allergy. The school building that I was in was making me sick, quite literally. I was never ill before or after I left that building, and I wasn’t the only one affected.
At the time, though, my principal was, um, less than understanding. That’s the kindest way to phrase it. At one point he told my mom that if I didn’t return to school for the half day before Christmas break, I would have to repeat my sophomore year. It was an in-school dance, and I spent the entire time laying down on the bleachers with a 105 degree fever. I was taken to the hospital via ambulance later that day, and admitted for 1 week.
You might think an apology was in order, and certainly you would be right, but none came. Because he was, as my sister once put it, ‘a gigantic waste of flesh’. And I know it’s very petty of me, but even now (with high school just a couple of decades years behind me), I feel angry with him when I remember this. I’d like to smack him for his jerkish insensitivity. And I’d like to have screamed when he sent me a friend request on Facebook. Decline!
Why am I telling you all of this? Because over the past couple of weeks, I have experienced exactly the opposite of Mr. Buttface. [Sorry for the language, mom] My daughter’s teachers and principals have shown us an outpouring of love that makes me all the more grateful to be right where we are. To be in a school that nurtures my child both academically and emotionally. That meets her mental and her physical needs. And one that is ready and willing and even happy to help us.
Catie collapsed at school, and the phone call I got said that she’d either fainted or had a seizure. When I went to collect her, Lilly in tow, I found that the principal had carried her down the long hallway to the nurse (and Catie is solid so this is no easy task). She sat with her and held her as the nurse examined her. And she waited by her side until I got to the school. She walked us out to our car. She even offered to keep Lilly at the school while I took Catie to the hospital. Think about that for a minute. Over 700 students in her charge, and she was willing to take on one more, just to be kind. Just to help her student who needed it. Just to make an awful day for us a little bit easier.
Above and beyond. It’s like our school motto. Every teacher, every assistant, every secretary, every janitor. Above and beyond. And I am so very thankful for each and every one of them.
I know firsthand what it is like to be in the opposite situation, which makes this experience even sweeter.
I still don’t have an answer for what is causing Catie’s problems, and there are many more tests to come. I’m still not comfortable letting her out of my sight, since I continue to get phone calls. But I am very, very thankful to know that if she can’t be with me, she is definitely in the next best place. She has a large family of people who love her, and it includes the staff at Bardstown Primary.
Thank God for that.