Hi Reader (Friend, Loved One, Interested Stranger),
We all have been warned that we are not invincible by our elders in the educational setting, especially when we were taught to drive or about drugs and alcohol. When looking at who thinks they are the most invincible young people are the guiltiest.
Yes, young people do have better bodies but this does not make someone invincible. Any life form is pretty fragile. When one essential thing is missing everything else goes out of whack and cannot function. For instance, I could not eat which made me become severely malnourished, and I also was losing so much blood I became anemic, fatigued, and dehydrated. When a young person does not have a body up to par, the majority of their peers cannot grasp it. A body breaking down is expected to happen to old people as a part of aging. In our heads, young people are not supposed to be dying from undernourishment or blood loss. A chronic disease is not aging, but it does have the power to break a body down at any age.
Most people my age cannot say they know what dying feels like…How can I even begin to explain to them. The best thing for people of any age to do is just be there for me…I do not think I need special treatment, but I do think people who love me should show their love now, when I’m most vulnerable. However, I have to be realistic and know that most people are constant letdowns and that I’m probably letting people down too.
It is really tough for a young person to deal with this out of the norm experience. I felt like I was being a ‘fake friend’ to most of my friends, because I knew they did not understand the severity of my disease which made me want to withdraw from them. It frustrated me when I tried to explain my disease to people and could see their disinterest…How can you love someone and not take the time to listen to them about a severe disease they have been suddenly diagnosed with.
I only let one of my friends know that I was hurt by them and it was hard for me to bring my feelings up. I kept thinking about how I was going to do it. I did not want to be rude, yet I wanted to be heard. I was so hurt, because I felt that I was ignored when I talked about my diet change and proneness to infection from all the medication I was on that suppressed my immune system. It is not like that was all I talked about it either. I just wanted to shine light on it and let them know what was going on with me health-wise.
Yet, I still went out to the bars a couple times. I sucked it up, because I missed my friends…I am so angered by the pull bars have on people. Yes, I like to go to them to socialize, but I do not want my life to be at one!
I appreciate the friends who were in Madison and could visit me at both of my stays in the UW Hospital. Thank you! During my first stay one friend and I had a chat about invincibility and young people; because I expressed my sadness I had felt leading up to my first surgery.
The same friend gave me a card and in it wrote, “I know during our last visit we talked about youth, invincibility, and life as this elusive, fragile blessing. As physical as our bodies the world around us, can be this “trajectory,” (or is it more a stall, a pen, a startling gate of life?) is sometimes untouchable. The pieces we understand gleam through in pin holes through the dark matter we can’t know.” My friend is a poet and this whole card is wonderful. I kept it by my bedside to re-read for a couple weeks. It is a good reminder that life is here as we know it.
I’m going to stay open to those friends who want to spend time with me and I want to spend time with…People who really want to understand what I have gone through have already proven themselves to me. Thanks for sticking by my side and for reading my post(s)!