Thursday, January 31, 2008

High School

My History - Chapter 6

I started high school fresh from surgery for my feeding tube. I remember being very overwhelmed at first, but I soon feel in with a great group of friends. Some were old friends, some were new friends, but they were my circle. I still speak with many of them today, and still have very close relationships with some of them as well. We were not the popular kids, but we also weren't the dorkiest also. Nearly all of us shared some interest in theatre, so that is how we slowly came together. I also developed the unique ability to flitter between groups if I wanted. The popular kids didn't hate me, and I reached out to the social outcasts. As a person who has always been socially awkward, having a built in group of friends was amazing. I think that by the time I was in my Junior year I felt like I was finally okay socially. I'd lose this in college, but that is for a later chapter.

When I was in high school I started to fall into the trap that so many teen-aged patients hit - non-compliance. It started fairly simple, missing a nebulizer treatment occasionally and slowly morphed into I missed more than I did it. I would be perfect if I was on a study, but quickly lost it when I was not. I didn't see much affect on my health when I was good or bad, so it was hard for me to do it. Being an obstinate person, I have always tried to fight against what others told me to do, and in my mind, not doing my meds was a way that I could fight back and have some control over my CF. I lied to my parents that I did them and got really good about faking that I did do them. I also started to miss a lot of my chest PT. My health didn't fall though, at least not right away. I still stayed out of the hospital, I stayed active, I lived. I wouldn't see the affects of this until I was in college when I got even worse at doing my meds.

It was also during high school that the power of the Internet enabled me to feel like less of an outsider in the CF world. Because of research done in the late 80's they ended CF camp due to concern of sharing bugs with each other. Since I was never hospitalized, this severed my contact with people who had CF. The Internet gave me a safe way to meet others with CF without being exposed to germs. I saw so many that were far sicker than me, but there were also people just as healthy. I made friends, I lost friends, and I still have friends from that time. Sometimes the pain of losing people would cause me to pull away for awhile, but I always came back because it was somewhere that I could be understood without saying much at all.

By the time I graduated, I had accomplished several things that I wanted to. I finally left the country and flew on a plane down to Mexico. I participated in several theatre productions. I took piano lessons all the way up until I was 15. I mostly got good grades, earning a 4.0 my Junior year, and I graduated high school, knowing that I had enough money in scholarships to make going to college realistic. I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I spent quite a bit of time in high school working in elementary classrooms and I knew it was something that I loved and wanted to do.

I will leave off here with my future looking bright. Up next, my Make-a-Wish trip and starting college.

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