The Life of a Chronically Ill Teenager
High School with Health Issues
Over the past 2 years I have developed a myriad of health issues including issues with my Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome, chronic costochondritis, my gallbladder was removed, I had endometriosis, along with some stomach issues which include chronic gastritis. I had 2 surgeries with in the course of 2019, and to top that off it was also the year my mom tried to commit suicide twice. As you might assume attending high school became very difficult the pain was debilitating.
For 2 years I battled my health issues to get back to high school full time, I worked very hard but it proved to be increasingly difficult. I stayed caught up for a long time going to school 2 to 3 days a week but still my health issues persisted. The pain in my abdomen became too much second semester of junior year and I had to take some much needed time off. Which shouldn’t have been an issue I was still on track to graduate.
Surgery Number 1
In early April of 2019 I had my gallbladder removed. Getting there though seemed to take a lot of will power. In my experience the doctors I have had have sucked. Not to say that all doctors suck maybe just the ones I’ve seen. I have been called a drug addict at the age of 17 by a doctor and I have also been told to woman up and push through the pain. If I could push through this awful all consuming pain don’t you think I would, I was a rugby player for crying out loud. The surgery went well I spent one night in the hospital and that was that, and I felt better... for a while.
After surgery my gastroenterologist told me there was nothing more he could do he ran tests and they all came back “normal” except to say that I had biopsies which contained chronic gastritis and he did not treat me for it. It was tough, but summer was coming around and I could use it as an opportunity to get healthy enough to return to school. Little did I know that it was about to get worse. Over the course of the summer my dad had told my mom that she was “a burden emotionally and monetarily and that we didn’t need her”. She had convinced herself that she was now a burden to her family and that we would all be better off without her. Meanwhile my health continued to decline and I was sent to a gynecologist.
Over the course of months my mom was broken down again and again. She is also chronically ill though much worse off than me. She felt like a financial burden with her medications and her special foods so she can eat. I had just started my senior year and I had hopes as high as ever for my last year of high school. I knew I couldn’t do sports but I was just happy to be there. Two or three months later I came home from school, my mom had been emotional for weeks crying a lot more she had no control over her emotions, she was distraught and far off she told my dad to take us to the store so that we didn’t have to be there when she kills herself. My dad a man of few tears shed tears that day. I didn’t know what to do I was completely lost, and about a week later it happened. She took 3 boxes of insulin one pen at a time injecting it into her stomach. She grew shaky and weak, she began to lose vision and she thought it was the end. Reaching out for comfort she asked my dad to sit with her, he obliged, though he probably shouldn’t have because he ended up yelling at her. The next morning I found out. I stayed in her room for at least 24 hours, at first checking her blood sugar every hour, then as it stabilized every three hours.
Don’t Go Towards the Light
While sitting with my mom taking care of her after the insulin incident I checked her blood sugar. She told me that she should stay home unless her blood sugar reached below 40 and sure enough it did. It was at the point where I checked her blood sugar and it was 32. She was fading fast, we had been feeding her sugar to make up for the deficit in her blood, she was losing consciousness. I made her eat a lot of candy then she kinda checked out. She started talking about the peace that she found how it was so beautiful and warm, she kept telling us that she loved us. I was crying asking my dad “ what are we supposed to do? We’re losing her.” Then suddenly I saw her personality fill her eyes, she was not going to die. But she became increasingly angry at me because she felt like she was almost there, I had ruined everything. For my personal safety I was made to leave the room.
Attempt Number 2
I had been taking care of my mom for 2 days I needed a break and I needed to get out of the house for a while. I went to the mall with my best friend to play glow golf. When we had finished the coarse I received a phone call from my dad telling me that he could not pick me up because my mom couldn’t be left alone right now. So my friend drove me home. On the way home I received a different call it was my dad again, he said “mom has to go to the hospital so I will not be home when you arrive.”
And I said “why does mom need to go to the hospital?”
He said “don’t worry about it.”
I said “you can’t tell me mom is going to the hospital and then tell me not to worry about it. What happened?”
”She took two bottles of pills and she’s really out of it.”
“She tried to kill her self again?”
”Yes I’m sorry.”
We were five minutes away from home. Why did I go out?