As summer turned to fall in 1998, I felt like I was in a fog. Nothing made me happy anymore. I was miserable and crying about it was almost a daily occurrence.
I knew my doctors and my parents were doing the best they could with the information that they had. And they were all desperately searching for better answers.
My physical abilities had declined at such a rapid pace. It was impossible for me to get off of a standard height toilet. I had to have a potty chair. We lived in a split level home. Thankfully my room was downstairs and I could come straight in from the garage. My grandfather build me a small ramp because I was unable to manage the one step to get into the house. The down side was there wasn't a shower downstairs and I was no longer able to climb stairs. My dad or my brother had to carry me upstairs so that I could bathe. My weakness was so serve that I couldn't get my hands on top of my head to wash my hair. I would have to take my left hand and place it under my right elbow and push my arm on top of my head. I was barely able to walk across the house and had to use a manual wheelchair for my doctor appointments.
With all the physical changes and obstacles there was no way I could attend my senior year of high school. Piece by piece, this disease/disability/illness was taking my life away from me. You go through your entire education longing to be the 'top dog'. To roam the halls your of your high school knowing there is no one above you. That you are on your way out....to start your life....to live your dreams.....to go to college.
I never realized that last day of my junior year that I would never walk the halls of Ooltewah High School as a student again. I never dreamed that I would need to be home schooled my senior year. I never imagined I would have a need for potty chairs and wheelchairs. I didn't realize how drastically my life would change in the matter of a few short months.
It was really hard for me to focus on the good in my life. I was too caught up in all the things I couldn't do. I was never into school sports but I was devastated that I couldn't go to the homecoming football game. I remember being curled up in a ball the night of the game crying my eyes out because of all the senior high school memories I was missing out on.
Truth be told, if I didn't have this medical condition I probably wouldn't have been at the homecoming game anyway. It seems sometimes we tend to focus on all the things we can't do when we should be focusing on all the fabulous things we can do.
I needed things to change and fast because I was slowly losing myself.