I tried my best. I sat in those cold blue plastic chairs for three hours three times a week fighting back nausea, extreme fatigue, pain, tremors, chills, and cold sweats. I fought through the fog of my clouded and exhausted brain trying to be patient note taking with trembling hands. I tried so hard to show up and soak up information. I tried to preserve the last drop of normalcy I had in my life by going to school. I did my best, but it is just not going to work. Three weeks into the school year, my medical needs have forced me to withdraw from community college.
I have had an interesting go at college thus far. My path is fluid. I am no longer guided by what I want, but where my medical needs take me. And that’s okay. The transition from being challenged in the rigorous academia and passionate student body of Lewis and Clark College to barely surviving one community college class was humbling. In only three weeks, I had already missed almost half of my classes for appointments, tests, or hospitalizations. I could no longer drive the 15 miles to the Mira Costa Oceanside campus, so my parents were driving me to school like a 7th grader. One of my teachers “would not take doctor's notes”, and none of them ever responded to my emails about my absences. With bags under my eyes, a one thousand yard stare, and my mind melting blank, I sat in class looking and feeling like a zombie. I felt out of place sitting in a classroom in my state.
The tremor attacks of last week hit me hard with a reality check. As I sat there convulsing in my chair fearing for my life while everyone stared at me silently, I thought to myself… what am I wasting my time for? My professor never asked if I was okay, although I clearly was not okay. Two days in a row. Two different classes. The same exact thing. Given I haven’t received any treatment yet, and due to the fact we have not uncovered the extent of my complicated medical case, my health is getting worse. It is getting harder to walk, I can’t drive farther than down the street, I’m in bed 80% of the time, I’m in more pain than ever, and I really need to focus solely on my health.
The academic monkey has been lifted off of my sore back as I now have the opportunity to to catch a breath and put everything I have into rest and recovery. I am so excited to have the time to delve whole heartedly into blogging, art, reading, and most importantly, resting. This space is giving me the opportunity to seek treatment options in new places. We are looking into visiting to dysautonomia center at Vanderbilt in Nashville as well as some other opportunities on the East Coast and in the South.
What’s next in my academic career? I originally was looking to transfer to UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, University of San Francisco, or something else with a funky Northern California feel. The reality is, that’s not going to happen. I will have to be homebound for the time being considering I will need infusions, physical therapies, possible surgeries, and close proximities to my doctors and healers for many years. However, this closed door allowed a new opportunity to arise that I have never considered. I not only want to finish out college, but I want to have a meaningful and enjoyable experience, like anyone else. Turns out Point Loma Nazarene has a creative writing major and nutrition minor, my perfect combo. Not to mention it is a beautiful place filled with lots of beautiful people. It dawned on me last week, and I decided to apply for the spring. Whether I take one or two classes and live at home until I am well enough to move down there, enroll full time or wherever the wind might take me, I am looking forward to having an option outside of community college to pursue if my health permits it. At the end of the day, I won’t have to make any decisions because my health will make them for me. And honestly, that’s pretty nice. I’m just floating downstream on this fluid and ever changing ride of craziness. But, I know I am at the right place at the right time, always.