“If you could go back and talk to yourself (or your loved one) on the day of your diagnosis, what would you say?”
What could you say to a 5 year old, sick for a year, who finally gets an acknowledgement from doctors that X is really wrong with her instead of Y? What can you say that makes nearly a year of diet changes, little sleep, weekly lab draws, crying family, and a previous misdiagnosis of 6 weeks to live – what do you say that makes that all okay? Or the next 19 and a half years she gets to spend in near constant pain, being picked on due to her weight or the ease with which she injures herself – what makes that okay? Or the half dozen new issues she’ll have pop up… Or watching her sister go through this too… I could go on and on.
Of course the prompt asks what you would tell yourself, not would you tell yourself everything will be okay. Who wouldn’t try to do that though? I mean, check out my cuteness.
I’d tell her that the thought docs had that you’d be in a wheelchair within two years is bullshit and to not let that hang over your head your entire life. I’d tell her to stand up for herself and speak out about abuse for her and her sister. I’d tell her to be kinder to her sister, and meaner to the grandma who beat her sister. I’d tell her to not avoid that last 1 in 911 when calling about that bitch. I’d tell her that she shouldn’t reach out to people who clearly avoid being in her life for a reason – none of them are good reasons, but let it be instead of forcing it. I’d tell her to fight against those who were supposed to be close to her, trusted, and yet ruined that trust with acts unmentionable. I’d tell her she’s better than allowing that to happen.
I’d say that 2 liters of soda every few days aren’t okay, and neither is eating out every night. I’d tell her to exercise but only half an hour a day to feel better and be fit, and not to overdo it and go anorexic with overexercise. I’d tell her to take care of herself more, not to be thin but to be healthy.
Mostly, I’d tell her she’s worth everything in the world and that things will be okay.
But anything I say to little me, no matter how much pain and grief it would save, would alter who I am right now. It could change anything from my hair color to where I live to my fiance. And those aren’t things I’m willing to change – though I do need to recolor my hair again soon as the greys are popping up through the red.
That just means I have to help raise my niece so that she knows everything my sister and I didn’t growing up. And that’s something that I’ll always look back on as a good decision.
|Aw, for me?|