This I Believe

Katharine - Lake Forest, Illinois
Entered on September 28, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change, hope

I believe in hope. No matter how impossible or bleak a situation may seem, there is always a possibility that things will get better.

I’m a cellist; making music is my life. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with tendonitis in my right wrist. I saw all kinds of doctors, and they all said I should take a break until my wrist was pain-free. Almost all of them told me that I might never play again.

Not the massages, Prednisone, Cortisone shots, localized steroid treatments, iontoferesis, Kineseo Tape, ultra-sound, infrared light, stretches, nor the eleven different splints were helping my wrist get better. Every new doctor or technique raised my hopes, and after each one failed, my hopes dropped to a new low.

When I couldn’t play my cello, I was not happy. I forced my face into a smile when I could and tried to think positive thoughts. Some say thinking optimistically helps heal the body. I wanted happy thoughts to fix all of my problems, but I didn’t believe they could. Nothing scientific and tangible was helping; how could the concept of hope reduce the swelling in my wrist?

When I was on the brink of losing all hope, I saw an acupuncturist. Needles were sprouting from my fingers to my elbow, poking holes in my few remaining shreds of hope. My eyes opened after thirty minutes in dreamland to tiny specks of blood on my arm where the needles had been.

Dr. Deng asked me where it hurt, and I took a deep breath, preparing for what I expected to be the devastation of realizing that one more hope of a musical future had disappeared.

I paused for a moment, trying to sense the pain that had made itself at home in my wrist, but it wasn’t there. I shrugged my shoulders to check if the relief was only temporary, but I felt miraculously good! The tension was gone; I finally felt free to breathe and free to see a long-forgotten brightness in my future. It was a peaceful ecstasy to feel my heart rise what felt like a foot inside my chest. I was experiencing the blissful flooding of hope.