This I Believe

Victoria - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on January 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Getting Through the Tough Stuff

I believe in staying positive, no matter how tough life gets.

When I was five years old, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and babesiosis, infectious diseases caused by a tick bite. At the time, I was living in Connecticut, where these two diseases are very common. For over two years, I took oral medication to combat these diseases. I was very sick. I spent a great amount of time visiting doctors and undergoing medical tests, some of which were very unpleasant. When I was in second grade, my doctor prescribed I.V. antibiotics with the hope that it would cure my disease. For three months, I had a picc line, an I.V. that transports medicine from a tube directly to the heart to be pumped around the body. The medicine relieved my symptoms, but due to a side effect of the drug that some people experience, I became very sick with gallstones. I then underwent what should have been a very simple surgery to remove my gallblader, but in my case it was more complicated. I spent two weeks in the hospital and I had a very long recovery time.

Throughout this entire experience, however, I always remained positive and happy. I did all of the things a normal kid would do; I went to school, I played outside with my friends, and I had fun being a kid. Since I’ve had two tick-borne illnesses, my immune system is mildly compromised and I get sick easily. After all I’ve gone through, I still remain positive about life. I’ve found that not dwelling on the negative aspects improve my personal experience in life. The pain I went through when I was younger helped me become who I am today. No matter what comes my way, I stay positive and strong. Since I went through such tough times, I know that I can handle anything that gets thrown at me. No matter what I’m doing, whether its schoolwork or a sport, I persevere and keep a positive attitude and get through it whatever way I can.

I recently found out that I will have to undergo a series of painful surgeries to correct a bone growth deformity in my legs. My tibias are going to be cut in half and twisted. I will have rods and screws to hold them in place. I will be on crutches for a while I am recovering. When I first found out about this, I was pretty scared to go through such a painful recovery, but I remembered what I went through when I was younger. I then made the resolve to not think about the pain I will suffer, but the benefit the surgery will have on my life.