This I Believe

Sarah - minnetonka, Minnesota
Entered on February 20, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: disability

I have a very simple view of life, and that is that it is. Life is as nothing else can be; in other words: life is undeniably, unavoidably there, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it but live and know that eventually, some way or another, things will work out. As disgustingly optimistic as this thought is, it’s what has gotten me through the majority of my life – once I gave up trying to be a pessimist. And try I did, for many years, but no matter what terrible, dastardly things happened to me, everything seemed to work itself out in the end, whether it was the onerous task of completing my eighth-grade history day project, or surviving the months of illness that led to being diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Life has, annoyingly enough, worked itself out.

No matter what god, or fate, or whatever it is that’s out in yonder abyss throws my way, I have the disgustingly auspicious habit of putting things into perspective. I can ask myself, “in five years, will failing physics test really be all that important?” and once I do, I find that whatever stress I was giving myself dissipates. It seems that the longer I live, the less daily annoyances matter. After last year, especially trivial matters are hardly able to bother me; last year, when I was diagnosed with POTS, a condition I’d unwittingly lived with for sixteen years. It took three months of surviving under the exacerbated condition before I was finally diagnosed. Three months of various doctors and specialists trying to explain my constant headaches and dizziness, the reason why I always got nauseous and sick after eating, why I passed out when I tried to stand, why I could hardly breathe through the pain at times. Finally a (remarkably intelligent) neurologist found it, a condition that effects how my body regulates my blood, and its inability to do so. I’m in a constant partially dehydrated state, with not enough blood, and the lack of strength to control what I have. So when I stand up the blood rushes to my feet, leaving me dizzy; when I eat, it pools in my stomach, leaving me nauseous; when I take a warm shower, my already poorly functioning muscles loosen and the headaches start.

But after last year, just being able to get out of bed without passing out gives me such an intense feeling of elation that turning in my math homework on time seems to pale in comparison. And does it really matter if I don’t get to see the new movie at Willow Creek if I can take my dog on a walk without getting drained? Until something happens that manages to dissuade me of the fact that life isn’t going to go away just because I haven’t written the English paper due two days ago, I really have no choice but to live, and live as well as I can.