The Secret Land of Challenges

Stephanie - Chandler, Arizona
Entered on October 15, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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I believe that anyone can overcome challenges, ranging from any


A person-child or adult-can find support from others, to overcome the difficult obstacles that happen throughout life. But what if help cannot be found?

When I was a child, I kept more than secrets. I hated wearing those fluffy, itchy tutus at my ice skating recitals and decided to throw it away- my migrant mom thought that she was getting too old. Despite all the careless things I have done, I kept it in my land of secrets. Most of the time, I never got caught. At age seven, I decided to quit ice skating and got attached to tennis. I was wiping out the courts instantaneously. But after a couple of months, I started to experience bizarre feelings in my body.

This would be my inmost, greatest secret. I didn’t let anyone know. I was an incompetent child, considering this situation as nothing, and not wanting a visit to the doctor. I continued playing tennis and personally handled this weird reaction to my body. The reaction made my leg stop when I was solely in action, which sparked a strange facial expression that lasted for minutes. But those episodes happened anonymously about ten or more times a day, worsening my daily routine.

My biggest challenge yet to be faced. I’ve been living with these odd episodes for just about nine years, without any help. When I was thirteen, my grandfather passed away, I kept my state of despair to myself, not sharing my feelings with anyone. I was afraid. A challenge that was towering over me, it took lots of time and distressful emotions to make death come to my acceptance. At this stage, I was confused. I deliberately talked to my doctor about my spasms. It was the toughest state of my challenges; it’s hard to explain but more complicated when being asked to have an episode. These episodes are impossible to have control over; they rather come to me disregarded, making the episodes uncontrollable to any circumstance. My doctor had no reaction when I confronted with my illness; instead he insisted getting CAT scan. The doctor didn’t find what was wrong; he plainly gave up on the situation and me.

April 4th, 2006, my biggest secret came apart. It has been seven years since I have been hiding my episodes. Today was the day of my best friends birthday and my very first seizure. This day, I will remember forever. As usual, I kept this secret to myself. At first, I thought I fell asleep, it was an unknown factor to me; I didn’t know it was a seizure until it happened the next day? at school. During the last period of class, math, I woke up in a daze with dozens of adults endlessly asking me questions after questions. After this situation, I finally saw a neurologist. I was somewhat excited to see this specialized doctor; my intentions of my abnormal case may finally be figured out. Instead, since I had this spell, I had to undergo strange testing like MRI’s, EEG’s, and run around silly in the hospital trying to trigger my episodes. All the testing I have done for the past two years have gotten me nowhere. Leaving the exigency of the situation behind, my doctor’s stopped testing

and label it as an unknown etiology disorder.

Till this very day, I still play tennis and live with my unknown disorder. Nevertheless, with all the hard tasks and tribulations I have been through so far, I’ve been taught a lesson: One day I will have to exceed the challenges that override my life, which may perhaps come from my deepest confidentiality. It may take quite a time or loads of self- confidence.

Be prepared for the challenge.