I had my appointment with the surgeon for my back on Friday. It was a 2 1/2 hour drive up there and equally as long back. The surgeon spoke to me for ten minutes, where he told me how I was too young and my body could fix itself still and how if I were his sister i wouldn’t suggest having surgery.
I was prepared for him to say no, to say I was too young, but it was the way he spoke to me that made me choke up and lose my words out of panic and frustration. It’s as though someone took an eraser and wiped out my brain and all the words I had prepared. Fear came in and reminded me how I pressed for a surgery before and where that got me—permanently on medication just to be able to eat and function like a normal person. He told me that he was on opinion and if I wanted to push for the surgery he’d do it, but he did not recommend it.
I did ask him if I spoke to my referring doctor and he wanted me to pursue surgery, would I be able to come back. He said no bridges were burned and he’d definitely operate on me. That we would have another meeting like this, regroup, and then schedule the surgery.
I had my chiropractor appointment where I upstated my doctor on everything that went down. I told him what was said. I told him how I was frustrated. I told him how I got in my car, called my general practitioner, and made an appointment to try and get a referral to a cardiologist and see what I need to do about a rheumatologist. I told him how symptoms that seem to point towards POTS have been getting more defined, and how the more I look into it, the more I wonder if that’s where this chronic fatigue is stemming from. I told him how I’m not convinced i don’t have hEDS, even if it’s not as extreme as some others. I told him how my cousin has POTS, and I’ve confirmed two more relatives to have symptoms like we have. I told him how I wondered if it’s all related and if so would surgery actually make it worse if it’s caused by something like one of these things or something similar.
He got silent, face lined as one is when deep in thought. Said a few “hmm’s” as he mulled over everything in his knowledge base. Then he replied with, “I’m going to have to ponder on this one.”
I appreciate this. I appreciate that he didn’t just shoot out an answer to pacify me. That he’s going to dig more into it before replying. That how these things could possibly all be connected is something to consider. How he believes me. He hears me out, weighs it against the science, and then responds.
Brain fog has been the realest it’s ever been the last few days, and heading into the baby class today had me a little nervous. I love them so much and I was hopeful they would behave.
Most did, but enough of them were distracted and talking that it made the class more difficult than it needed to be. A few even got on to the “sad face list” where if you get your name on this list and gets two marks beside it, you don’t get a sticker. It makes it difficult to have to repeat myself, to not have the whole class keeping up with what’s going on, to lose their focus and end up having to show the same thing numerous times. The class is big and we’re still trying to find what fully works for us.
At the end of class, I had them sit down in their lines and I got real.
I asked them if they wanted to know why it’s so important that they follow the rules. Besides what it does for them, if they wanted to know why it’s important to me. I told them, “I’m really sick. I have a thing called chronic fatigue syndrome, and it makes me really tired all the time. That feeling you get when you’re really tired at night and just want to go to bed is how I feel when I wake up in the morning and have to get through the day. I explained how teaching is hard but I love them and I love to teach them. I told them that when they follow the rules it doesn’t make me feel as tired, but when I have to get onto them over and over it makes me more tired and makes me feel worse.
By this point, they were all silent. They were actually listening. Every one of them. And before I could even finish one of them, the sweet one I made cry a few weeks ago when her name got put on the sad face list for talking (and who wasn’t talking this time) ran up to me and just hugged me. Her precious little heart couldn’t take hearing about me being sick without doing what she could to make me feel better. One by one, other girls stood up and did the same, their hearts overflowing. By the end of it, we were in a giant, 20 person group hug, one of them commenting at the end, “Ms. Emilee! We broke rule number three we were all touching each other! That’s not keeping our hands to ourselves!” High five, little one. I explained that at that moment it was okay and allowed.
I love these kids. These 5-6 year olds are full of life. They’re funny and charming. A good deal of them are really focused and work hard, many of them are naturals. It fills my heart to overflowing to see them remember things I’ve told them in weeks past, in their “ready position” at the beginning, smiles on their faces. It makes me melt when they come up and I think they have a question but they just want to give me a hug. These kids keep me as well as I am. They give me a reason to get out of bed and keep trying. They keep me in the studio even if I can’t really dance.
I hope they know how important they are, how loved they are. I hope they know the world is theirs, that they can dream big and achieve those dreams. That sometimes life is hard, but if you look around there’s reminders of how it’s still beautiful. I hope coming to class is something they look forward to, something they enjoy.
I love these kids and how they’re so full of life. They’re fresh, they see the world in the best way. Even if some of them have had the world hand them a hard deal, they don’t hate it. They find the beauty through the pain. They feel the pain. They process it. It’s admireable. And I hope as they grow they remember how wanted and loved they are, how important they are. How they have something to offer the world. How their story matters.
They remind me of why I’m still here. Of what part of my purpose, my story, is.
I could never thank them enough for that.