Up until recently I bragged that we were never sick. An occasional sniffle, the childhood earache. They came and went with time and chicken soup and only rarely a visit to the doctor if we really needed something stronger.
Tiara was no different. She was athletic and strong. She was independent and capable. So though we’d struggled with tonsillitis and migraines this last year, when she woke up in January dizzy and unable to walk, I had this idea that we’d see a doctor, discover the cause, and find a fix. 1. 2. 3. Done. Surely, it would be quick. I told the school she’d be back in a few days. Then I told them she’d be back in a week. That was January.
The diagnosis took 4 months. The treatment, well, we’re still working on that one. Summer trips ceased to be planned… that was one more busted deadline. POTS doesn’t follow rules.
It’s OK. I’m not complaining. But this is one super big paradigm shift for me and a tightrope of sorts because while I have to acknowledge to some extent that this isn’t a quick fix, I don’t want to accept that either. I feel like by accepting this that I’m giving in and allowing a permanence that can’t stand. It’s interfered enough.
She’s a senior now. She has AP classes to excel in and SAT exams to take. She has college applications to fill out and life plans and dreams to pursue. And fun. In all of that – all of this – there should be fun.
So there’s compromise. Our plans of being better and starting this year in school have shifted to just two classes in the afternoons and three taught at home after school just three hours a week. Our plans now include a walker and an elevator pass and special permissions for water and salty foods. It’s unlike any plan that I’ve ever made. It’s a balance of pushing forward, yet realizing limitations and allowing for those no matter how much we both yearn for “normal.”
I suppose when this is all over, that we both will have learned something. A lot of flexibility if nothing else. Plans are made and shifted and changed and sometimes there’s no choice but to roll with it and see what happens.