Was today. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen since being diagnosed with a muscle disorder. Too many times to count. Most of the times I can walk away with a little bruise here or there. Sometimes I have to go to the emergency because I tore a ligament or something.
Today, I fell while mopping and had to get stitches for the first time. I had to be a bit of a grown up because I live 600km away from my family, on my own. I had to stop the bleeding, I had to clean up the mess, and I had to get in the car and drive myself to the hospital. I’ve never liked hospitals and blood has always been a bit queasy for me. It hasn’t changed much since my diagnosis. I don’t usually break down either. You fall, and you pick yourself back up. There is no use crying over spilled milk right?
When I was in that emergency room, standing in line, waiting to get checked in I had a flood of emotions come over me. There was a man in front of me in a wheelchair, he could barely talk and his body was so frail. I saw his family member or friend help comfort him while he was in pain. I saw these two men and just wanted to cry right then and there. I could feel the film of water gloss over my eyes and I couldn’t stop it.
You do not know pain and struggle until you see someone fall and give up. Until you look into the eyes of someone and see only defeat. And the hardest part is, there is nothing you can do. It is the worst feeling in the world. The pain I will never feel but must watch someone else suffer with.
Here I was in the hospital, in my sweatpants, with no make, and I was crying. I looked at the floor and questioned, “Why is life so unfair sometimes?”. I was angry, I was sad, I was confused. I have always tried to stay positive, I have fought my battles in silence and have not shown anyone the scars I carry with me everyday. But today, I lost it.
I hated to see people suffering. I hated the fact that the ones who needed strength the most, always received it the least. I hated how there were people outside at the beach enjoying the sun and I was in the hospital. I hated everything. I was bitter and I just wanted everything to stop. I didn’t want to take it anymore. I had been strong for so long and I didn’t want to be strong anymore.
Today, I have given up.
The nurse could see I was upset and told me to breathe in and breathe out. An exercise I find myself doing a lot lately. I wish she understood the weight of the shoes I had to walk in. I wish for a moment, she could walk in them. Not to feel sorry for me, but to let me be.
I know life will always get harder from here on out. I know it will. It’s a reality I have accepted. But what happens if I can’t get stronger? What happens if being strong is the last thing I can do? My body is telling me something and my heart is speaking to me. Maybe I need to listen. Maybe enough is enough. Maybe it’s time to claim defeat.
I think about life and how fragile it really is. How someone’s life is always lost because of hatred or illness. It’s so unfair. Life is so damn precious. I wish we could see that sometimes. I wish we could understand that it isn’t about the perfect Instagram picture. Life is so much more beyond that.
Today, I have to ask you for something. I want you to really try and help someone in need. Life is so damn hard sometimes and a helping hand is all someone needs to feel the weight lifted off, even for a second. It can be as simple as smiling at a stranger, acknowledging the homeless man on the street, or reaching out to someone and letting them know you are thinking of them.
With so much suffering and hate in the world today, I hope we never forget to love. I hope we always remember to help each other.
This was an article I wrote for Muscular Dystrophy Canada and I thought I would share it on my personal blog today.
If you want to read more about my experience with Muscular Dystrophy, please click here and search “Ivana”.