September 18, 2013 I was told I had Chronic Pancreatitis, which meant, I had a seven to fifteen-year life expectancy.
I was a Junior in High School and tomorrow was my seventeenth birthday. With this diagnosis, I would live until I was either twenty-four or thirty-two. According to statistics, my life was already categorized as over halfway done.
Not only that, but the surgery that was suppose to be conducted tomorrow (yes, I was going to sleep away my seventeenth birthday with aneasthetic ) was canceled. The F.D.A. had banned the secretin needed to perform the procedure, so I was left with the same pain, the same nausea, and no hope. I had an answer though.
What does it feel like to be given this life expectancy and told that the only way pain relief would come was through narcotics?
Well. I kept it together in the room. My mom didn't, but I did, that is, until I got to the waiting area.
I lost it then. I couldn't keep myself together, yet, it was not near the despair felt when I was admitted for malnutrition two years earlier. This was better, but different.
There was an older lady and gentleman with a dog in the waiting room. That poor dog must have been overwhelmed when I went over and immediately put all my loss into loving that furry creature.
The lady was so kind. She asked what was wrong and her husband gave me hope. He had lived with Chronic Pancreatitis for years, but he was on pain medication, he went to the doctor twice a year, and he couldn't even smell fried fish without having pain...
Sure I could live, but what type of life was that?
It was still early in the evening, so we went back to the hotel to try to change our flights and we went back to the Mall of America to get one last Caribou Coffee Tea before heading home. We slowly walked around and didn't say much. We just let this news sink in, but as I was treating my taste buds to their Decaf Amy's Spiced Rooibos, which is literally one of the best teas in the world, I had a mood shift.
I had a feeling going into this whole process that there was something seriously wrong , but I didn't know what. Now I had an answer. I had what I had come for.
Unlike my mom, I never looked for a cure during all of this searching. I looked for a cure to get a normal life and an answer as to what was wrong. I felt knowing what was wrong, or if there even was something, was the key to accomplishing my ultimate goal.
To get my life back.
Sure, I had a life prognosis now.
Sure, I would always have pain.
Sure, the nausea would be persistent, but...
No, it wasn't in my head.
No, I didn't have a mental disorder.
No, the pain was very real.
I was right. I was seriously ill, and now all I was was grateful. I had stepped closer to death than this before, but at that time I would have been remembered not as the person I was before, but as the skeleton of a thing that was just a mental case. Worse yet, If I had died, I would have been thought to be the cause of my own death. Now, I had a reason. I was born with a shorter life span than most, because I was born with these defects.
Now I could focus on making the most of life, no matter how long or short it might be. I built the courage to look for an alternative cure. I suddenly inhabited the strength to really start to take everyday and live it to the fullest. When you are told you only have so many calendar years left, you start noticing what is actually important in life. You truly start to see the meaning.
Find out more about my journey of fully healing myself on a Fruitarian Diet!