'you helped me go from a nurse to a med student to a doctor... to a mom'

anonymous asked:

I've seen you say a couple times that you don't see or that you're disabled. Do you mind talking about it? I ask because I am an aspiring writer and it is really hard for me. I wanted to know how you managed or what it was like?

I don’t mind talking about it. It’s something that made me who I am.

When I was about 12, my health sort of started to eat itself. I suddenly had a ton of allergies, and there were days I couldn’t get out of bed. I got sick all the time. In freshman year of high school, I suddenly couldn’t see. For a long time a thing had been going on in my eyes, but I guess I didn’t think it was abnormal until it made it impossible for me to see. Basically this hole was kind of growing in my eyes, but it was more like a rainbow.

When I started having trouble with colors and detail vision, my mom freaked out a bit, because at the time, I was an award winning artist who had ideas of going to college for art. Then I started tripping over things, hitting my head, having trouble with depth perception. Then I got sick, and I mean sick.

I spent about 23 hours a day in bed. I had almost constant migraines. I had pain in my entire body. My skin turned yellow. I went to every kind of doctor you can think of and was tested for everything there is. One day, I had about 12 vials of blood drawn. No one knew what was wrong. The eyes weren’t that big a deal at first, because it seemed like I might have something really serious. The first couple of eye doctors I went to kind of looked at me and said “Oh it’s nothing big.” I actually had one guy tell me that my brain was just shutting off my eyes because I wasn’t using them properly. Yeah.

Then finally, my mom took me to a friend of our family who happened to be an eye surgeon. She did a free exam. I’ll never forget it because it was the first time anyone believed me. I’d been told by doctor after doctor that there was nothing wrong with me. I’d been referred to therapists, told I needed depression meds, told I was just going through a phase or needed attention. Then this doctor put on her head gear, looked into my eyes…took off the head gear…got new head gear…looked into my eyes…took off the headgear…got hand held tools…looked into my eyes…and then stared at me with her mouth hanging open.

“I can’t see the back of your eye,” she said. And suddenly the world simultaneously healed itself and flipped upside-fucking-down for me.

Then it was all about my eyes, the one symptom we could see happening. The one that was the most dangerous. But by then it was too late.

What happened is pretty simple: I apparently have some weird recessive DNA. It triggers certain bizarre immune issues at puberty. My immune system decided to attack my body. The eyes are a delicately balanced system. They show symptoms first. My immune system attacked them with a vengeance. They swelled up like balloons. Normal eye pressure is about 14-17. Mine was at a 22 at its best. It put a tremendous amount of pressure on my Retina, specifically my macula, cutting off blood flow like when you sit on your foot. You know those little shadowy things that float across your eyes? They’re called protein floaters. My eyes had produced so many of those that the doctor could not see through them. It was a fog.

They had to find a way to map my eye, to track the damage. Cue the eye exam from hell. I have always been, even before my autoimmune disorder, deathly allergic to melon. Any kind of melon. But now I was allergic to all sorts of shit, fruits vegetables, all kinds of crap. My dad is allergic to contrast dyes. So when the retinologist suggested this dye-based eye exam that is kind of like a CAT scan, my mom said “no”. See, they inject you with this dye and then they flash this weird light in your eyes. It causes the dye to glow, and then they can see the things through the fog. My mom told them I was too sensitive to stuff for that to be safe. The doc assured her they’d put a butterfly in my arm, meaning the vein would be kept open, and a syringe of benedryl was set on the counter. They’d never had anyone react, and they needed the pictures or there was nowhere to go from there.

So they put this dye into me, and it was like I’d been injected with fire, but there was no way around it, and to me, I knew they only had about 90 seconds to get the images they needed. So I sucked it up. finally the burning began to spread. Suddenly my back felt like I was being stabbed, and I suddenly couldn’t speak. I tapped my hands on my mom, then began sneezing spontaneously. My mom lifted my shirt, and I had quarter-sized hives. The nurse said “Stop sneezing on the camera”. Yeah.

My mom went ballistic. The doctor flew up the stairs and gave me the emergency meds. I slid into a dissociation state and nearly out of my chair. They had to prop me against the camera for the next couple minutes and reinject the dye. No other way, you see.

They did this test every few months for a few years.

But then there was treatment. Not much they could do, except try to get the swelling under control. Only way to do that was corticosteroid injections in the eye. Yup. A needle in the eye. No, they don’t knock you out. They numb the surface of the eye with the same numbing drops they give you for the exams and then they come at you with a needle, tell you to look down and to hold still. And you fucking do.

I was 15 when that started.

I went to experimental clinics, labs, and joined studies. I dropped out of those. Why? It’s pretty simple. The first day I came to the exams, I was kept waiting for over two hours. I was taken into a room. I was left there. No information, no talking. Suddenly a man came in followed by a group of people, all in lab coats. He started moving me around like I was a doll and talking like, “The patient presents with…the patient this, the patient that…”

I shoved him back and said, “The patient’s name is Kristina, and she is 16.”

He finished his exam, and when he left, after the students had gone, he took two Q-tips, dipped them in that pink shit your dentist uses to swab your gums before an injection, and SHOVED them under my eyelids with a cocky smirk.

The patient will never be an snotty little bitch again, I guess.

So yeah. Fuck those guys. They gave me two injections in one day, which no one had ever done before, because it was almost impossible to function with two pimple-like bubbles on your eyeballs.

Still my health was bad. Then all of a sudden, when my mom had given up, It just wasn’t anymore. Suddenly, I was fine, and all that was left were the eyes. I went back to school, except now I was blind.

In a few months, I’d lost about 80% of my perfect vision. I was photophobic. I got horrible and constant headaches. I walked with a cane. And not a single fucking teacher believed me, except my civics teacher, who had gone blind at a young age due to some other weird eye disorder, and my physics teacher who was deaf. I had teachers send me to the office for wearing my sunglasses (with a note on file). I had teachers get on my case about having an audio recorder and CD player for my books. I had teachers call me names, make fun of me, make me leave class to photocopy their notes larger, so that I missed the lecture the notes were on. I had teachers take my medications which had to be in my possession because of their time-sensitive nature and constant administration and hide them in their desks as punishment for asking questions or demanding help. I had classmates pick on me, but luckily, I was well-liked, and I was an officer in the ROTC. I even excelled there in spite of my vision, because my Captain believed in my leadership skills.

I always tell this story because I think it is funny. We had this special boot camp we got to go to if we were in the upper ranks of the ROTC. If you joined the military after high school (which I could never do) you got a higher paygrade for having gone through it. Almost like taking a couple JC classes in the military. It was grueling and all physical fitness, obstacle courses, PT, classes, guard duty…fucking blah. Our unit was allowed six participants. I sort of figured that it wasn’t really fair for me to go, even with my high rank (a company XO). To my complete fucking shock, my Captain recommended me to go, cutting out a classmate (and ex) of mine who was higher in rank. The boy went ape-shit. He went on and on about how unfair it was. He even went to the school board. My Captain made his reasons clear; he told them that the academy isn’t about military sponsorship. It’s about skills and quality. He didn’t care if I had a disability. In his eyes I had more innate ability than anyone there because I had worked so hard just to be where I was. The boy was angry. I told my Captain I appreciated the gesture, but honestly, we ought to make it fair. I told him that we should train to meet the PT standards, and that if this kid could make his, but i couldn’t make mine, he should go. I made mine. He didn’t. He complained about that too. At the last minute, we were told one extra person could come because another school had lost one. So he came anyway. The whole time he bitched about me being there. When I got there, the real military officers gave me shit like you wouldn’t believe, because they weren’t used to dealing with disabilities or recognizing that they can’t discriminate against high schoolers by law. The commander of the unit tried to dress me down in front of everybody for wearing sunglasses. I was pretty pleased with myself for telling him off but still sounding respectful. He kept saying “Take off my glasses”. I told him they weren’t his. They were mine, by law, and that if he had a problem with that, he could consult my attorney, the DOJ, and the doctor who prescribed them. He tried to fuck with me. I didn’t say anything except to ask him if he wanted me to have a migraine, because that’s what taking the glasses off means. He was so confused by me he walked away and called my Captain over. There were words. After that, he came up to me once or twice, almost like a test, to ask me if I needed him to slow down or if I was getting around alright. He wasn’t being nice. He was egging me in a condescending tone and with very bullying language. He’s a drill instructor, and you know what, that’s his job. I told him I was fine. But I made a decision: I wasn’t just going to make the female PT marks. I was going to test out of this fucking place at the male PT marks. And I fucking did. That boy…had an asthma attack on the track (I had asthma too, but I worked my ass off while he coasted on his “boyness”) and failed. At the certificate ceremony, the commander came up to me and said I had really impressed him, and that it was a shame I couldn’t enter the Navy. I thanked him, but what I wanted to say was, “Go fuck yourself and take the NAVY with you”. I ended up the Battalion XO Senior year. This would have given me a guaranteed spot in Westpoint if I could have taken it. My Captain cried when he told me he was sorry he had to give it to one of our Company XO’s. I told him that it was best for everyone, because I am not the type of person to enjoy taking orders. I had learned that about myself.

He laughed.

Around Junior year I got people to pay attention. My doctors got the DOJ and the Social Security people involved. A woman came to my school and enforced compliance in a tone of voice I’d never heard anyone but my mother use. She threatened to rain brimstone down on them if they didn’t give me what I needed, and things changed.

My parents wanted me to take a full scholarship to a local school, but I wanted to get away. So I did. I wanted to travel abroad, so i did. And when I was 19, they perfected one of the surgeries they had been working on the entire time I’d been struggling with this.

See, the injections had brought and kept the swelling down, but that meant that the fog was still there (since ocular fluid doesn’t replace), and the structures in the eye had been stretched all to shit, and were laying in my eye like melted plastic wrap. The old surgery was like a blind man hacking with a machete, but the new surgery used fluorescent dyes to track movement. Dyes that wouldn’t kill me. The old surgery had a 50-50 shot at complete loss of vision and made you lay on your face for three weeks. The new was fool proof and took 45 minutes. So, I got one eye done. They swapped out all the fluid and replaced it with saline. They peeled the distorted membrane off the macula. They stitched up my eyeball and gave me a sick metal eye patch. Looked like a fucking space pirate. It was rad.

But the blind spot is still there. The cataracts caused by the steroids are still there. The scars are there.

A few years later I had the other one done too.

My college was great. It took a lot of work getting all my reading done, about 500 pages minimum, per week, done via audio. I used to spend hours at the pool table in our residence hall, listening to my books and practicing. I got pret damn good too, at pool. It was difficult taking notes or working with a note taker. It was scary traveling by myself. It was hard to get people to understand there wasn’t anything WRONG with me. Just that my eyes don’t work even though it seems like I’m normal and fine, and like they should. People always think to be legally blind you have to be completely blind, and they think you’re not going to be able to defend yourself. I’ve been targeted by pickpockets. I’ve been followed by scary dudes. I’ve been treated like shit, laughed at, and accused by full grown adults of faking to get privileges, all because I can look at the place where their head should be and smile at the blank spot there. All because I can walk down a flight of stairs with a few neat tricks I know that have nothing to do with a cane.

But shit…you probably didn’t mean to ask for my life story. I’m going to get back to the point. My writing. What has it done for that? Like how can you be a writer if you can’t fucking see? Technology. It’s been amazing. I can use a computer same as anyone. The Kindle has been a fucking revolution for me because for the first time in a decade and a half I could read without pain and suffering. Just…all the things it does have made life so much easier than it used to be. It got me out of bad relationships with people who used my disability as a control. It gave me a little bit of confidence back. It helped me know I could handle myself.

And really, I think my vision loss had a lot to do with my writing. In some ways it gives me different perspective, sure, but it’s more than that. I was undeclared when I entered college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I thought about history or sociology. My mom had a degree in that and she was an English teacher. I wanted art history, but what the fuck was the point in that? Couldn’t see a damn thing. And then I had a class in poetry, and shit…That made sense. I’d always loved language and writing. Always been okay at it. Dorte stuff but never thought about doing it for a living. But then it was like yeah…yeah I’m gonna fucking do that. Just like when I decided to meet the male PT standards.

If it is in you. If you love it. If it defines you and possesses you, it does not matter how fucked up you are. You will find a way. You don’t have a choice. You are that thing. And you’ll adapt. You just have to let yourself. You have to keep pushing. You have to learn how to handle frustration. you have to train yourself into stamina. You just keep going. I’m nowhere near as successful as I want to be. I’m still going. I hope I get even better. I hope I can say things that make truth more obvious, or that help people put words to things they have always wanted to say.

I don’t need my eyes to be a fucking firestorm. That’s just me. Eyes don’t mean shit.

So keep going. Keep doing whatever you need to. Do it better and better. Bend yourself around it. People who see you struggle will think they’re lucky, but you and I know the truth: they’re not even close to the kind of strong you are. Not even a little bit.

anonymous asked:

Hi... Um, if you're still doing imagines, I was wondering how the RFA members would deal with MC getting really sick with an internal infection after ignoring the pain for a few days -thought it was a pulled muscle or something-, and going into the ER and having to be pumped an IV of heavy-duty antibiotics before being allowed to go home with a list of prescriptions to take -like antibiotics, pain meds, nausea pills-, and instructions on how to get rid of the infection. Thank you.

dang this was thought out LOL I LOVE IT but i don’t know a lot on infections and medical stuff so i’m just going with it bear with me

Yoosung

  • the worst part for him was that he wasn’t even with you when it happened
  • he was in class sneaking glances at his phone when he gets a chat message from zen that you suddenly collapsed and had to go to the hospital
  • boy didn’t even give an excuse to the teacher, just grabbed his stuff and ran out
  • there was only one big hospital in the area, so he basically sprinted there
  • he’s almost in tears by the time he reaches the front desk, asking where your room was
  • they say you’re still being treated, so he has to wait for the all-clear
  • he stays nearby so they can notify him and calls zen demanding to know what happened
  • zen didn’t even know what yoosung was saying for the first few seconds cause there were too many questions overlapping
  • all yoosung could get out of the conversation was that you’d collapsed with stomach pain while walking with zen to the store and zen called the ambulance
  • halfway through, he hears his name and hangs up on zen without a word sorry not sorry
  • he gets to your bed, sees you still unconscious, and bursts into tears
  • “is she dying?! is she dying?!!”
  • “please calm down, it was a rather severe stomach infection, but the antibiotics will–”
  • “does she need a new stomach?! TAKE MINE”
  • “sir, there is no need for that, she will be fine”
  • literally glued by your bedside until you wake up
  • he’s so worried as to what happened, although you weren’t quite sure either
  • the doctors explain and give a list of the medication you need to take to ensure full recovery and other precautions
  • for a second, yoosung forgets he’s a broke-ass college student and says he’ll buy all the medicine necessary
  • he’s dead serious too, this boy is ready to starve for the next few months
  • it’s okay though, cause jumin immediately foots the bill when he hears about the situation
  • surprisingly, he’s extremely dedicated to your recovery, even setting alarms to remind you when you need to take what medication
  • if you’re even in the slightest bit of pain, he’ll run over and do whatever he can to make you feel better

Zen

  • like yoosung, he wasn’t there when it happened
  • he was at practice when he gets a call from the hospital
  • at first he thought they were calling for a follow-up on his ankle 
  • but turns out it’s worse news
  • he only offers a brief apology to the director and other members before running like hell to the hospital
  • he storms in sweating like a madman, asking the nurse for your information
  • she recognizes him and starts to fangirl, and he’s this close to yelling cause although he appreciates attention, this was not the time
  • thankfully, she noticed the urgent tone in his voice and quickly told him you were still getting hooked up to the antibiotics for a stomach infection
  • he has no idea what that means, but lets her talk and asks when he can see you
  • she has him wait nearby and calls him over when the doctor tending to you steps out
  • at this point he’s practically begging them to let him see you and they finally allow it
  • he runs straight for your hand, grabbing it and kissing it
  • you’re still asleep, so he tries again to ask what exactly happened to you
  • they say it was a rather sudden stomach infection, but as long as you take the proper medicine and precautions, you should be fine
  • he asks them to supply the medicine as soon as possible, and asks for the precautions
  • he barely sleeps cause he’s too busy watching for when you were gonna wake up
  • when you do, he almost screams with joy
  • babe, you scared the hell out of me!”
  • he takes time from work to dote on you at home while you recover
  • he’s almost like a mom… an extremely spoiling mom

Jaehee

  • it was only by luck that she was there right when you collapsed
  • she stopped by home for a brief moment during her lunch break
  • you two were chit-chatting it up when you suddenly cried out and fell
  • for a few seconds, she was frozen cause wtf just happened
  • but her body immediately moved to dial the ambulance while crouching to the ground next to you
  • she followed the operator’s instructions to the T
  • she almost couldn’t believe how calm she was acting, considering how much of a mess her emotions were at the moment
  • extremely quiet the whole ride to the hospital
  • literally a silent ball of stress and anxiety
  • jumin calls while she’s in the waiting room asking why she hasn’t returned yet
  • she explains briefly, but she must’ve sounded panicked since he tells her to take the rest of the day off and stay by you
  • the whole time, she sits on the bench staring at her clenched fists on her lap
  • just silently running through everything in her head - what caused it? was this a precursor for a more serious illness? has this happened before? what symptoms did you show again?
  • when they finally lead her to your bedside, she gets all the information she can from the doctors
  • seriously, if another staff member stepped into the room, they would’ve thought the doctors were getting interrogated by her
  • when she’s finally satisfied and they leave, she watches you sleeping for a few seconds before stepping outside
  • she returns minutes later with some of the food she remembered the doctors saying you were cleared to eat for now
  • and then she sits and waits
  • only when you wake up does she finally crack a relieved smile, immediately offering you some of the food and drink she bought
  • she’s incredibly efficient and skillful at helping you recover
  • doesn’t even need a list to remember what you need and don’t need

Jumin

  • he’s in a meeting when jaehee receives the news from the hospital
  • she doesn’t know if she should interrupt the meeting, but knows better than to keep such an urgent thing from him because of a conference
  • he goes rigid when she whispers the news, curtly saying “assistant kang, i leave the rest to you” before excusing himself 
  • he demands driver kim to go as fast as possible to the hospital
  • when he gets straight to the point and asks for your room
  • the second he hears a room number, he sets off and lets his bodyguards handle the rest
  • the doctors hurry to answer his questions once they realize who they’re talking to
  • and the nurses scramble over themselves to make sure they’re doing everything right
  • he keeps a doctor on standby the whole time until they confirm everything is fine and you’re in the clear
  • only then does he send everyone out and sit with you until you wake up
  • when you finally do, the first thing he asks is if you’re feeling fine
  • he sounds pretty neutral, but you know him well enough by now to know that he’s worried af
  • you assure him that you feel tons better now, and you watch the tension slightly leave his shoulders
  • he calls for the doctors again and asks when you’re allowed to go home
  • they give him the necessary prescriptions and recovery methods and tell him you should be good to discharge by tomorrow
  • he takes some more time off work to take care of you sorry jaehee
  • lowkey sort of likes tending to you, he finds it calming

707

  • you collapsed in the bedroom, so he didn’t notice at first since there wasn’t a camera installed there
  • he only realized when he saw paramedics storming down your hallway
  • he almost had a heart attack and was out the door before he realized
  • uses his laptop to track down which ambulance was dispatched to your address and find the hospital
  • he drove so fast he actually got there before the ambulance
  • the staff had to fight to hold him back from following you into the ER
  • they finally calm him down a bit by taking the time to explain what was happening, yet even then he was a panicking mess
  • after a tense moment, he agrees to sit down and wait for further news
  • he gives it a 15 minutes before he whips out his laptop and starts hacking into the hospital database to see if they filed a report on your condition
  • sure enough, he finds one and starts researching the shit out of their diagnosis
  • he’s so busy hacking that he doesn’t even notice the doctor calling for him
  • “excuse me, were you the one waiting for–is that our internal database?”
  • he slams that laptop shut so fast “nope, school project”
  • “….. we’ve finished the emergency treatments and supplied her with the necessary antibiotics”
  • “can i see her?”
  • when he first walks into the room, he’s sorta just stunned and horrified to see you hooked up to all those IVs
  • he pulls up a chair and grabs your hand with both of his
  • literally holding your hand 24/7, almost like he’s scared that something will go wrong if he lets go
  • you wake up with him napping next to you, his hands still loosely holding yours
  • when you call his name, his head whips up so fast you thought it was going to fly off
  • he smiles so brightly when he sees you awake though, even gets teary
  • uses his enormous secret agent salary to cover all the necessary fees for medicine 
  • he has you stay with him for a while to recover so that he can watch you better
  • if he has to work, he brings his laptop into bed so he can be near you
  • he also sends you tons of memes to cheer you up when you’re feeling icky
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Women’s Week Day 5 - Favourite Inspirational Character: Abby Lockhart

“I just wanna say that I think that you’ve probably seen me at my best, and, um, at my worst. And even though we didn’t always see eye to eye, um… you helped me go from a nurse, to a med student, to a doctor… to a mom.”