Friday, March 6, 2015

Teenage woes

As a teenager I enjoyed Marching Band as well as anime and writing, though I wasn't particularly good at either of the latter. I was fabulous at Marching Band. I was the second chair clarinet in our band and could march better than most of the senior members. The thing is that sometime in my second year in high school I fell, and in the process dislocated my knee. I always knew my knees could hyper extend to roughly 25 degrees backwards, but I didn't know they were loose enough for my patella to shift to the side of my knee completely.

This of course was extremely painful, and as soon as I went down I shifted and the muscles spasmed. The patella shifted back to where it was supposed to be, and as it was my first dislocation I begged to go to the hospital. I couldn't walk on the leg, the pain I experienced every time I stepped was too much to handle and I knew I needed medical attention. I was young and naive then and thought that they would jump into action, fix the problem and surely, I would be fine.

That isn't what happened. When I got there they denied that I had ever dislocated my knee at all, all that was there was a bad sprain. One that I would need to stay off my leg for a week or two for but nothing more than that. I wasn't going to give up I talked to my doctor later and they put me into physical therapy.

I had the worst physical therapist. They had me do the standard exercises, use a large rubberband like thing and stretch my knee, try to build up muscle because clearly I didn't have enough to hold my weight. They had me go an a tread mill and a few other machines. Then there was the stationary bike. Every rotation caused my knee to pop painfully, like a ligament was shifting under and then over my knee cap. I asked to not have to use it, it hurt. But they told me that it didn't matter. I had to do it. There was no other choice. The pain would be worth it.

I understand there will be muscular pain after physical therapy, pain from working muscles that haven't been worked in that way, but this wasn't that. This was repetitive injuring pain that they wouldn't listen to me when I argued against. I later stopped going to physical therapy all together because it simply wasn't worth it to me. From then on I've simply been careful. Careful of how I walk, careful of how I stand, careful of how I raise myself from a sitting position. Though caution only goes so far.

Another thing I struggled with as a teenager was that I was terrified. I worried constantly over everything. I always questioned "what if this happened what if what if what if" and I complained to my mother about it "I'm always scared" I said "I'm always worried something will happen"
She ignored my pleas for help. She told me I was over reacting, that It was all in my head and I should just 'stop worrying'

For those of you with anxiety you know that isn't true. There's nothing you can do to stop the worry that you feel constantly. For years I was afraid to go to a doctor and tell them of the worry. All I could say was that I was down, that I didn't want to do anything. Depression was something I knew was real. My mother said I was depressed so I believed her. My father had died that year and I was terribly down and refused to go and do nearly anything. I went to the doctor and they placed me on medication.

That medication made me yawn constantly and have terrible mood swings. It made me miserable.I went back to the doctor and got changed to a different one, but it did the same thing.  then I felt like I couldn't come to the doctor to actually do anything about it. So I decided not to take it anymore. My depression got worse and worse. But I was scared to go back to the doctor because why would I go if all they did was make it worse?

This was a time that I didn't have to worry about what my insurance would and would not cover. This was a time when I didn't have to worry about copay's and paying for medication. Things got tougher from there, but thats a story for another time.

The point of all this is that when you're a teenager, people tend not to believe you when you tell them of your health problems. You're a teenager. You're supposed to be going through that awkward puberty stage, but you are supposed to be generally healthy. So when you tell people that you hurt, or that you worry, or that you've done something and even if you know you have, others will likely not believe you. Its hard not to get discouraged when your mother and doctors don't believe you when you tell them of your problems, and it can add to any anxieties you already have. I don't know if there's a trick to getting through to them, because I certainly never did. But I do urge any parents of teens that may read this to pay attention to your child when they say something is wrong. Its possible they're seeking attention, sure, but its equally possible that they're going through something they need help with. Help them get the help they need.

Don't loose hope and keep trying to get the help you need.

Why this?

I began this blog mostly as a way to write out blog posts for my friend Percy. Here I will describe the trials of trying to get a proper diagnoses and navigating the American Heath Care System. A little background about me so that you know what point of view these posts will be coming from. I am a 25 year old genderfluid person with female parts. I am female in my every day life so I will likely call myself she and her a lot in this blog. Though I prefer to go as Cole online. I've always had what I've described as 'loose joints' as well as depression and high anxiety levels. I've suffered from dislocations, depression, and anxiety for roughly 13 years. In recent years this has turned to skin conditions as well as pain in my joints, mostly brought on by weather shifts. I'm a mother of two and both times I had very difficult pregnancies. To this day there has been no proper diagnosis for me. Though now, more than ever, I am seeking one. I have low income and am below the nations poverty line which puts me on state issued health insurance. These are the issues I'm dealing with ontop of trying to support myself and my children through crafts such as crochet, writing and now a small rabbitry (if you live in South Carolina and would like to purchase a French Angora Rabbit please email me, We would like to begin breeding though that is for a different blog) I have to try and push through pain daily as well as forcing myself through the haze of panic and depression. My life has also been plagued with a series of un-supportive and emotionally abusive relationships, which make it equally hard to focus on health.

I hope that this blog will be enlightening to some, though to some it will likely sound like a lot of whining.

Thank you and my first post shall be posted soon.