Yesterday I was going through old posts from the “On This Day” tool on Facebook. I soon realized that around this time of the year a few years ago I was in a really tough spot. It was in the middle of my junior year, the toughest time to be in high school. I was struggling with classes but still managing to stay afloat and manage everything. I went to a winter weekend camp for kids with cancer in Virginia where they let us snowboard, ski, etc.
I ended up falling A LOT, and every time I hit my head on ice. I kept pushing myself though because I really wanted to get snowboarding down. I began to feel dizzy, nauseous, and sick, but I kept going, only to keep falling over and over. I ended up falling on my wrist really hard and it was hurt so bad I decided I was done for the day. I iced my wrist and just relaxed. That night I had the worst migraine I’d ever had in my life. I couldn’t even get out of bed to go eat. All I could do was just cry. Everyone went home the next day and I went to the ER because my wrist wasn’t getting any better. They put it in a splint and told me I was fine. I ended up going back a couple days later for my head and they told me they didn’t want to do a CAT scan because the radiation wouldn’t be good because I had leukemia. So basically they said “sorry there’s nothing we can do, bye”. It was the worst concussion I’ve ever had. On top of this I was also developing tonsillitis which kept me from being able to talk let alone get out of bed.
For weeks I was just vegetating except for when I had doctors appointments or physical therapy for my head. I wasn’t fully cleared for 4 months. I wasn’t allowed to do more than 30 minutes of homework a day. I had to take naps during the school day during my classes. I was restricted from looking at ALL screens until I was cleared. That meant no TV, no phone, no computer. My teachers weren’t very compliant with this except for a few. My family had to hire a lawyer to meet with all my teachers and tell them by law they had to work with me on this. Even after that some teachers just complained they didn’t want to just give me a “free” grade. It was also hard for them to see how much I was struggling because everything was happening in my brain so I looked fine on the outside.
When I was still bedridden, on a good day where I had energy, I would take a chair out on my porch, bundle up, and just sit and breathe in the fresh, cold air. I would only last about 30 minutes but it was always the highlight of my week. As crazy as this all sounds, I still managed to make it to more than one prom.
Even though I wasn’t able to dance for a LONG time I still managed to be in the spring dance concert with my fellow dancers.
I also passed all of my classes for junior and senior year and even got a $2,000 scholarship for college. I graduated with about a 3.5 GPA and was in National Honors Society.
I was also miraculously accepted to all of the colleges I applied to, and I chose BYU – Hawaii where I had the time of my life…
…and also met the love of my life.
Now, not everything was perfect in school, I did miss out on a lot, and there were a lot of problems. I had to quit my favorite sport, field hockey. I was so heart broken. I had already had 12 concussions before this big one due to mostly field hockey. I couldn’t perform a lot of the dances for my concert. I also had a lot of mental problems I was still trying to work through. I was still acting out in classes and tended not to care about rules. I fought a lot with my family and even friends. I didn’t make good relationships. But over time God worked with me and helped me perfect all of these things and humble me SO much.
All of of people ask how I did it, and how I was able to do it even though everyone around me, though they were encouraging me, were very worried I wouldn’t make it. I never considered quitting an option. Yes, I had to make some accommodations to what I was doing, but the outcome was still the same. The thought of failing was unheard of to me. I knew I could do it, so I did. So, the key to being capable of anything is just to trust in the Lord and believe in yourself!