My little red tether is my anchor in running with my friends. A beautiful guide dog has been my tether/anchor in mobility and independence for 17 years: 1. Pantera 2. Cricket, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). A life of family and friends is my joy and anchor in life.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. CC Scott

Thursday, May 20, 2010

That Girl

I had the chance to meet with a 13-year-old girl yesterday who had recently been diagnosed with a degenerative health condition -- one that will significantly impact her life. I sat there thinking how could I help her get to the other side where she knew her and life could and would be amazing inspite of this challenge. Infact, this challenge could become a gift to her. Today was NOT the day she wanted to hear that. That will come when she is ready ... in her time. It did for me. I was 13 when symptoms of RP became evident although it took us several years more for a conclusive diagnosis. Today I sat there while she cried and felt her pain of feeling different. We found ways to express her feelings through journaling, drawing, and painting. Then, I told her about one day when I was angry about being diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. I said I cried hard for a long time. I grieved and felt sad and that was okay. Then I filled lots of pages of writing of what felt frustrating at that time. I was really mad. Then I tore up those pages in really fierce tearing motions. Then I felt better. I could laugh again. In case you think I am happy and perky all the time, that girl pops up at times. Of course, she still gets frustrated and overwhelmed at times. Then she gets up, feels better and laughs again and again.

4 comments:

Amanda said...

I can't even imagine trying to wrap my head around a diagnosis like that at 13. Last summer I struggled with my chiari diagnosis and I was 30. Thankfully I had an awesome therapist who helped me tremendously. Sounds like this girl is lucky in that she has awesome support too. ;)

Plant Girl said...

BTW, I have 2 identities here on the internet. Amanda at "Inside Amanda's Head" and Plant Girl at "Not So Patiently Waiting". ;)

Clive said...

What a hard thing to go through at 13, but thank goodness she has good support to see her through this.

s day said...

you are awesome awesome awesome. I come here everyday to be inspired and you never fail to do the job! Thanks for coming to the open house... sorry it was super crazy busy! Come back in and we'll spend some much more quality time showing you and steve around!