Birthday, Exams & a Surgery Date

So I haven’t written anything in a while, and it’s basically because I’ve been trying to concentrate on study. I’ve never been a great student, I always skated by and never gave much thought to what I really wanted to do, or left things to the last minute, or was too distracted. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to stop chatting and goofing off with my friends every day during and after school, pay attention in class and do some homework for once, organise dates so that I actually know when assessments are (?? You’d think this would be the most basic) and to decide exactly what I want to do so that I don’t waste time.

This year has been different, though. Not only am I getting it, I’m actually getting pretty decent grades, rather than just a pass-by-the-skin-of-my-teeth, and I’m enjoying the actual content. It’s a conflicting feeling because I’ve never felt proud of myself for being what I would have considered a nerd or wasting time (even though obviously I wasn’t even doing the bare minimum before). I guess a lot of kids who are praised for being talented in one way or another experience the same kind of thing where they can’t get by without doing work as they start to grow up.

Anyway, I had some intense assignments which I really liked doing, and then I had a subject that was insanely difficult for me, even though I felt like I understood it. So I’ve been trying not to fail that, and do well in the other subjects. I had exams two days before my birthday, one day before my would-be knee surgery date (which I changed to next month in the end). Then there was my anniversary with my fiancé and father’s day, after which I got sick. You know when you’re low-key stressed but you just keep holding on until the ‘danger’ is over, and then your body relaxes and you get a cold or something?

I had two exams at the same time and they clashed, so one was moved to the afternoon, and when I sat down to do the first one, the supervisor comes up and is like:

S: do you have a letter for me?

Me: sorry…no?

S: Aren’t you the clash student?

Me: yes…

S: See me after your exam.

At which time he told me I wasn’t allowed to leave until I’d finished my other exam in case I ask everyone else what’s on the exam. So basically, I had to sit there without my phone, laptop, notes or anything from 10:30am until 3:30pm (I actually got there for my first exam at 8am), when my second exam had finished. In silence. Actually, I used the time to scribble a story I’ve been meaning to write for ages, a to-do list, meditate and draft some things…unfortunately, they all only took the first 30 minutes. So, I guess that was a good lesson for me to be even more organised and patient.

In the meantime, I’d finally been able to see my surgeon after five years of him telling me I had to build up my medial quadriceps (I couldn’t because basically I needed the surgery to stabilise the area) before surgery, and he actually gave me the go-ahead to get the surgery I’ve needed since 2012; when I had an extreme dislocation and snapped the muscle! The only time I could book it was in the middle of next study period with a six week recovery minimum (recovery for the same surgery on my other knee took almost 16 weeks), so I’ve had to defer this term, but I guess that means I can focus on writing, blogging, and wedding planning. I really wish I could work from home. I’ve done some in the past, freelance, but it’s all dried up, and since then I’ve been waiting on this surgery/waiting to see if I have to move, so I can’t exactly start a job, and it makes me feel awful. Up until last year I was working for three years straight at the same place, and now everything basically falls on BB, who goes above and beyond 100% of the time, and has so much on his shoulders.

I haven’t even been able to process the fact that I’ll actually be getting the surgery after all this time. It feels like my whole life has been on hold, because I’ve had two surgeries on the other knee, and no matter what anyone says, it has made a huge difference. In a good way of course, but also both sides of my body are fighting each other for stability and it’s throwing everything out of balance. Imagine, that for five years you weren’t sure if you were able to get surgery or not, whether you could exercise or walk or run or even stand, having to wonder if every step or corner you turn will dislocate your knee again – where you’ll feel the absolute worst pain of your entire life, and knowing that it’s easier to dislocate every time. That your body has been rapidly deteriorating at a noticeable rate, so that each month a new painful and expensive urgent problem needs to be addressed. For five years, that has been my reality, whereas growing up, I’d always been athletic, strong and able to do anything.

To think that I’ll finally be able to – if not be normal – at least have a semblance of normalcy and regain balance overall; it’s just too much to hope for. I don’t even want to think about it, lest I get my hopes up and too much damage has already been done, or that I’ll be so relieved it will just wash over me in waves and I’ll break down. I find it difficult to even read about Ehlers-Danlos to begin with. It’s just painful to know that I haven’t been crazy my whole life. I don’t want to resent or hold grudges against all the friends and family that called me a hypochondriac, or teased me or pointed out all the things I was self-conscious about, as if I could help it. So I’d rather not have to make it a big deal and just get on with my life as normally and as stress-free as I can. To be able to walk, swim, regain muscle definition and be at an average fitness and strength, and be able to work properly is all I’m hoping for (although I will always try for more). I’ll be content if I can at least slow down the deterioration and feel less worn out each day.

[If I could explain the feeling of pent-up frustration and relief, it would be like that scene in the Devil Wears Prada where Nigel thinks he’ll get a promotion, and he’s able to finally admit how much he’s suffered and sacrificed for his work – that it’s finally paid off: “I’ll be able to go to Paris, and actually see Paris!”]

Moving on.

Another weird thing is; when I got the x-rays pre-consult, it revealed a fracture in my patella – which was strange, I thought, because that had happened on my other knee and hadn’t been picked up until months after I’d first dislocated that one. I just put it down to having had the same injury on both sides, but it turns out it’s just a piece of bone (a detached ossification I think?) that grew that way on both sides because the patellae sit too high. So that’s…informative. I guess it doesn’t really make a difference to anything in particular.

I’m working on a skincare post at the moment, but just thought I’d do a little update, since there hasn’t been much going on. I didn’t even take any photos on my birthday – what the heck?

So…enjoy this photo of my breakfast

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and a selfie from when I was feeling awful and sick, but at least content.

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